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Five Illinois Students Recognized for Promise in Architecture and Design

BLDD Architects, Inc., is pleased to announce the recipients of the annual Because Life Deserves Design ScholarshipThe scholarship — named for BLDD’s mission “Because Life Deserves Design” — recognizes senior high school students for their creativity, artistic passion, and potential in contributing to the world of architecture, interior design, or graphic design. 

BLDD Principal Mark Ritz says, "I’m inspired by the talent and bright futures ahead of these seniors. It is a pleasure to work with our district clients and continually support their students."

BLDD Principal Mark Ritz with Scholarship Recipient Taylor Hug

A record number of students applied this year by submitting a unique piece of artwork that embodied the phrase “because life deserves design,” a written artist’s statement, and materials showing their intent to pursue a design major in their higher education.  

Sophia Guerrettaz of Rochester High School received this year’s Best Of Show honors. Her bristol paper scale model entitled “Look to the Light” and her stellar application made a strong impression on the jury panel comprised of BLDD education design specialists. One juror noted, “Sophia is a well-rounded student and thinking like an architect already!” 

Look to the Light by Sophia Guerrettaz

Of her artwork, Guerrettaz says, “ The guiding light takes [the viewer] around the piece and [draws them] to look up through the skylight. Through this circulation led by light, one can be reminded of life and all it has to offer, or maybe all one has experienced.” With her work truly embodying  BLDD’s mission, Guerrettaz was awarded a $2,500 scholarship. She plans to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall to study architecture.

From St. Joseph-Ogden High School, Taylor Hug was recognized for her extraordinary scratch-board piece entitled “Portrait of Javier Baez.” This eye-catching piece intrigued the jury  for its “ability to capture a story through one image,” as well as its “great composition and amazing detail.” For her overall application, Hug was awarded a $1,500 scholarship. She plans to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to study architecture.

Portrait of Javier Baez by Taylor Hug

Margaret Schmidt of Champaign Unit 4 Central High School also received the Because Life Deserves Design Scholarship with her piece entitled “Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Window Scene.” The panel of jurors was impressed with the artist’s understanding of Wright’s design intent, as well as her “great use of colors and shading.” Schmidt was awarded $500 for her entry, and she plans to study architecture at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign this fall.

Window Scene by Margaret Schmidt

Also from Champaign Unit 4, Kendall Lyell of Centennial High School received a $500 award for her piece entitled “Knight Mural.” The mural is installed in her high school, and one juror noted “architectural graphics make a space truly sing, and Kendall has done that with flying colors.” Lyell plans to study graphic design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign this fall.

Knight Mural by Kendall Lyell

Reese Eldridge of Manteno High School also received a $500 award for her white pencil and acrylic artwork, “Lemon Still Life.”  The jury was impressed with the layering and detail.” Eldridge plans to study Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Lemon Still Life by Reese Eldridge

BLDD appreciates and is proud of all applicants who took the time to apply. Over the course of 4 years, $15,500 has been awarded to graduating seniors at  Williamsville-Sherman, Mahomet-Seymour, Eisenhower High School (Decatur), Mount Zion, Mattoon, Bismarck-Henning Rossville-Alvin Cooperative, and Heyworth High Schools.

Interested in applying for the next Because Life Deserves Design Scholarship? Applications for the 2024 scholarship will open in the Fall.

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