About the Awards

As the nation’s first intercollegiate online arts competition, the AICUO Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts (EVA's) recognizes outstanding students from the art programs at independent colleges and universities in every region of Ohio. Launched in 2008, the EVA's use the Internet as a venue for the competition, providing each nominated student with a permanent online portfolio on the AICUO Award website, www.aicuoartaward.com. The EVA's reception finalizes the competition and awards participants, nominees, and finalists for their commitment and dedication to the AICUO EVA Award program and the visual arts communities of Ohio. The reception includes a student panel, an art exhibition presenting the six finalists, and an awards ceremony.

The Awards Process 
The EVA's are a combination of six awards presented to senior art students who attend our member institutions. Senior students with an exceptional portfolio and artistic drive are nominated by their department chairs or deans. After two rounds of judging, six award winners are selected. The award winner with the highest score is given the Grand Award. The nominated student portfolios will be on the AICUO Art Award website for the month of February, in which time the public is allowed to nominate an individual for the People’s Choice Award. The six finalists present their work at the annual AICUO Award reception. All award winners receive a prize package and the Grand Award winner receives an additional cash award.

The Online Portfolio 
Every nominated student is provided with a permanent online portfolio that remains on the AICUO Web site even after the competition concludes. The online portfolios are the venue for the online judging process. After the competition, it provides proof of the students’ nominations and a setting from which to showcase their artwork on a professional Web site.

The first round jury consists of art department faculty from member institutions, while second round judges are community leaders from Ohio involved in the visual arts. All jury members are invited to the reception, where they receive recognition. Jury members are also published on our website and printed publications.

The Physical Awards 
Each of the six award winners, as well as the People’s Choice Award winner, the Sculpture Design Contest winner, and the Grand Award Winner receive a unique physical award that is created by an Ohio artist. Starting in 2011, each award will be designed by a college art student through the Sculpture Design Contest and then created by a professional artist. The Sculpture Design Contest winner will be awarded their own design creation, and will be featured during the Awards reception.

The Student Panel Discussion
Before the awards reception, a student panel discussion is held to provide perspective from the award winners on their artwork and college careers. This is an open panel, initially led by a moderator, followed by questions/comments from the audience. Local high schools and other college students are invited to attend the discussion.

The Short North Walking Exhibition
The AICUO EVA winners participate in the Short North Walking Exhibition in downtown Columbus each spring after the awards reception. Local galleries feature the six finalists and select nominees. Each finalist is allotted at least one space for artwork, and will be shown during the May Gallery Hop. Click here for a more detailed account of this year's gallery spaces.

Local Sponsors 
We seeks donations from local and regional sponsors for gifts of gratitude for the winners, nominations, and judging participants of the competition. Sponsors are invited to attend the EVAs reception and are published on our blog, website, brochures, and printed newsletters throughout the awards year.