Kyle Williams, a Communication Arts major (class of 2020) is the recipient of a $500 prize for the best-in-show entry in a VCU Libraries’ Cabell Screen contest honoring VCU’s 50th anniversary as a university. His video/gif “You Belong Here” depicts bold illustrations of VCU students from different decades.

Williams sought photos of actual VCU students from the decades to inspire his illustrations. “I used a lot of Google images to find pictures. Some images led me to random websites and I actually found a Pinterest album of vintage VCU/Richmond images. I even found a YouTube video from the late 90’s of a Communication Arts event.” As for his future plans, he hopes to work for an animation studio as a visual development artist and says he’d also love to teach art and work as a freelance illustrator.

The committee that manages the Cabell Screen, made up of arts librarians and other appointees, thought that his bold and direct illustrations would show well on the big screen. “The committee liked that he focused his narrative on students and how they represented the core values of VCU, diversity and inclusion,” said VCU Libraries’ Communication and Public Relations Director Sue Robinson, who serves on the committee.

Art history art graduate student, Veronica Parker, who works in Special Collections and Archives at Cabell Library was asked to review the submissions as judge.  About the winning work, she said: “‘You Belong Here’ captured the spirit of our campus while showcasing the various decades VCU has weathered. Upon a background of VCU gold, the years scroll past paired with variety of students dressed in the “current” fashion, to culminate in the number 50. The graphics are simple but direct, detracting nothing from the overall message of the piece. You Belong Here” touches on the storied past of our University while drawing attention to VCU’s continuing commitment to diversity and individuality.”

The call to artists for “50: a measure, a marker, a milestone” invited students to submit their articulation of “50” for a special anniversary exhibition on the Cabell Screen. Works could be still images, illustration, gifs or short, silent videos. Judging criteria included:

  • Creative execution
  • Interpretation of the concept of the 50th anniversary 
  • Connection to VCU
  • Effectiveness for the Cabell Screen format 

The committee thanks the many students who made time at the end of the semester to create submissions for the contest.

The exhibit of Williams’ work and runners-up will be exhibited on the Cabell Screen beginning Dec. 24 and at various times in 2019. These works are:

  • “The Compass Leads the Way” by Noah Wilson, Art Foundation, 2022, a photograph of an original watercolor and ink interpretation that depicts VCU’s Compass as the “0” in “50.”
  • “From the Ground Up” by John Dell’Angelo, Kinetic Imaging, 2020, a short animation designed to represent and portray VCU’s accomplishments over the past 50 years.
  • “50” by Anna Wagstaff, Communication Arts, 2019, a logo-style rendering of “50”.
  • “awoo” by Angie Gan, Kinetic Imaging, 2020, a short animation about 50 years of midnight studying.
  • “A Bright Future” by Ricardo Rodriguez, Communication Arts, 2020, an animation celebrating VCU’s anniversary.
  • “VCU 50 Year Celebration” by Caroline Harpring, Communication Arts, 2021, a logo-type approach to the call combines important symbols of VCU such as the ram, the Compass, the Richmond skyline and the James River in an integrated design.
  • “50 a measure, a marker, a milestone,” by Kevin Le, Kinetic Imaging, 2021, a video celebration of the 50+ years of VCU told through the history of the James Branch Cabell Library, one of the first new buildings built for the newly merged campus.
  • “Speed Ramp Through Time” by Jacqui Ris, Cinema, 2022, a short video that encompasses what VCU has come to be known for over the years–the arts, its medical program and the experience of Richmond.
Categories Community, Student Work