Arts & Culture

Core77 Design Awards Recognize Bolivar Art Gallery, UK Faculty Artist Exhibits

photo of shrug sign resembling the letter w by Mia Cinelli
photo of work in “Volume Inc: This Will (Not) Be Easy” exhibit at Bolivar Art Gallery

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2020) — The University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies was recognized for faculty work and an exhibition through the 2020 Core77 Design Awards. The awards program annually celebrates the design profession as well as the insight and perseverance of its practitioners.

Core77 is dedicated to excellence and inclusivity, offering students and professionals the opportunity to promote their best work on a global scale across 19 design disciplines. The program serves a global audience of industrial designers and provides a gathering point for designers and enthusiasts via design competitions, lecture series and exhibits.

At this year’s ninth annual Core77 Design Awards, Mia Cinelli, an assistant professor of art studio and digital design at UK School of Art and Visual Studies, received a notable award in speculative design for her series “Speculative Characters for Visual Inflection.”

Through her exhibit, Cinelli proposes new letterforms inspired by facial expressions, physical gestures, and social symbols to better inform our visual inflection. Her work features 15 new characters composed of letterforms and punctuation marks to supplement existing typefaces, attempting to make the rich complexities of verbal (and nonverbal) conversation visible.

In addition, the Bolivar Art Gallery received a notable award in visual communication for “Volume Inc: This Will (Not) Be Easy.” The exhibition featuring the work of the San Francisco-based design studio Volume Inc. is meant to serve as the antidote to how Pinterest, Instagram, Behance and other visual-rich platforms regularly barrage users with “pristine, perfectly photographed results of creative toil,” but rarely the philosophy or process behind the image. This show reverses the hierarchy where one would usually expect to see the actual work first and foremost, while the philosophy and process is reduced to wall text.

While the Bolivar Art Gallery, located in the UK Art and Visual Studies Building, has temporarily closed its doors to visitors and converted its galleries to classroom space, it remains committed to its mission to engage students and the public in contemporary themes and issues meaningfully impacting artistic and curatorial practices. Becky Alley serves as director of the gallery.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies, part of the College of Fine Arts, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studiesart educationcuratorial studies and digital media design.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.