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Art student wins holiday card contest at Forest Park

November 18, 2011

Forest Park President Cindy Hess wanted to spotlight the creativity of student artists in a holiday card.

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Elvis Mahmutovic's design
Instead of a traditional Christmas greeting in December, Hess determined that Thanksgiving would be the ideal time to send a pre-holiday “I’m thankful for you” message to the campus faculty and staff. She created a list of specifications, sent them to the graphic design instructors, and eight students responded with artwork.

Everybody celebrates Thanksgiving, not everybody celebrates Christmas,” Hess said. “The holidays are all about being together with family and friends, and I wanted to thank our faculty and staff for all that they do. I wanted to celebrate our students’ talents, too.”

The winner is Elvis Mahmutovic, an immigrant from Bosnia, who came to St. Louis in 2001. He attended Roosevelt High School and has been taking art classes at Forest Park in hopes of a career in graphic design. He is also a soccer referee for high school, college and U.S. soccer games.

The president wanted a tasteful and elegant card, not cartoony, with fall colors incorporating the Forest Park deep red or burgundy color in the type. She also specified that a campus scene with a fall theme could be incorporated, and she wanted the theme to cover the entire holiday season.

Constance Kelly, an adjunct art instructor since 1997, said the project was fun for the students. “It was a great opportunity to work it into the curriculum,” she said. Kelly is also design advisor to the campus newspaper, The Scene, and formerly worked in the district graphic department at the Cosand Center.

Kelly complimented Mahmutovic on his work. “He has a very good eye, very tuned in to colors and shapes,” she said. “He’s also very helpful in critiques.”

Mahmutovic is pleased with his STLCC classes. “It’s been really great. I’ve improved my art skills so much. I improved in drawing, so now I can actually draw,” he said.

For his efforts, he received a $50 gift card for use in the college bookstore. “I’m going to use it for art supplies. I’m taking ceramics and I need clay,” Mahmutovic said.

Holiday card student winner web

Constance Kelly, graphic design instructor; design winner Elvis Mahmutovic; President Cindy Hess; and Allan D. Smith, graphic design instructor.