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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.

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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 Yuchun Cheng.

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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 each.

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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.

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