Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators Scholarship Award Mission
The Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators provides scholarship awards to Pittsburgh and surrounding area art students who demonstrate exceptional potential and commitment to become established illustrators. All possible applicants are encouraged to apply but priority is given to support those who are not yet established in their fields and who are undertaking programs of study which will advance their artistic development and who are pursuing career paths that can lead them to become established illustrators.
Who can apply? How do I apply?
Candidates for scholarship should apply through their schools to this website or by contacting our Scholarship Chair and setting up a juried situation as a part of your institution's academic calendar. We ask school representatives to help keep us aware of juried or show situations where student work can be evaluated en masse for awards. We work with interested Pittsburgh region universities, colleges, and trade schools.
How to donate to our Scholarship Fund
The Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators is an educational organization (acting as a 501c3 institution for tax purposes). Contributions to the Society are tax-deductible, and can be explicitly donated for scholarship pass through specifically. We welcome any and all donations to the Society as noted for scholarship purposes. Please contact us if you are interested in making a donation.
Terms and Conditions
1. Recipient's work must be of significant merit based only upon a PSI member jury decision.
2. Monetary awards are awarded outright directly to the student on merit displayed in the student's work. The monies are completely at the discretion of the student to use for their most pressing educational expense needs.
3. No restrictions are based on race or employment outside the school or with the school, and there is no restriction on the relationship of the parents of student to the school involved or to PSI.
4. There will be no connection between PSI member jurors and the schools in question. A PSI juror will recuse themselves from selection committee work if a relative was in the pool of applicants for an award.
5. Input from instructors can occur to the jurors at the time of the jurying in regards to student performance, seriousness of desire, honesty, and effort.
6. PSI Scholarship Awards are granted on an annual basis only, one interaction per school per year.
7. A customary honorarium fee of $50 - $100 for the PSI member juror will be "requested" but not mandatory from the attending school of the award recipient.
8. The schools are responsible for setting up the shows for jurying and notifying PSI scholarship chair of the dates in a timely manner so proper jurying can be arranged.
Current Annual Award Amounts
As of 2005, PSI has established a total amount of $650 to be given to 3 institutions per year at the discretion of the PSI board. The award money can be divided per jurors' discretion except for the Thomas Ruddy Award of $250 which will remain intact as one award. The total amount of awards given should be reviewed by the PSI board each year.
Thomas Ruddy Award, $250 (An annual donation given by the widow of Mr. Ruddy, this award usually represents the top prize and can also be given to student artists whose work excels in a figurative style, such as Thomas Ruddy's.)
First Place, $150
Second Place, $125
Third Place, $75
Juror's Mention, $50
Jurors for the PSI Scholar Awards must be a member of PSI. We ask that the institution provide an honorarium fee of $50 or $75 for our jurors. Some institutions have asked if they can incorporate the award monies with their own student show award funds and this not allowable. Our awards are always given and juried by PSI, separate from the institution.
A DEFINITION OF ILLUSTRATION by Fred Carlson, Former PSI President
"Illustrate" by the dictionary definition:
1. to make clear or intelligible, as by examples; exemplify
2. to furnish with drawings or pictorial representations intended for elucidation or adornment
3. to enlighten
4. to clarify with examples
Illustrators are artists comfortable with the process of using narrative ideas and techniques to communicate. Their means of creating the work can include: drawing, painting, photomontage, prints, collage, graphic shapes, video, animation, computer, and 3-D. The artist's desire for self-expression points them toward their decisions regarding design and concepts relating to the piece, and also to the choices in finished media.
Illustration work, in the professional sense, is the commissioning of any artist to create visual work in any medium that is used in a context with other elements (text, ad messages, graphics) and is then disseminated to the public by broadcast, print, and display contexts. Artists who do illustration work are comfortable with problem solving, working with others, showing concept development, and visualizing their creations in finished form with related text, messages, or other design elements. Such artists often create their own projects in many merchandising possibilities and direct those creations to the public directly.
Illustration work is seen in every printed piece that passes the gaze. Books, CD covers, posters, advertising, newspapers, magazines, in-store point-of-purchase, animated productions, corporate literature, computer websites and intra- and internet communication all use both illustration and photography to enhance their communication effectiveness.
Our juries for student scholarships would and do reward work that they feel could be envisioned succeeding in the profession of illustration. Photography work by itself is not eligible, but if used as a source of departure for image-making it can be exhibited for judging.