Three UWG Art Students Finalists in the AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt Design Contest

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

For the third consecutive year art students from the University of West Georgia are finalists in the AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt Design Contest.

Three designs by UWG students are among the five that were selected by a panel of judges representing the Atlanta Track Club, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and local graphic artists.

The students are: Jessica Ferguson, a pre-medical illustration major, who is originally from Staten Island, N.Y.; Alyssa Chitwood, an art education major from Newnan; and Barbie Klimaszewski, an interior design student from Newnan. All are seniors.

The students’ designs were part of the “Digital Media for Artists” course taught by Assistant Professor Clint Samples. The Peachtree design is the first assignment Samples gives his students when the class begins. The 20 students in the class submitted 30 designs.

“This is a great opportunity for the students – to get out there and compete in a professional contest,” Samples said.

In 2010, four of Samples’ students were among the five finalists. The winner was Allison Bennett, who is now a senior. Two of his students were finalists in 2009.

This year’s design work began in the art studio with brushes, ink and paint. Those first designs were then scanned into a computer. As the designs took shape, the students critiqued each other’s work. They refined their ideas and faced more peer critiques, Samples said.

“You try to provide positive, constructive, criticism,” he said. “They go through the critiquing process with the class three or four times until they get their final designs. They understand that design is a process and that they can’t settle for the first thing that they do.”

The students’ showing in the Peachtree Road Race contests “shows the level of talent we have here at the university,” Samples said.

Chitwood’s design takes on the Independence Day theme with blue stars, red and white stripes and the word “Peachtree” in bold black letters.

“I wanted the stars and stripes, like the American flag,” said Chitwood, 23. “The words, I wanted them to be really readable.…Kind of funky and fun, but still readable.”

For her design, Ferguson, 21, loaded her palette knife “with reds, oranges, yellows and whites all at once,” she said. “I just played around with it until I liked it.”

Ferguson scanned each letter of the word Peachtree individually to make the final image. The “C” is partial peach with a leaf on top.

Klimaszewski, who grew up in Lithia Springs, borrowed from the familiar imagery of the race itself: the numbered bibs the runners wear.

She wanted to connect the two because “the two things that you treasure the most when you run in the Peachtree are your t-shirt and your number,” said Klimaszewski, 47, who runs the race.

The winning entry gets $1,000. The public has until April 30th to vote for their favorite designs. The winner will be unveiled at the 42nd running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race on Monday, July 4.

In 2010 there were 55,000 race participants. The road race draws the most entrants among running events of any distance in the United States and is among the most prestigious events in the sport.

To view all of the designs and to vote go to: