Laguna Beach, CA (May 19, 2022) – Laguna College of Art + Design announced April Solomon received the 2022 Trustee Choice Award. Her painting, Sulfur Dragon was purchased by the LCAD Board of Trustees to be part of the College’s permanent collection. Solomon received her Bachelor’s of Fine Art degree in Illustration at LCAD’s 2022 Commencement ceremony under the guidance of Michael Savas, Chair of Illustration.




April Soloman with her painting, Sulfur Dragon.

“April Solomon is an extraordinarily talented and hard working artist whose passion for work is evident in every piece she creates. When she was an illustration student, she set the bar in terms of work ethic, quality of her work. She was an inspiration to her peers who voted her #1 in her graduating class.,” said Michael Savas, LCAD Chair of Illustration.


“April served as a student representative and was a member of the illustration program self-study committee that contributed to several improvements in the major. As our 2022 student commencement speaker, she delivered a heartwarming speech where she spoke of her triumphant journey in overcoming many personal challenges while attending LCAD. No student is more deserving of the Trustee Choice Award than April. I’d like to thank the LCAD Trustees for such a wonderful award program and opportunity for our students,” Michael Savas concluded.




April Solomon with Michael Savas, Chair of Illustration

Among her love for the fine arts is her unique appreciation for whimsical fantasy, which adorns every image of her portfolio. April’s meticulous creature designs aim for what is known as “fantastic realism.” A clever, concise understanding of anatomy, plants, and mysterious textures weave their way into her illustrations, leaving the viewer guessing at origins, influences, and ancestry. April’s work allows the viewer to dive imaginatively deeper, and reconsider whether dragons might be real or whether werewolves exist to stalk the streets at night.


The award was initiated in 2020 by LCAD Trustee and alumnus Suzanne Chonette. Graduating students in the Jonathan Burke Fine Art BFA, MFA, as well as Illustration programs are eligible. The criteria for the Trustee Choice Award is that the artwork should exemplify the best representational foundations of LCAD, and the artist should possess the qualities that are critical to a successful career in Fine Arts. Work is selected by LCAD Chairs Hope Railey, Betty Shelton, Peter Zokosky, and Michael Savas. LCAD trustees then vote to select three finalists and one winner.


“This is about our legacy, our foundation of figurative art, and honoring a graduating fine arts student while gifting our LCAD Permanent Collection,” said Suzanne Chonette, LCAD Board of Trustee.



Robin Venter, April Solomon, and Kelly Mogilka after receiving the Trustee Choice Award and Honorable Mentions

In addition to April Solomon receiving the 2022 Trustee Choice Award, Kelly Mogilka, Drawing + Painting MFA graduate, and Robin Venter, Drawing + Painting BFA graduate, received Honorable Mentions.




LCAD Graduating Student Winners:

2022: April Solomon “Sulfur Dragon” BFA

2021: Jody Gerber “Illusion” MFA

2020: Pegah Samaie “To Love and Obey” BFA + MFA

These painting are now exhibited in the lobby of the LCAD Administration building.

About Laguna College of Art and Design

Founded in 1961, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) is one of the top non-profit art and design schools in the nation. LCAD offers undergraduate degrees (BFA) in Animation, Drawing + Painting, Experimental Animation, Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, Illustration and Illustration in Entertainment Design, as well as Master of Fine Arts degrees (MFA) in, Drawing, Game Design, and Painting. The Dennis and Leslie Power Library at LCAD houses the historic archives of the College and The Rex and Joan Irving Brandt Papers. For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and Annual Fund, visit Facebook at @LagunaCollege and Instagram @LagunaCollege.