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Spartans of UD - Abby Smith

By University Relations Staff

Spartans of UD highlights what makes the University of Dubuque special - the people.

Abby Smith, of Solon, Iowa, is a senior digital art and design major who is among the approximately 30 students who created digital images and illustrations for "The Edge Show" in the Bisignano Art Gallery, Heritage Center. Smith's artwork, Macbride, placed first in the annual spring event in which digital art and design majors step away from the classroom's client-driven projects to create individual artwork.

"The Edge Show" is free and open to the public through Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Gallery hours are noon to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the academic year. The gallery is also open in conjunction with all major events in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center.

The following students were named 2023 "The Edge Show" award winners:

  • Best of Show
    Playing for Keeps - Dillon Leffler, a senior digital arts and design major from Plattsmouth, Nebraska
  • First Place
    Macbride - Abby Smith, a senior digital arts and design major from Solon, Iowa
  • Second Place
    Escape - Emma Schmit, a senior digital arts and design major from Dubuque, Iowa
  • Third Place
    Path of Fire - Jared Rutkowski, a senior digital arts and design major from Asbury, Iowa
  • Honorable Mention
    Stay on the Sunny Side - Jakhari Anderson, a junior digital arts and design major from Holiday Hills, Illinois

How does it feel to have your piece of artwork displayed in the Bisignano Art Gallery?

"It is an honor to have work displayed in the Bisignano Art Gallery! Heritage Center is a central location on campus; classmates, teammates, and community members are able to stop in and see what the digital art and design major is all about. I also really appreciate the opportunity to display work in such a beautiful gallery."

What was it like to step away from client-driven projects in the classroom and create something in a fine arts format?

"Having the opportunity to be creative in the way students find the most inspiring is immensely rewarding. 'The Edge Show' allows designers to take a step back from traditional projects and make something that is personally inspiring."

Can you describe your artistic process for Macbride?

"For Macbride I wanted to show my love for pen and ink by creating a digital version of my favorite style. I wanted to create a landscape using only black and white that would be interesting to the eye. I first thought of images that inspired me and made me happy. I immediately thought of Lake Macbride State Park in Solon, Iowa. This is where I spent an enormous amount of time with family and friends growing up."

What do you hope people will take away from your artwork?

"I hope people find a sense of calm and tranquility when they look at Macbride because that's how it feels when I'm there."

How has your experience with "The Edge Show" impacted you?

"Throughout my time at UD, I have been able to be both a presenter in and a viewer of 'The Edge Show.' I have enjoyed having the opportunity to produce and discuss original artwork with fellow students and it has been gratifying to see my work professionally displayed. I truly appreciate the support of the DART professors as they allow students the freedom to create their own unique pieces of digital art."