Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators



The Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators awards merit scholarships to encourage Pittsburgh area art and design students who demonstrate the potential and dedication to become professional illustrators. All college-level undergraduate students are encouraged to apply to our annual PSI Student Scholarship Program. See FAQs below for eligible work.

How to Apply

Faculty at each participating school will guide student submissions through the Art Call online submission system: https://studentscholarships2023.artcall.org/. The competition opens November 15 and closes December 6. Awards will be announced after December 12. Details on technical requirements are in the emails we have sent to each faculty contact. FAQs follow this section below.

Does Your School Want to Join the Scholarship Program?

Contact our Scholarship Committee Chairperson, George Schill, at george@georgeschill.com, for more information about PSI's scholarship program, such as an organization's eligibility for PSI scholarship partnership or to how to set up your student body to be included in our scholarship exhibition for next year.

Jurors and Award Policy

Jurors for our Scholarship Awards are members of PSI chaired by our Scholarship Chairman George Schill. We do not allow conflict-of-interest jurors (relatives of submitters or faculty contacts). Award monies from PSI are given separately from institutions’ awards and cannot be incorporated into an institute’s funds—they are awards given directly to the students. Students are informed with their awards checks that the monies must be spent on exempt expenses (tuition, books, software, supplies) since the contributed monies are tax exempt.

Current Annual Awards

PSI has established $5,000 to be given annually to 13 winners in our Student Scholarship Awards Program:

4 Thomas J. Ruddy Awards: $500 each (Total $ 2000): Donated annually by Mr. Ruddy’s widow, Marsha Ruddy-Lund, this award represents the top prize amount and is given to students working creatively with the human figure OR landscape that were the main themes of illustrator/artist/professor Thomas J. Ruddy.

Daniel F. Bridy Memorial Award: $400 Donated in memory of Daniel F. Bridy by his widow, Lorraine Bridy. Daniel was an award winning Pittsburgh graphic designer and illustrator who was a friend and inspiration to all that met him. As co-founder of Rainbow Grinders, his work was characterized by the adventurous application of form and color influenced by the 60’s and Pushpin Studio.

4 PSI Scholarship First Place Awards: $400 each (Total $ 1600)

4 PSI Scholarship Honorable Mentions: $250 each (Total $1000)

How to Donate Tax-Deductible Gifts to the PSI Student Scholarship Fund

Tax-deductible contributions to the PSI Scholarship Fund can be paid via PayPal or sent to Treasurer, Fred Carlson, at 118 Monticello Drive, Monroeville, PA 15146. Please make checks payable to Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators (memo "Scholarship Fund"). If using PayPal to donate include “Scholarship Donation” in the memo/comment section.

Email george@georgeschill.com for questions or concerns about supporting our Scholarship Program.

Get Involved

We encourage PSI member participation to assist the next generation of practitioners. PSI Members desiring to serve on Scholarship Jury activity should email board@pittsburghillustrators.org or george@georgeschill.com

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What are eligible works for consideration in this illustration competition? Any artwork completed for a school project for courses like illustration, painting, drawing, design, computer graphics, production design, book design, advertising, communication design, printmaking, design fundamentals, independent study, animation artwork, animation characters/scenes, or marketing is eligible. Do NOT submit layouts, figure drawings, still-life studies, logos or photography. This is NOT a design competition, it is an illustration competition. Illustrations dropped into finished presentation layouts are eligible.
  2. Does this cost me anything? No. All submissions are free to the students.
  3. My department does not have a formal illustration program or major, am I still eligible? PSI is not concerned with your actual major or whether your program has a defined illustration major. We ARE concerned with seeing your best work and encouraging your future as a possible practitioner in the illustration world, regardless of how your academic program or diploma is worded. Work done outside of class is acceptable!
  4. I attend community college and am not a “full-time” student. Am I still eligible? Yes.
  5. Is there a limit to the number of entries I can submit? 8 entries per student is the limit this year. We do want what you and your instructors consider your best efforts.
  6. Are there any limitations concerning media? PSI has given awards to computer illustration, animations/videos, traditional printmaking, paintings, drawings of all media, collages, mixed media, watercolor, relief, and photographed sculpture. No unfinished layouts, figure drawings, still lives, logos or photography. Photography CAN be a basis for a collage or computer illustration but this nuance is up to the discretion of the jurors.
  7. What are the sizes and formats of the submitted entries? The Art Call specs are very specific: shortest side no smaller than 540 pixels, longest side no greater than 1920 pixels. Total size maximum is 4MB. Please follow these exactly. Almost all formats of image file are fine. Email questions to the Scholarship Chairman only if your faculty contact does not know the answer.
  8. When are the submissions due? For 2021, the competition will close December 6 at midnight. We are striving to make this submission process something we can do each year at the same time. Please read the outreach email and other material about this year’s submission process VERY CAREFULLY.
  9. Am I eligible to win more than one award? Yes, depending on the quality of the entries, a student could win more than one award of the 13 offered.
  10. Does it matter what year of school I am? No. Every class is eligible, even if you are graduating in December 2021.