Student illustrations featured in Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “Drawn to Art: Ten Tales of Inspiring Women Artists” series

illustration of various people
For the second consecutive year, Ringling College students have created visually compelling comics
about each of the artists featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s
“Drawn to Art: Ten Tales of Inspiring Women Artists” series.

“Drawn to Art” Is a Collaboration With Ringling College of Art and Design

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has published online a second set of 10 short comics each celebrating a woman artist with artwork represented in the museum’s permanent collection. The trailblazing artists, featured in the 2022 set “Drawn to Art: Ten Tales of Inspiring Women Artists,” are Judy Baca, Tiffany Chung, Sonya Clark, Sarah Goodridge, Ester Hernandez, Loïs Mailou Jones, Nellie Mae Rowe, Augusta Savage, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation) and Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation).

Inspired by graphic novels and web comics, these short takes on artists’ lives were drawn by 10 student-illustrators from the Ringling College of Art and Design. The participating illustrators are Stephanie Bravo, Rebe Chen, Micah Eubanks, Elisia Fernandez, Aleyah Lyon, Susie O’Connor, Abigail Rajunov, Oliver Stephenson, Maddy Williams-Solberg and Madi Wong.

A goal of the project is to provide middle school-age readers, and art lovers of any age, with a beautifully illustrated and age-appropriate opportunity to identify with the struggles and triumphs of artists, to see themselves reflected and to draw strength from that visibility. “Drawn to Art” supports the museum’s commitment to educational opportunities by providing valuable professional experience for Ringling student artists who learn to work collaboratively, meet deadlines and address formatting and accessibility requirements.

“I am delighted to see this second set of SAAM’s ‘Drawn to Art’ comics come to life,” said Stephanie Stebich, the Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “This innovative project provides yet another avenue for young people, or anyone interested in artists and their stories, to be introduced to the museum’s rich collection and discover the power of art.”

The digital-first series debuted in 2021. It featured the stories of Berenice Abbott, Anni Albers, Romaine Brooks, Maria Oakey Dewing, Carmen Herrera, Corita Kent, Edmonia Lewis, Kay Sekimachi, Alma Thomas and Mickalene Thomas. All 20 comics can be seen on the museum’s website.

“Drawn to Art” is a collaboration with Ringling College’s INDEX (Industry Experience) program. INDEX is an experiential education initiative that provides students with professional experience prior to graduation by connecting them with leading brands and clients to develop creative solutions to business challenges. The 10 winning students were chosen from 39 illustration students that entered the INDEX competition.

“The partnership between Ringling College and the Smithsonian American Art Museum exemplifies the reason we began INDEX—to integrate experiential learning into academics and student life as one of the three pillars of collegiate and future success,” said Jeff Schwartz, associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of undergraduate studies at the Ringling College of Art and Design. “SAAM staff provided an experience far beyond simple mentorship as they educated our students on building a compelling story around each of these historically significant artists. The opportunity to work with the Smithsonian American Art Museum to delve into the lives of underrepresented fellow artists and bring their stories to life is a portfolio- and career-building experience of the highest order.”

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Borrowing

Patron Type # of Items Type of Material Borrowing Time
Student 40 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Faculty and Staff 40 Books 6 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 7 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Trustee, Alumni, Cross College Alliance, and  15 Books 3 weeks
Ringling College LibraryAssociation Members CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
PreCollege 5 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Local Teacher 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Chartwell’s and Follett employees located at Ringling 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
*The video game collection supports the research and teaching of the Game Art & Design program. Video games may not be checked out by Alumni, Ringling College Library Association members or Family members.

Spaces

The Alfred R. Goldstein Library features a wide variety of quiet, group study, and work process spaces. Looking for a quiet study area? Make your way up to the 3rd floor to look for a book in the Research Collection or peruse the new art magazines while relaxing in comfortable seating. When the weather is nice, you can take your coffee from Roberta’s Café on the first floor to one of the four terraces to work outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Looking for meeting space to get together with a group? Check out the group study rooms, which are available on all three floors of the Goldstein Library. The 10 group study rooms are available to students on a first-come first served basis, or available for booking by Ringling College faculty and staff for group and class meetings.

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