• Ainsley Carter

2022 Deans' Spotlight

To celebrate the portfolios of students graduating in Spring of 2022, California College of the Arts organized the 2022 Showcase online exhibition of student work earlier this May. This was a space where each graduating student could create a profile and have their work featured and promoted by the college as part of the showcase.


CCA 2022 Showcase Landing Page

Participation entailed uploading images and captions of one's work, along with a short artist statement or bio to attach to one's page. In publishing work to one's page, it was also possible to be considered for the Deans' Spotlight selection. The Deans from each division would be viewing student work and selecting projects to award the 2022 Deans' Spotlight honor to, allowing work to have extra distinction and attention as the showcase runs.


This was a space where each graduating student could create a profile and have their work featured and promoted by the college as part of the showcase.

My showcase page and bio

Keen to share my work to a wider audience since interaction designers at CCA don't often have the chance to participate in real, in-person exhibitions due to the frequently digital, screen-based nature of our work (and especially due to the shift to distance-learning required by the pandemic for two years), I started to organize work for my showcase (which you can view here).


I selected a number of projects I was proud of and felt represented both me as a designer, and my program as a whole, well. Since many projects hinged on interaction and time as crucial elements – not just static images – I got creative and opted to make my own GIFs to better showcase the full breadth of my projects.


The entry I was most excited for, though, was my senior thesis project. My other projects have been shown before, whether it be through case studies on my website or through in-class reviews and critiques; my thesis project, on the other hand, hadn't been seen by a wider audience before.



As I had done with my other pieces, I used Photoshop to make GIFs that showed all of the various components of my project. I was sure to use short but descriptive titles for all of my showcase items to hopefully draw viewers in, and I carefully curated the images I showed to be most impactful.



I was absolutely thrilled to learn that I had been selected by the Dean of Design, Helen Maria Nugent, for the 2022 Deans' Spotlight honor. The Deans' Spotlight recognizes outstanding work by graduating students. My project Reddie: Safety for Latchkey Kids was the piece that was chosen. The fact that this was my senior thesis project and the culmination of a school year's worth of work was the best outcome I could've possibly hoped for!


The Deans' Spotlight recognizes outstanding work by graduating students.

It was a very meaningful and positive note to end my fourth and final year at CCA on, and I'm extremely grateful to the faculty and peers I've learned from and worked with over the years that helped me get to where I am today. I'm honored to have the chance to have my work featured in this showcase and to (hopefully!) be a good reflection of my program, BFA interaction design.