Florida A&M University’s food court, also known as the bottom cafeteria area, welcomed a few design upgrades and additions this year.
Among them are new columns featuring FAMU-themed designs wrapped around them for students to observe while they enjoy a meal at any of the restaurants. These designs are courtesy of FAMU’s Business and Auxiliary Services (BAS), which hosted a Food Court Column Wraps Design Contest in March.
The contest rewarded four individuals with having their art wrapped around the floor-to-ceiling columns already located in the food court, as well as additional prizes depending on how they placed. Students submitted their graphic design entry pieces, which BAS then reviewed for selection. The main requirement was to “represent and celebrate aspects of FAMU culture.”
BAS announced the contest winners toward the end of the spring semester, and those designs were displayed just before the start of the fall term. Two FAMU School of Journalism & Communication (FAMU SJGC) students placed first and second place in the contest.
The first-place winner was junior graphic design student Jasmine Patrick, who heard about the contest through her cousin Yolie, who works at FAMU.
Patrick’s piece was titled “The Culture” and incorporated elements aligned with the contest’s goal, representing FAMU’s culture and “what it means to be a Rattler.”
“I pulled from our chants, our rankings, our buildings, our football games, even our food,” Patrick said.
She also included textbooks to depict the school’s academic excellence, “COLAC” for College of Love and Charity, and even highlighted one of the most popular days of the week for those that eat on campus: Fried Chicken Wednesdays.
Using an app called ProCreate, Patrick made her piece with the cartoon-like art style she loves.
“I first sketched out different ideas in the app, focusing on things [that] make FAMU, FAMU,” Patrick said. “Some of the details I wanted to incorporate were those elements that represented my parents. My parents are graduates of FAMU, and they loved their time on the hill, so I wanted to add in specific images to represent them.”
Patrick drew the now-demolished Truth Hall to signify the building her mom stayed in while she was at college and a man from the Marching 100 in honor of her dad.
She was awarded a MacBook Air for her first-place prize.
“To have a piece of artwork that is on display in the cafeteria forever, something that I can walk in and look at, is so amazing,” Patrick said. “I’m so proud to have made such an impact at the school, something that future Rattlers, younger students, and alumni can see each time they come to visit.”
Sydney Richardson, a third-year graphic design student, heard about the competition while walking past a TV in the student center. She saw an advertisement on the screen and decided to apply.
Richardson’s design, titled “We’re All Rattlers,” won second place. Her take on the design highlighted “the diversity that HBCUs can have, even within the Black community.”
“I used group photos of people as a reference and created the shapes using Adobe Illustrator. I made sure to show diversity in skin tone, body type, and hairstyles,” Richardson said. “This competition allowed me to experiment with making human figures, which I do not use often in my designs.”
Having placed second, Richardson was awarded an iPad Pro, but her biggest takeaway from the whole experience was pride in her work.
“It feels amazing to leave my mark on this university,” Richardson said. “As a first-generation student, I did not have any previous ties to the school before attending, so it is great that I can leave my mark that my kids will hopefully get to see.”
This article was originally published by Journey Magazine.