Arts | November 1st, 2023
Winners of Food Court Column Wrap Contest Revealed
By: Jaden Bowen
Florida A&M University’s food court, also known as the bottom cafeteria area, welcomed a few design upgrades and additions this year.
Among them are new columns featuring FAMU-themed designs wrapped around them for students to observe while they enjoy a meal at any of the restaurants.
These designs are courtesy of FAMU’s Business and Auxiliary Services, which hosted a Food Court Column Wraps Design Contest in March.
The contest rewarded four individuals with having their art wrapped around the floor-to-ceiling columns already located in the food court, as well as additional prizes depending on how they placed.
Students submitted their graphic design entry pieces, which BAS then reviewed for selection. The main requirement was to “represent and celebrate aspects of FAMU culture.”
BAS announced their winners toward the end of the spring semester, and those designs were displayed just before the start of the fall term.
The first-place winner was junior graphic design student Jasmine Patrick, who heard about the contest through her cousin Yolie, who works at FAMU.
Patrick’s piece was titled “The Culture” and incorporated elements aligned with the contest’s goal, representing FAMU’s culture and “what it means to be a Rattler.”
“I pulled from our chants, our rankings, our buildings, our football games, even our food,” Patrick said.
She also included textbooks to depict the school’s academic excellence, “COLAC” for College of Love and Charity, and even highlighted one of the most popular days of the week for those that eat on campus: Fried Chicken Wednesdays.
Using an app called ProCreate, Patrick made her piece with the cartoon-like art style she loves.
“I first sketched out different ideas in the app, focusing on things [that] make FAMU, FAMU,” Patrick said. “Some of the details I wanted to incorporate were those elements that represented my parents. My parents are graduates of FAMU, and they loved their time on the hill, so I wanted to add in specific images to represent them.”
Patrick drew the now-demolished Truth Hall to signify the building her mom stayed in while she was at college and a man from the Marching 100 in honor of her dad.
She was awarded a MacBook Air for her first-place prize.
“To have a piece of artwork that is on display in the cafeteria forever, something that I can walk in and look at, is so amazing,” Patrick said. “I’m so proud to have made such an impact at the school, something that future Rattlers, younger students, and alumni can see each time they come to visit.”
Sydney Richardson, a third-year graphic design student, heard about the competition while walking past a TV in the student center. She saw an advertisement on the screen and decided to apply.
Richardson’s design, titled “We’re All Rattlers,” won second place. Her take on the design highlighted “the diversity that HBCUs can have, even within the Black community.”
“I used group photos of people as a reference and created the shapes using Adobe Illustrator. I made sure to show diversity in skin tone, body type, and hairstyles,” Richardson said. “This competition allowed me to experiment with making human figures, which I do not use often in my designs.”
Having placed second, Richardson was awarded an iPad Pro, but her biggest takeaway from the whole experience was pride in her work.
“It feels amazing to leave my mark on this university,” Richardson said. “As a first-generation student, I did not have any previous ties to the school before attending, so it is great that I can leave my mark that my kids will hopefully get to see.”
FAMU alumnus Kobe Gibson’s passion for art and design led him to apply for the column contest after hearing about it from one of his classmates.
“I used graphic design techniques to create a digital collage that represented what creates memorable experiences at FAMU,” Gibson said. “People, places, and things are what create the culture at FAMU, and I really wanted to express that interconnected relationship.”
Gibson graduated in May and has not been able to see his column in person, but he is very proud to have used his design skills for something bigger than himself. He won third place with his design: “Collage of Culture.”
“The inspiration behind my design was to combine the three aspects key aspects of my time at FAMU, which is architecture, art, and athletics,” Gibson said. “While at FAMU, I obtained my Master of Architecture and was a student-athlete on the men’s track and field team.”
Gibson also won an iPad Pro and used his symbolic work of art to create his graduate thesis entitled “Phenomenology in Architecture.”
Khamaria Turner, a fourth-year student majoring in architecture and engineering, placed fourth for her piece using the slogan “Marching to the Top 100.”
Turner also gravitated toward a cartoon-like art style and chose to feature the university’s band for her piece.
“I instantly thought of the marching band, but I figured other people would be doing that, so I chose to animate the letter F,” Turner said. “My favorite style of art is cartoon, so I wanted my design to represent that. I made sure everything looked animated and added color and enlarged details to my liking.”
Turner, who was also awarded a MacBook Air laptop, applied to the contest as an artistic escape from the stress of her assignments and was quickly reminded of why she loves to create.
“I was able to go back to the creative space I started at in the third grade, drawing characters and cartoons, instead of the more technical drawings I do in architecture,” Turner said. “It felt like a full circle moment.”
Turner also owns a business, Kre8tivite, where she paints, customizes and sells sneakers.
Some of the students credit FAMU for allowing them to practice their passions and skills. The contest was a way for the four winners to apply what they’ve learned over the years and now memorializes their time at the university.
“The time that I’ve spent at FAMU and in the graphic design program has allowed me to break the boundaries of design,” Patrick said. “Trying new things, learning techniques, thinking outside the box — these are all things that I’ve learned here and used within my artwork and designs.”