Students selected for Holiday Art Scholarship program


Each year, President Gary L. Miller and Georgia Miller select student art for the University of Akron’s holiday card. The Holiday Art Scholarship program, which was initiated by the Millers in 2019, celebrates creativity on campus, creates opportunities for students to share their artistic vision and gives the students strong exposure beyond the UA community.

This year, the work of two student artists was featured on the front of the 5,000 cards sent to celebrate the holidays.

Ashley_Hetherington_06.jpgAshley Hetherington, a senior who is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, and Sarah Mason, a December 2023 graduate who earned a Bachelor of Fine arts in Metalsmithing, were both selected to have their work featured on the card. Each student received a $250 award for art supplies. Their work will also be displayed in Buchtel Hall, where the UA president and senior administrative offices are located. 

Hetherington’s piece, entitled “Stained Glass Eyes,” was created in ceramic with an underglaze and a glaze. She created the piece in 2022 while experimenting with form during her Advanced Throwing class in the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art. The imagery, which features swirling lines, eyes and leaves, was inspired by a large painting she created in the painting studio. The vase represents the nascent merging of her painting and ceramic creation styles, integrating both of her artistic passions. Ashley_Hetherington_holiday23.jpg

She is from Cortland, Ohio and is a graduate of Lakeview High School. Hetherington works as ceramics instructor at Quirk Cultural Center in Cuyahoga Falls. She intends to continue her work there as well as selling her own art.

Hetherington focuses on finding unique ways to use painting techniques to enhance the surface of her pottery. She is inspired by geometric forms, nature and psychedelic imagery such as eyes and vibrant colors.

Sarah_Mason_41_crop.jpgMason, who is from Akron and is a graduate of Ellet High School, created her work entitled, “Diadem,” in brass and copper. "Diadem" was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman laurel crowns, which were often used to represent power and victory. The copper and brass crown, using hard yet delicate materials, gives the wearer a sense of that power. This work sparked a fashion collection representing powerful time periods in women’s fashion.

Mason plans to continue working at Signet Jewelers Limited, an international diamond jewelry business headquartered in Akron, and additionally work on her personal jewelry business.

Sarah_Mason_holiday.jpgPresident and Mrs. Miller honored the two students at an event in December. Hetherington and Mason were also recognized during the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences Spring Awards Luncheon in April 2023. Hetherington was also honored at that time for having created the College’s Outstanding Achievement Award statuette, known as the “Johnny” award.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd,, 330-687-9269