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UTRGV Graduate Design Student Takes Silver in National Addy Competition

Monica Lugo of Brownsville recently made UTRGV history at the 2019 American Advertising Awards competition by becoming the first UTRGV student to advance to nationals and to receive an award at that level. The ADDY Awards attracts nearly 35,000 professional and student entries annually. Lugo was one of 39 students in the country awarded a Silver.

by Cinthia Monsivais 

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV graduate student Monica Lugo recently made UTRGV history at the 2019 American Advertising Awards competition by becoming the first UTRGV student to advance to nationals and to receive an award at that level.

In the three-tier competition, Lugo competed in the Illustration Campaign category, Student Division.

The ADDY Awards attracts nearly 35,000 professional and student entries annually. In the national tier, 68 Gold and Silver awards were granted in the student division, and Lugo was one of 39 students in the country awarded a Silver.

Her series, Primitive, consisted of four pieces featuring abstract shapes and modern hieroglyphics, which were part of a 14-piece series – one semester of work for her graduate school project.

“The fact that it was received so well was very encouraging,” Lugo said. “I was honored to win it for our school … and for the designing School of Art.”

She was entered in the local tier by Ping Xu, UTRGV assistant professor of Graphic Design, and earned a Gold Award, as well as a Judges Award, a higher level of honor, ranking above the Gold Award.

She then advanced to the regional tier, where she once again took the Gold, which meant she could advance to the national leg of the competition. That made her the first UTRGV student to be able to compete at nationals.

The national ceremony was June 7 in Hollywood, Florida, where Lugo found out she had won the Silver Award in her category.

 

THE ARTISTIC JOURNEY

To prepare for her Primitive series, Lugo said she had constructive guidance, critiques and mentorship from a variety of professors, including Professor Xu.

“It is such an honor for UTRGV and for Monica to receive this national award,” Xu said. “As her mentor on her winning artwork, we guided Monica’s output forward with critiques and suggestions born of our experience.”

Xu said Primitive is an example of the minimal, yet bold style of Lugo’s artwork, and the series interprets and presents modern graphic design trends.

Although her passion for graphic design was evident as far back as her days in the Brownsville school district’s fine arts program, she said, much of her passion and knowledge for the medium blossomed in UTRGV’s Graphic Design program. And as she continues working toward an MFA in Graphic Design, she also is working toward a future career as a teacher in the Rio Grande Valley, which she feels has potential in the graphic design industry.

“When I started my undergrad, I didn’t even know how to use Adobe Illustrator, yet what I submitted to the ADDYs was done using that program,” Lugo said. “My professors all taught me so much. They’ve always been there to help me with anything that I need, and I feel like I owe it all to UTRGV.”

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