Four SUU alumni welcomed into SILA exhibition

Four graduates of Southern Utah University’s arts programs recently submitted their work to the Illustration West 60 competition and earned a place in the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles exhibit. 

Emma Clove, Mary Ellen Draper, Kalen Fernandez and Andrew Lee, the four graduates, joined a lineup of illustrators from around the world to present their art in the annual competition. 

Having just completed 60 years of submissions, the SILA exhibition strives to showcase established and up-and-coming artists. With submissions from SUU alumni, illustration continues to prove to be an exciting medium. 

Clove, the May 2021 valedictorian for the College of Performing and Visual Arts, submitted a piece of concept art for the preexisting fantasy book, “Redwall” by Brian Jacques. She worked on the piece for a few months before submitting her work and is ecstatic to have been recognized by the industry.

“Having professionals acknowledge your work as industry standard is honestly relieving,” said Clove. “I put in a lot of hours working on becoming a better artist so knowing that I’ve been moving in the right direction is a boost of confidence.”

Lee, a Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, finds that landscapes tend to be his go-to and there is no difference with his submission piece “Future Arch.” 

“SUU has a great atmosphere that is unique compared to other campuses. It’s that outdoorsy feel, which I personally love,” Lee said. “That is what inspires most of the art I do.”

In 1953, a group of southern Californian-advertisers and artists who sought to promote the professional status of illustrators founded SILA. Since then, the organization has grown to expose art to millions through printed media, television, films and gallery exhibitions. 

More information about SILA can be found on their website.

Article by Audrey Gee
Photos courtesy of Emma Clove and Andrew Lee