The UWG Legacy Continues in the Peachtree Road Race T-Shirt Competition

Thursday, July 11, 2013

For the past three years, UWG has managed to dominate the AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt Design Competition. This year was no exception. Justin Dunbar, a spring 2013 UWG graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art education, won first place in the competition where his design was unveiled on Thursday, July 4, at the 44th AJC Peachtree Road Race.

“I was really excited to design the t-shirt this year,” said Dunbar. “I was initially inspired by my professor Clint Samples at UWG. After coming up with my ideas and sharing them in class and with my family, I became even more encouraged and excited.”

Dunbar’s design, a combination of red, white and blue, graced the front of 60,000 t-shirts for Atlanta runners. The win also came with a $1,000 prize. However, Dunbar’s success in design did not come easy. He first entered the competition as a high school art student.

“I am very honored to have won,” said Dunbar. “I was up against some really talented submissions. I think everyone did a fantastic job and I am really thankful for those who voted for me.”

UWG students have submitted designs for the competition since 2007, under the direction of Clint Samples, assistant professor of art.

“We didn’t have any success until 2009,” said Samples. “Since then we’ve had 16 finalists out of 25, and three UWG winners in the past four years.”

Samples said he uses the Peachtree design contest to teach his students about the creative process. “I remind the students that it’s not about designing a t-shirt,” he said. “If the design looks good on a computer screen, it will look good on anything-a website, a billboard, a magazine or a t-shirt. I encourage them to “play” with the designs, let each design develop on its own and not force it.”

Samples strategy to stimulate the students’ creative thought process in designing has proven to be effective. Three of Dunbar’s classmates, Kattie Pettus, Kayla Marston and Hannah Sanders also fared well, landing among the five finalists in this year’s competition. In addition, UWG art major Katherine Dye’s t-shirt design was selected for the volunteer t-shirts of the race.

Samples concluded, “One of the things I tell the students is that entering the Peachtree Road Race T-shirt Design Competition is like entering any other art competition. Some will get in and some won’t. There are only 5 slots for finalists, so the class knows the odds from the start. What’s most important is that I challenge them to do their best, because you never know what will happen.”