The SNC Perspectives On Design Award for Outstanding Student Artist of the Year is an annual award that showcases the work of graduating Sierra Nevada College student artist(s).

the Perspectives On Design Award

The SNC Perspectives On Design Award for Outstanding Student Artist of the Year is an annual award that showcases the work of graduating Sierra Nevada College student artist(s). It has been funded by anonymous donors who have a deep love for higher education and are committed to supporting emerging artists as they continue their artistic endeavors.

The award, presented at Sierra Nevada College Commencement in May of each year, recognizes extraordinary graduating artist(s) with a stipend of $2,500 to offset the costs of art supplies and incidentals related to art making during the year following graduation. (If there are multiple award winners in a year the stipend will be split evenly among them.) The work produced during this post-graduate Award Year will be showcased the following May at the annual P.O.D. Exhibition on the college campus at Lake Tahoe.

This award is intended to reward exceptional emerging artists with an incentive to continue to focus on art making after graduation, to provide them with a venue to exhibit their new work, and to affirm their contributions to a vibrant regional and national artistic community.

Molly Allen on “Hypnagogia”


SNC graduate Molly Allen ’14, the first P.O.D. (Perspectives On Design) award winner, talks about her award exhibition “Hypnagogia.” The exhibition featured ceramic sculpture, and dealt with the strange, often fraught relationship between humans and the wider animal world.

Award Details:
  • A purse of $2,500 intended for supplies (not rent, not travel);
  • Participation in the annual Perspectives On Design Exhibition the following May, which runs through Commencement Weekend.
Application Requirements:
  1. Applicants must be graduating Sierra Nevada College students, from any discipline, with a special interest and talent in the visual fine arts. “Graduating” shall be defined as within nine (9) credits of completing their degree requirements.
  2. Applicants must be held in high esteem by the faculty, staff and other students;
  3. Applicants must submit:
    • A portfolio of fifteen (15) images or seven (7) minutes of video that represents their current practice, and
    • An Artist’s Statement.
  4. Applicants must agree to the following if chosen:
    • Appear in person at Commencement to receive the award;
    • Write a letter of thanks to the anonymous donors;
    • Follow the guidelines and timeline of the Award Year Cycle;
    • Provide a digital video reflection on his or her Award Year experience to be kept in the Sierra Nevada College Permanent Collection and Archives (“PCA”)
    • In consultation with the PCA Curator, make a gift of his or her artwork to the PCA if appropriate.
Selection Criteria:
  • The artistic merit of the application contents, as outlined by the Fine Arts Department’s current BFA evaluation rubric(s);
  • The student’s demonstrated courage, maturity, and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • The student’s perceived potential for growth as an emerging artist.
Selection Committee Members:
  • Fine Arts faculty members (5);
  • PCA Curator (1) (non-voting unless tie-breaker is needed);
The Application and Award Cycle:
  1. Students will submit portfolio and artist statement by noon on the third Monday in April.
  2. The Selection Committee will review all applications and make a recommendation to the president.
  3. Once president has approved awardee(s), all applicants will be notified of the results privately.
  4. The award will be first announced publicly at the Commencement Week Awards Ceremony.
  5. The award will be presented at the May Commencement Ceremony.
  6. The awardee(s) will submit an installation proposal for the Annual Perspectives On Design Exhibition by March 15.
  7. Objects and all content for installation will arrive at Sierra Nevada College campus by April 15.
  8. The Annual P.O.D. Exhibition will be mounted to open the beginning of May and will remain open through the Commencement Weekend.

The exit process will include an acquisition opportunity for the Permanent Collection and an oral history by the artist describing their experience.