75th SIE Exhibit at CIA

Connie Ozan 03.03.21

Expressive, Bold and Breaking Boundaries

Connie Ozan, Chief Design Officer, TWIST Creative, Inc.

Artist Credit: “Untitled 5” by Noah Zirpoli

As a new board member for the Cleveland Institute of Art, I had the honor and privilege to be a judge in the 75th Student Independent Exhibition (SIE). sie75.com. It was an enjoyable experience reviewing all student art with the other judges. At the same time, it offered me a chance to become more acquainted with the student work at CIA and the vast programs the school offers from visual arts and craft to digital arts and design.  

Artist Credit: “Girl Scout Law” by Megan Lubey – Board Second Prize

Now in its 75th year, this exhibition is an honored tradition that’s never conventional. Organized entirely by students, who choose the jurors and mount the exhibition, SIE offers fresh—and sometimes surprising—approaches to contemporary art.

Due to Covid-19, the work was judged virtually. In viewing all the work, I was delighted and in awe at the level of craft, bold thinking, use of color and materials. But most of all, my curiosity was piqued by the personal statements visually expressed through each artist and how they exhibited the changes happening in their own world. I wanted to know more.

Artist Credit: “Ethereal Gaze” by Crystal Miller

As a follow up, I went to visit the gallery in person with my husband Mike and daughter Sophie where we had the opportunity to engage with the art in real life and spend time viewing every piece. Seeing the work in person was even better – the scale (some larger & some smaller to our surprise), the textures, attention to detail and vivid colors – are all truly captivating in person.

In celebrating the students of CIA, I want to congratulate each and every artist who participated in SIE 75. I encourage all student artists to continue to use the power of art and design as a form of expression and communication in this ever changing world and in stimulating change.

If you have a chance to visit CIA and support the students, the show is on exhibit now both virtually and in person through March 12, 2021 in the CIA/ Reinburger Gallery. In person visits are by appointment through the Gallery Director Nikki Woods at nwoods@cia.edu. Or you can visit the virtual gallery online at cia.edu/sie75.


A Special Congratulations to:

“Remain Myself” by Derek Walter – Board Grand Prize
– “Girl Scout Law” by Megan Lubey – Board Second Prize
– “Ghada” by Amy Nguyen – Board Third Prize

View the top prize winners here:

View the top prize winner on Facebook!
View the top prize winner on Instagram!

Artist Credit:

Painting in header above “Untitled” by CIA Student Ewuresi Archer

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