Sculpture Program Brings in Elite Awards
The Academy of Art University's sculpture program has long received high accolades and
admiration for both its student work and the impressive faculty that it retains. Recently there
have been some shining examples of this tradition.
The Academy of Art University is proud to announce that MFA student Yuchun Cheng has received
one of the most prestigious scholarship prizes in the jewelry industry. Each year, the Women's
Jewelry Association awards scholarships to the most promising, up-and-coming young jewelry
designers. These highly competitive prizes are based on slides submitted by students, and awards
are based strictly on the excellence of the student work. In 2006, $20,000 in scholarships were
awarded by the WJA. The top prize -- the $5000 June Herman Scholarship - was given to our very own
In a letter to Yuchun, the entire panel of judges, who came from all over the United States,
stated: "we were very impressed by your design sense. Your pieces were interesting as both jewelry
and sculptural objects." Along with this scholarship, Yuchun was also awarded a scholarship to the
Clasp Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in September 2006, worth $715. Yuchun's accolades
continue; the Metal Arts Guild also announced that Yuchun has received honorable mention in a
competition for the 2006 MAG Grant.
Other students in the graduate program have also captured some of the most competition prizes in
the fine arts. Graduate figure sculpture student Madhu Jalli was nominated by instructor Mark
Zjawinski and was then selected for a 2006 Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts sponsored by The San
Francisco Foundation. Out of 108 portfolios, 26 students were selected to receive awards of $3,500
Wanxin Zhang, a member of the Academy's sculpture faculty, had a solo exhibition at the
University of Wyoming Art Museum this past spring. His work has also been awarded a first place
$35,000 grant from the Virginia A Groot Foundation.
The Academy's Sculpture Department offers one of the most respected programs in the United
States; it combines a stellar curriculum with unparalleled resources and the unique benefits of
working collaboratively with the Academy's Fashion and other art and design departments.