NIU School of Art and Design students took home the top two prizes in the annual NIU Holiday Card Contest. Designers of the top three cards receive scholarship awards, and the first prize entry is sent out as the official holiday card from the Office of NIU President Lisa Freeman.

The first prize winner, “Celebrating Diversity” was designed by Sadey Havel, a visual communications major in the School of Art and Design from Appleton, Wisconsin. Sadey is pursuing a minor in communication studies.

“NIU thrives because of its diversity, especially the art program. When artists from different backgrounds come together, they bring with them unique perspectives and ideas. Therefore, it was important for me to create a card that would inclusively represent all of NIU.”

Celebrating Diversity by Sadey Havel

“Celebrating Diversity” by Sadey Havel (first place)

Second prize was awarded to illustration major Grace Miccolis from St. Charles, Illinois for, “NIU’s Winter Wonderland.”

“This piece was inspired by the beauty of the NIU campus, specifically the lagoon. The path around the lagoon is the perfect place to take a break and relax. Every time I walk that path, I see other students talking, laughing, enjoying each other’s company, and people walking their dogs. I wanted my piece to showcase my favorite place on campus and the sense of community that I get when I see others walking around the lagoon too.”

NIU's Winter Wonderland by Grace Miccolis

“Winter Wonderland” by Grace Miccolis (second place)

Third prize, “Winter’s Embrace” went to Eh Htoo, a pre-computer science major from Rockford, Illinois.

“I aimed to create a piece that embodies my perception of NIU, and for me, Altgeld Hall holds that essence. My goal was to capture the serene moment when snow delicately blankets the building.”

Winter's Embrace by Eh Htoo

“Winter’s Embrace” by Eh Htoo (third place)