• The Star Staff

Works by UPR-Carolina graphic design professor earn awards in prestigious competition

By The Star Staff

A pair of works by graphic artist and University of Puerto Rico (UPR) professor John Rivas have received GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards in a competition that had more than 10,000 entries.

The works -- “Between Brushes, Guitar, Martorell & Croatto” and a poster honoring the 40-year anniversary of Radio Universidad -- which were donated by Rivas to UPR to raise scholarship funds, were praised by UPR board members Jorge Valentín and Herman Cestero as well as UPR President Jorge Haddock and UPR-Carolina Chancellor José I. Meza Pereira.

“I see this as a UPR achievement and not my achievement,” said Rivas, a professor at UPR-Carolina. “The most important thing is for UPR to receive the recognition.”

The graphic artist donated the works to UPR as part of institutional efforts carried out by Wilma Santiago, vice president of philanthropy, to raise money for the scholarship fund. Both works will be published in the digital, mobile and print editions commemorating the 57th anniversary of GDUSA magazine.

“Once again, the high professional caliber of the professors that make up the faculty of our campus has been demonstrated,” Meza Pereira said. “Professor John Rivas has stood out for his commitment to social welfare, donating works to various non-profit organizations.”

Cestero told the STAR that he purchased both works. He praised the symbolism in the Radio Universidad poster because it depicts the UPR towers as antennas, showing that the university is also a global educational institution.

“He is globalizing the educational message,” Cestero said.

He also praised the other artistic piece for its beautiful combination of colors, and Rivas for his generosity in donating the poster. “Between Brushes and Guitar” was a musical and artistic gathering in which artist Antonio Martorell painted to the sound of the voice and chords of singer and songwriter Hermes Croatto. Rivas’ work depicts a guitar splashed with bright colors.

The poster, available for sale in two sizes, is signed by Martorell, a UPR resident teacher and artist, and by Croatto, a graduate of UPR-Carolina.

Valentín, a former UPR-Carolina chancellor, praised Rivas as an artist and also as a professor.

“He is an excellent professor and collaborator,” he said. “He is a visionary and great conceptualizer of works.”

For his part, Haddock in a statement highlighted Rivas’ works and his work as a mentor in the island’s leading educational center.

“The university community celebrates the successes and achievements of the professor, as they are a reflection of the excellence and commitment that our institution promotes,” Haddock said. “Professor John Rivas has demonstrated, through his service record, that his commitment to the UPR, his students and colleagues transcends his responsibilities and demonstrates his artistic, creative, educational and humanistic values. At the University of Puerto Rico we are proud of his performance.”

GDUSA’s American Graphic Design Awards is an internationally recognized competition open to everyone in the community and honoring outstanding work of all types and in all mediums. Those interested in acquiring “Between Brushes, Guitar, Martorell & Croatto” can contact Velia Rodríguez, director of the Editorial at UPR, at velia.rodriguez@upr.edu.

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