PHOTOS: award-winning student art at CIA

The 71st annual Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) Student Independent Exhibition (SIE) opened Feb. 17 and is currently on exhibit in the Reinberger Gallery. This year's show features more than 70 works by students from all grades and major areas of study. 

Each year, a committee of students organizes the show, selects the professional artists from outside the school to jury the show, and does all marketing and planning for the popular annual event. Awards were presented on opening night.


Video: Reinberger Gallery director "Gallery Guy" Bruce Checefsky, interviews SIE committee members about the show. 

Our managing photographer Bob Perkoski dropped in to CIA and captured some of the student's art for those who can't make it down to see this year's SIE in person — although we recommend you do. 

The show runs through March 19.


<span class="content-image-text">Byham working on another piece at CIA</span>Byham working on another piece at CIA


<span class="content-image-text">Byham eyes his next project that includes a piece of a salvaged piano</span>Byham eyes his next project that includes a piece of a salvaged piano


<span class="content-image-text">The Board 3rd Prize went to sophomore Erika Grauzinis for her painting “Marguerita”</span>The Board 3rd Prize went to sophomore Erika Grauzinis for her painting “Marguerita”


<span class="content-image-text">Grauzinis works on a sketch at CIA</span>Grauzinis works on a sketch at CIA


<span class="content-image-text">More work by Grauzinis</span>More work by Grauzinis


<span class="content-image-text">The Board 2nd Prize went to Brandon Secrest's untitled light sculpture series</span>The Board 2nd Prize went to Brandon Secrest's untitled light sculpture series




<span class="content-image-text">David at work on a new design at her CIA workspace</span>David at work on a new design at her CIA workspace


<span class="content-image-text">More designs by David</span>More designs by David


<span class="content-image-text">CIA 2017 Student Independent Exhibition</span>CIA 2017 Student Independent Exhibition


<span class="content-image-text">CIA 2017 Student Independent Exhibition</span>CIA 2017 Student Independent Exhibition


Additional award notes:

The CIA Board of Trustees Grand Purchase Prize went to Sage Byham's "Perception." The work also earned the junior in Sculpture + Expanded Media the Sculpture Center Award. CIA will buy the work for the school's permanent Study Collection.

The Board 2nd Prize went to Brandon Secrest's untitled light sculpture series. The freshman Foundation student's work also garnered the Karen Skunta & Co. Design Excellence Award.

The Board 3rd Prize went to sophomore Illustration student Erika Grauzinis' painting “Marguerita.” 

Dagen Shellenberger, a junior in Photography + Video, won this year’s Nunes Family Prize, which is bestowed by CIA President Grafton Nunes, for his photo “I don’t Care About Your Opinion” — an external shot of Uptown at night. Another photo by Morgan, an interior shot titled “The Stage,” won a Board Honorable Mention and the Prizm Artist’s Supply Store Award. Dagen actually goes by Morgan. 


The Cleveland Institute of art is part of Fresh Water's underwriting support network.

Bob Perkoski
Bob Perkoski

About the Author: Bob Perkoski

Bob is managing photographer with FreshWater as well as a Cleveland freelance photographer. His photographic approach is rooted in the art of storytelling. Whether freezing the energy of an event, encapsulating the magic of a performance, or astutely anticipating the decisive moments, his work displays an innate ability to distill the essence of any scene or subject into a single frame or series of work. In addition, Bob is the official photographer for LAND studio and Holden Forest and Gardens and has worked with various Cleveland organizations. In 2019 he published a book of his photos Rust Belt Burlesque. He's had work published in other books like LGBTQ Cleveland by Ken Schneck, Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology, Rust Belt Chic: The Pittsburgh Anthology and Moon Cleveland by Douglas Trattner. Previously he was co-founder/art director for Balanced Living Magazine. You can view his versatile portfolio of work, which includes news coverage, portraiture, architectural and fine art at Perkoski Photography. Originally from Conneaut, Ohio, Perkoski now lives close to the city in Parma. He has been Fresh Water's managing photographer since the publication's September 2010 inception.