Mitzner Markle Women's Sculpture Competition Award Winners Announced at Ringling College of Art and Design

SARASOTA, Fla., Dec. 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ringling College of Art and Design today announced that the Ringling College student team of Irene Garibay and Celia Garcia Nogales have won the Mitzner Markle Women's Sculpture Scholarship Competition. Irene and Celia will receive a $15,000 scholarship and a $25,000 budget with which to create and install their sculpture in a permanent, dedicated space to the south of the main entrance of the new Ringling College Library.

Noted artist and technologist Nancy Markle created and financed the Mitzner Markle Women's Sculpture Competition through a charitable fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation. "During my career serving as a Chief Information Officer and technology advisor for many organizations I have had the good fortune to mentor many young women working in IT," Ms. Markle stated. "One thing I learned as a CIO is that very often I would hire students and they were unprepared to be fully functional members of the team, taking as much as a year of training and experience to become sufficiently knowledgeable. Now that I am working as an artist I am supporting opportunities for professional development in the arts."
"I have designed this competition to not only inspire a creative sculpture design for the new library, but to reward and immerse the winning team in the detail and challenges that come with making their sculpture a reality – such as material durability and compatibility, environmental resistance, lighting, security, etc.  This experience will provide Irene and Celia with the real world experience that can make a notable difference in their success upon graduation. I am very impressed with these young women and look forward to watching their careers and creativity blossom," concluded Ms. Markle.
Irene and Celia's winning entry comprised a concept statement, concept rendering in situ, list of proposed materials for the sculpture, a budget proposal, and examples of their current work. Their proposal included all aspects of the creation, transport, installation, and lighting of the final work of art.  The final sculpture will pose a thoughtful and visually striking contrast to the new library. Iron wood and glass will be used to create the sculpture.  It will be installed in a prominent space on the west side of the new library adjacent to the main entrance. Over time the wood will naturally darken from the environmental elements adding to the nuances of the natural materials chosen for the site-specific piece.
According to winning team member Ringling College Senior Irene Garibay, "It is an honor and an affirmation to receive this award. An affirmation to the importance of societies' awareness towards the weightiness of life sources. Libraries are a source for education, trees are a source for books and environments are a source for humans. We looked at the space around us to create this sculpture. We hope it serves as celebration of the sources of life and those that support it."
Winning team member and Ringling College Junior Celia Garcia Nogales noted that, "The Mitzner Markle Award means a reward to the appreciation of the grandness of nature. The project will always breathe out gratitude, towards Nancy Markle as the donor, towards the construction team and towards all the knowledge that has been, is and will be shared with us along the way. We hope that our collaboration inspires future understanding and co-existence between the Ringling College community and its arborous surroundings."  
"The Mitzner Markle Scholarship is an outstanding opportunity for our female students in supporting a professional-level learning opportunity for the winning team of students," said Jeff Schwartz, Ringling College Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Interim Head of Fine Art. "Nancy Markle has created an opportunity for our students work at a professional level and supports our commitment to offer experiential learning experience to all our students. Submissions came from a variety of students in different majors it was a challenge for the committee to make this very difficult decision. We are very proud of Irene and Celia, who are both enrolled in the Fine Arts program – their proposed sculpture is ambitious, monumental and thoughtful, and will present itself as a beautiful contrast to the new library."
In addition to funding the creation and installation of the sculpture through her competition, Markle also established an endowment at Gulf Coast Community Foundation to provide for the piece's ongoing care. "Nancy is setting such a wonderful example through her thoughtful giving," noted Veronica Brady, senior vice president for philanthropy at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, who assisted Markle in structuring her multipurpose philanthropic gift. "Not only is she providing these students with a 'real world' learning opportunity while they create an historic piece of art for the Ringling College campus, but she is also looking ahead and securing the future of the work through the power of endowed philanthropy."
 Currently under construction, the new Ringling College of Art and Design Library will be an $18 million, state-of-the-art library of the future that will transform the way students engage with the Ringling College collections. Architecturally stunning, the building itself is designed to adapt and grow with new technologies to come.  At 46,000 square feet, the facility will have ample room for the extensive collections, 30% of which is currently housed off-campus.  The new library will be an active physical and virtual destination on the Ringling College campus—an intellectual, cultural, social, creative, and technological hub alive with the ebb and flow of students, faculty, and visitors. With increased technological capabilities and access, the new Ringling College library will redefine its mission and strengthen its instructional role within and beyond its walls.
About Ringling College of Art and Design

Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering the Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 13 disciplines: Advertising Design, Computer Animation, Film, Fine Arts, Game Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Motion Design, Photography & Imaging, Creative Writing (pending SACSOC approval), Critical and Visual Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Business of Art & Design. Located in Sarasota on Florida's Gulf Coast, the picturesque 48-acre campus now includes more than 110 buildings, and enrolls nearly 1,300 students from 44 states and 54 countries. It is recognized as being among the best and most innovative visual arts colleges in the United States as well as a leader in the use of technology in the arts. Visit the  Ringling College website, or follow Ringling College on Facebook and  Twitter for more news and information.
About Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Together with its donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation transforms our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, it has become the philanthropic home of more than 600 families who have established charitable funds there, and has invested over $208 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at
Bios for Nancy Markle, Celia Garcia Nogales and Irene Garibay follow:
Nancy Markle served as a leading Consultant, global innovator and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Fortune 100 companies and service organizations over the past three decades,  providing a depth of expertise in innovative technologies, strategic planning, organizational assessment and transformation, business and technology alignment, project management, governance and metrics, systems development, leadership development and coaching, process improvements, compliance, business continuity, mergers and acquisitions, interim management and sourcing.  Her clients included companies such as The Patterson Foundation, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Ringling College of Art and Design, IBM, Harcourt, LILCO and AT &T. Industries for whom she has consulted are: Financial, Technology, Colleges/Universities, Retail, Engineering, Utilities, Publishers, Non-Profits, Government, Venture Capital, and Boards.
With Arthur Andersen, Nancy Markle was the Partner Responsible for Global Technology Strategy and Change, for an organization of over 2,500 technologists.  Prior to that, she was the first person to hold the position of Americas' CIO, meeting the firm's business needs with technology solutions throughout the US, Canada and Latin America, affecting about 35,000 employees in more than 100 Andersen offices.
Under Nancy's leadership, significant organization changes were effected, saving millions through automated systems and process improvements; with measurable improvements in customer satisfaction and quality products. She was instrumental in the firm's technology direction, professional growth and special initiatives such as the Growth and Retention of Women (GROW).
Before becoming a member of Andersen's leadership, Ms. Markle held the position of Executive Vice President and CIO for Home Savings of America, America's largest Savings and Loan.  Prior positions include President of Information Technology Consultants, Principal with Arthur Young's [Ernst & Young] IT Consulting and Utilities Practices, CIO for both Georgia Power Company and Fannie Mae.  She has also served The Pennsylvania State University and IBM as a faculty member and researcher.

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