College of Visual and Performing Arts

Department of Visual Communication and Design

The Department of Visual Communication and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Haig David-West,
Department Chair and Professor

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
2101 E. Coliseum Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

Office: Visual Arts Building
Room: VA213
Hours: Mon - Fri 8 am - 5 pm

Phone: 260-481-6709
Fax: 260-481-6707


Fine Arts | Music | Theatre | VCD

Thesis Exhibition

Majors must complete a senior project in their elected area of concentration. This two semester course sequence requires a project incorporating in-depth study and exploration of an artistic endeavor. The senior project culminates in a BFA thesis exhibition which is judged by the faculty and reviewed by the public. Students must pass a series of senior exhibit presentations in both semesters prior to participating in the public thesis exhibition. In the second semester each student’s senior thesis exhibition will be reviewed by a committee of the VCD Department faculty. Upon successful completion of this final review, the student is able to exhibit their work with their peers. Successful completion of this exhibition is a requirement to earn the BFA degree.

If a student fails to pass the exhibition project review due to a deficiency in content, skills, or presentation, he/she will be asked to address those deficiencies and the student may elect to resubmit their work for a second review at a later date during the same semester. Information will be provided as to the changes and additions required for resubmission. Failure to pass this review will result in the student’s withdrawal from the course or a grade of F. Students may apply for the BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition review no more than two times.

Outstanding Senior Award

The outstanding Senior Award is presented to honor seniors who demonstrate excellence in their VCD degree program, with exceptional portfolios, superior academic achievement, and exemplification of superior personality and character traits in his or her campus conduct. Awardees will be selected by their peers and approved by the department chairperson. They will be recognized with certificates of achievement.

Selection criteria:

  • Candidate must have senior status, and participate in the VCD Department BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition.
  • Candidate must have made a significant contribution to his/her degree concentration.
  • Candidate must be recognized for outstanding creative work in VCD.
  • Candidate must have maintained an over-all GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Candidate must have made contributions to the life and activities of the VCD Department.
  • Candidate must exemplify desirable personality and character traits in his/her campus conduct.

BFA Thesis Exhibition Awards. The Best of Senior Thesis Exhibition Awards are presented to seniors with exceptional senior thesis projects that contribute significantly to the success of the BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition.

Selection process:

  • VCD invites an external juror.
  • External juror selects the best work in each concentration (computer art and design, graphic design, photography) as well as the best overall work (Best-In-Show).
  • Awards are given only if worthy recipients are identified.

A Viewers’ Choice award is presented to the student whose work is determined as outstanding by the viewing public. A voting box is placed in the exhibition space to enable viewers make their decision. The department chairperson processes the ballot.

Spring 2013 BFA Exhibition

Spring 2013 BFA Exhibition

Award winners and jurors (left to right): Ryan Hake (3rd. Place Imaging and Photography), Simon Fisher (2nd. Place, Graphic Design; Outstanding Senior; Distinguished Service in VCD); John Ilang-Ilang (3rd. Place Graphic Design; Excellence in Graphic Design); Simone Mullin-LeClear (1st. Place, Graphic Design; Best-In-Show); Steve Vorderman (Juror); Lea Ann Powers (Juror); Tony Gerardot (1st. Place Modeling and Animation); David Perry (2nd. Place, Modeling and Animation); Lucas Carter (1st Place, Imaging and Photography); Barbara Mendez (2nd Place Imaging and Photography, Viewers' Choice); Kenneth Furniss (Juror).

Awards Winners / April 19, 2013 

2rnd Place Modeling and Animation: David Perry
1st Place Modeling and Animation: Tony Gerardot

3rd Place Imaging and Photography: Ryan Hake
2nd Place Imaging and Photography: Barbara Mendez
1st Place Imaging and Photography: Lucas Carter

3rd Place Graphic Design: John Ilang-Ilang
2nd Place Graphic Design: Simon Fisher
1st Place Graphic Design: Simone Mullin-LeClear

Best-In-Show: Simone Mullin-LeClear
Viewers’ Choice: Barbara Mendez
Outstanding Senior: Simon Fisher
Excellence in Graphic Design: John Ilang-Ilang
Distinguished Service in VCD: Simon Fisher

Fall 2012 BFA Exhibition

Award winners and juror fall 2012

Award winners and juror (from left):
Amanda Taylor (First Place Imaging and Photography), Kristen Householder (Best in Show), Swikar Patel (Second Place Imaging and Photography, Excellence in VCD), Andre Murnieks (Juror from University of Notre Dame), Kat McKay (Third Place Imaging and Photography), Emma McCarron (First Place Graphic Design, Excellence in VCD), Christopher Aschliman (First Place Modeling and Animation), Alysha Scheidt (Second Place Graphic Design), Kezia D’Souza (Third Place Graphic Design).

Opening Reception in Spectator Lounge, Cinema Center

Opening Reception in Spectator Lounge, Cinema Center

Spring 2012 Winners:

  • Best-in-Show and Outstanding Senior: Chenyi Lin (modeling and animation)
  • Viewers’ Choice: Rachel Wilhelm (photography)
  • Graphic Design – First Place: Maddie Skinner
  • Graphic Design – Second Place: Ana Myer
  • Graphic Design – Third Place: Amber Clark
  • Photography – First Place: Michael Colagrassi
  • Photography – Second Place: Judith Strieby-Raska
  • Photography – Third Place: Daniel Dyar
  • Modeling and Animation – First Place: Daniel Bourbonnais
  • Modeling and Animation – Second Place: Brittanie Stabler
  • Modeling and Animation – Third Place: Matt Janes