QCA, KOTRA Partner on Artists Business Prize

On the evening of November 29, seven of the brightest young artists from Queens gathered in downtown Astoria to find out who would be selected as the winner of the inaugural “Queens Emerging Artists Business Prize.”

The design contest was co-hosted by the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA) and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) to connect Queens emerging artists with companies seeking new design ideas for their products and services.

Artists were asked to create cover designs for the marketing materials of the sponsoring company, Alfrex, which is a prominent manufacturer of fire-rated aluminum composite panels. In return, Alfrex pledged to award a $3,000 scholarship to the artist with the best design.

The participating artists were all alumni of QCA’s “High School to Art School” (HS2AS) program, which is a portfolio development program for students entering college. While HS2AS helped lay the foundation for the artists, the new design contest serves as a stepping stone for their future professional careers.

The designs were individually presented by each artist during the event. There were several designs with striking geometric shapes, one with a highly detailed robot, and another with a unique adaptation of the current Alfrex logo.

According to the Alfrex representative, “It was a very difficult decision to choose just one winner, but we felt that the artwork designed by Shanjida Kibria best exemplified what our company stands for,” said a representative from Alfrex.

Kibria is a native of Jackson Heights and is currently enrolled at Parsons School of Design. Her artwork was simple, yet visually appealing. The two co-hosts of the event are pushing for it to become a permanent platform to assist emerging artists pursue their professional careers, as well as for companies to take advantage of local talent to grow their businesses.

The award ceremony was also filmed by Queens Public TV (QPTV) and will be airing this winter.

For more information on KOTRA, please contact Narae Lee at (646) 918-5862 or narae.kotra@gmail.com. You can also learn more at kotra.or.kr.

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