UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts

University of Toledo Department of Art student’s work receives local and national recognition and exposure

Summer Daze a color pencil drawing by artist Alaina Coote depicts image of a woman with long hair wearing in a sun hat

“Summer Daze” (color pencil drawing) by Alaina Coote, Art Student at The University of Toledo

Alaina Coote, a sophomore studying graphic and interactive design with The University of Toledo Department of Art, has received some important recognition and exposure for her work locally and nationally. Three of her color pencil drawings were chosen by a local hospital for display, and one, which also appeared locally on digital billboards, has been chosen to be published in a national calendar. Coote’s teacher, Barry Whittaker, associate professor of graphic and interactive design, said, “Alaina is putting her work out there, just as we discussed in class. I’m glad she is getting recognition for all her hard work.”

Coote’s work, “Summer Daze,” appeared in the UToledo Art Department’s annual Toledo area Digital Billboard Exhibition. The exhibition featured 21 pieces that were displayed on area digital billboards in January and February.

In addition, the drawing was chosen to be in the upcoming 2020 CURE® calendar, a national calendar created by CURE magazine, a national cancer information publication serving nearly 1 million readers among cancer patients, cancer centers and advocacy groups. The CURE webpage announcing the calendar winners states that, “Selected by a panel of judges, the artwork of the 12 winners exemplifies the beauty and creativity that can arise from the challenges of the cancer experience. Created using a variety of media, the pieces served as a therapeutic outlet for the artists and will inspire all those who view them.”
“Summer Daze” is from a collection of Coote’s drawings, which all feature women. The collection was inspired by her own personal life, having witnessed the experiences of her mother and grandmother who both battled cancer. “I saw how cancer had the ability to shape and change a women’s self-esteem and femininity. Cancer shaped their ideas about themselves and gave me a mature perspective about the psychological impact of the disease…This work is to serve as an encouragement to the women as they are battling cancer, portraying the power, beauty, femininity and strength that each woman has within themselves.”

“Summer Daze” (color pencil drawing) by Alaina Coote“Summer Daze” is also among three of Coote’s drawings that will soon be hanging in theWomen’s Specialty Center of Wooster Community Hospital in Wooster, Ohio. Michelle Quisenberry, director of marketing and public relations at WCH Health System, said she was impressed with Coote’s work and style. She felt that the pieces fit well with the center’s mission of serving the women of their community. Quisenberry added that the statewide shutdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus has delayed the framing and hanging of the pieces. The hospital will install the artworks when they are returned from the framer.

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is Promotions Specialist, College of Arts and Letters, The University of Toledo
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