News Releases

UWI Final Year student wins Best Young Designer at regional design show

For Release Upon Receipt - September 12, 2011

St. Augustine

Kirie Ishmael, a student of the Visual Arts Unit of the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) recently copped the “Best Young Designer” Award at the Design Caribbean show which took place from September 1-4 in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. Kirie won the award for her Design 3 project – Ibis-inspired jewellery.

The DCFA was well represented at the show, as five students (including Kirie) displayed work at the design fair. The other four students (and recent graduates) included Jade Achoy, Anyah McNeill, Natrisha Gangapersad and Ann Marie Samsoondar. The students benefitted from the opportunity to discuss their work with practitioners, international buyers and meet creative people from all over the Caribbean.

The Visual Arts Unit of the DCFA also played a major role in the Contemporary Caribbean Collection project which was well received at the show, through the collaboration of design lecturer, Lesley-Ann Noel and Italian design consultants Giulio and Valerio Vinaccia, and eleven local artisans and designers. This was made possible through a collaborative effort between the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the National Entrepreneurship Development Company (NEDCO) and the Visual Arts Unit of the DCFA.

This collaboration has already begun to bear fruit, with some of the artisans and designers being invited to work more closely with the students during the semester through guest lectures and joint product development. Ms. Noel and Mr. Vinaccia will also continue to work together, as Ms. Noel will spend two weeks in Canada in October doing research with Mr. Vinaccia and Dr. Anne Marchand of the University of Montreal through the Faculty Leadership Pilot Programme.

For further information on the DCFA’s participation in the Design Caribbean Show, please contact Lesley-Ann Noel at To view photos from the event, please visit our Flickr page.


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.