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Grape Escape / Alumni Art Show

Grape Escape/September 8, 2007

A fun-filled evening celebrating The Art Institute of Colorado was held on Saturday, September 8, at the Colorado History Museum. "Grape Escape," in its fifth year, is hosted by the Career Services department and includes the induction of four new Hall of Fame members, honored for their substantial career accomplishments and philanthropic achievement.

Neal Aspinall, Advertising Design ‘84
Sought after illustrator based in the Milwaukee area
Clients include Harley Davidson, Molson Coors, Target, Macys and Nordstrom
Awards including multiple national and regional ADDYS and Point of Purchase honors

Phillip Atencio, Visual Communications, ‘95
Creative Director at Colorado’s NetDevil.com
Former Creative Director at Electronic Arts
Game titles include the Command & Conquer series for EA Studios and currently developing Lego’s first video game product

Tim Meehan, Advertising Design, ‘79
Member of the prestigious Apple Consultants Network; 30+ year affiliation with Apple as consultant, national spokesperson, and published author
Noted designer, Art Director and Web Developer
Clients include Red Bull and McGraw Hill among many others

Mark Mock, Advertising Design, ‘69
Principal, Mark Mock Designs with over 100 National and Regional design awards Clients include Denver International Airport, Time Warner Telecommunications United Airlines, Reebok International and Celestial Seasonings, among others. Publications include Communication Arts Magazine and Print Magazine among others

The evening also included the presentation of the annual EDMC Foundation and VanderMay scholarships awarded to: Graphic Design student, Ryan Pilkington, won a $5,000 EDMC Foundation scholarship; Media Arts & Animation student, Kristan Yadao, won a $2,500 EDMC Foundation scholarship; Pastry Arts student, Dex Guiang, won a $1,000 EDMC Foundation scholarship; Visual Effects & Motion Graphics student, Ty Doenges, won a $1,000 EDMC Foundation scholarship; and Design Management student, Elvira Koptev, won a $500 EDMC Foundation scholarship. Commercial Photography student, Joshua Crigger, won the prestigious Eric J. VanderMay Scholarship.

Grape Escape’s Silent Auction is generously supported by over 140 businesses, artists, alumni, and employers of graduates. Approximately 250 guests were in attendance. Special appreciation to alumna Chef Elise Wiggins of Panzano restaurant for the exquisite menu, Babylon Floral for the orchid arrangements, Noble Sysco for food donations, Nancy Kruse for spearheading the fundraising and event planning, and EVERYONE at The Art Institute of Colorado for your generous support. This year’s event raised approximately $9,000 which will seed next year’s Foundation Scholarships. The school’s Grape Escape has raised over $60,000 for scholarships since 2003.

Grape Escape/September 9, 2006 

More than $9,000 was raised for student scholarships at The Art Institute of Colorado’s fourth annual "Grape Escape" celebration on September 9. Six scholarship awards were presented to deserving students at the event—five were based on proceeds from last year’s event. Culinary instructor Chef Jeff Kennedy kicked off the evening with a sushi demo and tasting as faculty, staff, alumni and industry partners perused the mixed media Alumni Exhibit. Guests also enjoyed complimentary food and wine selections topped off by an array of desserts. Hall of Fame member Kit Hevron Mahoney demonstrated her fine-art painting technique and jazz piano music was provided by David Hanson of The Denver Brass. With donated items including Southwest Airlines tickets, artwork, hotel stays, restaurant certificates and a number of unique, one-of-a-kind items, the annual silent auction was a focal point of the evening. Party-goers also had the opportunity to contribute $5 to enter a drawing for two Frontier Airlines tickets. Media Services supervisor and Art Institute alum Shelly Grissom was the lucky winner.

As part of the festivities, three outstanding alumni were inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame: Matt Coffman (Visual Communications 1997), founder of Anabliss, a respected Denver design studio; Panzano restaurant’s executive chef Elise Wiggins (Culinary Arts 1998), voted Colorado’s Chef of the Year; and Robert Caldwell, CSI, CCS (Interior Design 1988), technical director and senior associate at Gensler Architecture, Design & Planning in Baltimore. All three publicly expressed appreciation for the education they received at The Art Institute. Career Services staff members served as hosts throughout the evening, and Linda McDonnell, director of Career Services and event manager said, "We are immensely proud of Grape Escape, a celebration and tribute to our alumni, co-workers, community partnerships and employers. It’s a fun event with a purpose. We see talent develop with our scholarship recipients, and our Hall of Fame inductees show us how far careers can go."

