The National Cartoonists Society Foundation (NCSF) announced the winner of the first annual Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship, Juana Medina, a sophomore at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Medina edged out almost two hundred applicants for the award, which includes a $5,000.00 scholarship and a trip to the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award convention. She was chosen by a jury of ten of the nation’s top cartoonists.
Juana Medina was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. She completed high school in 1998 then moved to the U.S.A. where she has lived since. For two years, she studied at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. and is now majoring in Graphic Design at RISD. She is a regular contributor to the College Hill Independent, a weekly magazine produced by students at Brown University and RISD. Her work has appeared in publications in South America and has been part of collective exhibitions in Colombia and Mexico.
In her application for the award, Medina wrote: “I grew up in a country where war has been a constant since long before I was born. Our voices have been quieted by terrorist acts and constant threats from both governmental and clandestine groups, up to a point where the smell of gunpowder and the countless bomb threats became a part of our daily life … I found situations where there is little I can do to change reality, but I have found in cartooning a voice that strongly reflects my feelings and intentions. I have found a way to raise consciousness without scolding, fuming or losing my stomach to an ulcer.”
Medina will receive her award and meet the professional cartoonists who selected her at the National Cartoonists Society’s Annual Reuben Awards banquet in New Orleans on May 24th.