Utz earns honorable mention in contest

Internship Coordinator Steve Utz won the honorable mention of the 2014 Leicester B. Holland Prize for his architectural sketching of Bentley Hall in September.

Utz began an internship class teaching students how to do architectural drafts in fall of 2013, and he has since received a variety of students to his class, including but not limited to an art student, environmental science students and biology students.

Due to the weather, students frequently move from indoors to outdoors and back, sketching what they can where they can.

One student, Paul Topor, ’16, has participated in all three internships. He is the first architecture minor Allegheny has had, a minor he made himself. Although Provost Linda DeMeritt does not plan on making architecture an official minor, another student, Cindy Ramirez, ’17, plans on utilizing the ability to create her own minor as well.

Topor expressed that he has always had an interest in architecture.

“I did architecture in high school too and I thought this would be something interesting for me to do,” Topor said.

Though he eventually wants to do more designing than recording of architecture, Topor is one of three participating in a sketching of Ruter this year. Working with him is Rachel Wang, ’17, and Utz. The three plan to enter a competition that Utz participated in, the 2015 Holland Prize competition, as a team.

Utz, who previously did the sketch on his own, felt that working with others would decrease the workload.

Along with being awarded the honorable mention, Utz received a cash prize, which he has in the past donated to fundraising organizations in Meadville.

Since last year, interest in his architectural sketching project has grown.

He also said that the physical plant was pleased to hear about the sketchings since they do not have blueprints of many campus buildings

“They were very excited by me and a few students doing drawings of Bentley,” Utz said.

Blueprints of the buildings will start being created from the sketches done in the internship.

All of Utz’s first-year students are doing sketches of different parts of Bentley, those being parts that they chose.

“I give them kind of free reign,” Utz said.

He also expressed excitement that the project has fallen in line with the bicentennial because more students will be around to see what is going on. It brings attention back to the history of the buildings, which is something Utz and his students strive to preserve.

“I think some students are even more interested in the writing of the history than the sketching,” said Utz.

David Comiski, ’16, mentioned the importance of Allegheny’s history.

“I really enjoy the history here on campus. It’s so easy to overlook. And in Meadville, too,” Comiski said.

When Comiski transferred in fall of 2012 from Webb Institute, which does Naval architecture, he was excited to find this internship available. He believes that, with buildings in particular, there is always more to learn.

Utz and his students expressed their enthusiasm for their projects and have high hopes for future sketchings.