Grape Escape/September 10, 2005

More than $10,000 was raised for student scholarships at The Art Institute of Colorado's third annual "Grape Escape" celebration on September 10, 2005. This year, five percent of proceeds were donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund, with the rest going to the EDMC Education Foundation. Faculty, staff, alumni, employers of grads and industry partners enjoyed food-and-wine pairings and an array of desserts created by the Culinary Arts department, along with jazz piano music provided by David Hanson of The Denver Brass. With more than 125 donated items including artwork, hotel stays, restaurant certificates and a football autographed by John Elway, the annual silent auction was a focal point of the evening. Party-goers also had the opportunity to contribute $5 for the chance to win two Frontier Airlines tickets to any U.S. destination.

The evening celebration marked the opening of "Directions," the school's annual Alumni Exhibit, as well as a Hall of Fame induction ceremony honoring four outstanding graduates. Student scholarship presentations during the evening included five awards based on funds raised from last year's "Grape Escape" event combined with proceeds from an alumni-chef dinner "escape" held in the spring. This year, the Eric J. VanderMay Memorial Scholarship was inaugurated and VanderMay family members assisted in a moving presentation.

After a vote of Art Institute faculty, staff and current Hall of Fame members, the 2005 Hall of Fame honorees were: Lamar Briggs (Advertising Design 1959), an independent fine artist living in Palm Beach, Florida; Kit Hevron Mahoney (Advertising Design 1978), fine artist and co-owner of Brushstrokes Gallery-Studio in Denver; Rod Pacheco (Industrial Design 1994), Design Director at PG Exhibits in Denver; and Ian Kleinman (Culinary Arts 1997), executive chef at Emogene Patisserie et Café in Denver. The Hall of Fame, in existence for more than 20 years, is made up of members who are internationally-recognized professionals, leaders in their respective fields who admirably represent The Art Institute of Colorado with their successful careers, as well as their philanthropic spirit.

More than 40 Art Institute of Colorado artists from across the country and around the world, representing every decade of the school's 50-plus year existence, participated in this year's alumni show at the school's John Jellico Gallery. A series of international Nike ads, an interior design project for Liz Claiborne, convention-exhibit designs, photos from a recently-published book, computer websites and TV news video footage were all part of the annual multi-discipline exhibit. Programs represented include Visual Communications, Graphic Design, Advertising, Photography, Industrial and Interior design, Media Arts & Animation, Video Production, Culinary, and Multimedia & Web Design.

The event is a collaborative effort of the Career Services, Culinary Arts and Public Relations departments, with assistance from additional staff members throughout the school. Linda McDonnell, director of Career Services, served as event director. She said, "We are immensely proud of Grape Escape, a celebration and tribute to our alumni, community partnerships and employers that also builds opportunities for students through scholarship fundraising efforts and activities."

Grape Escape/August 28, 2004 

More than $8,000 was raised for the EDMC Scholarship Foundation at The Art Institute's second annual Grape Escape celebration. Monies collected from silent auction donations and an airline ticket giveaway go toward scholarships dedicated solely to students of The Art Institute of Colorado. 

Faculty, staff, alumni and guests enjoyed complimentary food-and-wine pairings and an array of desserts during an evening that also marked the opening of the school's annual Alumni Exhibit and this year's Hall of Fame inductions. Jazz piano music was provided by David Hanson of The Denver Brass, and attendees received a gift bag filled with product samples and coupons. Culinary graduate Amy Carder's name was drawn in the Getaway Giveaway, winning her two Frontier Airlines tickets. 

Jess DuBois (Illustration 1957), James Selak (Advertising Design 1967) and Michelle Torrez (Visual Communications 1986) were selected this year to join The Art Institute of Colorado's Hall of Fame by a vote of faculty, staff and current Hall of Fame members. DuBois and Torrez are renowned fine artists from Denver, while Selak is currently moving his New York design firm to Phoenix. Hall of Fame inductees include internationally-recognized professionals, leaders in their respective fields who admirably represent The Art Institute of Colorado with their successful careers, as well as their philanthropic spirit.

About 50 Art Institute of Colorado artists from across the country, graduating from 1957 to 2004, participated in this year's alumni show at the school's John Jellico Gallery. National ad campaigns on display included graphic designs for Peaberry's Coffee and the 2004 Macy's fireworks poster, as well as collateral for Microsoft. Numerous interior design projects, exhibit booth designs, plus professional photos and video footage were all part of the annual multidimensional exhibit, on display Aug. 13-Oct. 1. Programs represented include Visual Communications, Graphic Design, Advertising, Photography, Industrial and Interior design programs, Media Arts & Animation, Video Production, and Multimedia & Web Design.

Our silent auction was a focal point of the evening, and we "grapefully" thank everyone who donated to or purchased items from this popular fundraiser. Numerous faculty, staff and students assisted, all key to the event's success. 

We would like to acknowledge the following companies for their product contributions:

Nobel/Sysco Food Services
Vitamin Cottage
Dickens Cider
Boyds Coffee
Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge
Enstrom Candies
Robinson Dairy



Anyone interested in attending or participating in next year's event should contact Linda McDonnell at lmcdonnell@aii.edu.

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