The skills and talent of communications student Ryan Ackerman, a
West Rutland native, were recently recognized as his original
design proved to be a crowd favorite in the recent SolarFest
T-shirt contest, winning him first place.
SolarFest, a three-day festival July 12-14, 2013 in Tinmouth,
Vt. showcases the power and possibilities of solar energy. Each
year organizers engages the community in the t-shirt design
contest. After hearing about this year's sustainability-theme,
Ackerman took to the drawing board, fusing the Vermont landscape
with a celestial sun to create the winning design.
"I wanted to do something out of the box," said Ackerman.
"Unlike anything they used before."
After obtaining a total of 755
votes, amounting to almost 50 percent of the total votes cast, he
was announced the winner. The winning T-shirt design earned
Ackerman two free all-weekend passes to the festival, a free
vehicle camping pass, vouchers for free food and a few free
t-shirts. His design will be featured on 2013 SolarFest t-shirts
that will be available throughout the festival.
"The real prize for
me is getting my name out there and having my design used for
hundreds of t-shirts. Creating things is my passion," said
Ackerman, who has designed everything from flyers and logos to
In addition to offering design and social media consulting to
businesses around the region, Ackerman also works in e-Commerce at
The Vermont Country Story.
While many SolarFest participants will witness his talents for
the first time, the Castleton community has had the pleasure of
seeing his work on a regular basis.
"I've always been amazed by Ryan's editorial cartoons," said
Dave Blow, advisor to the Spartan newspaper. "We've had talented
artists drawing for The Spartan before," said Blow, "But his could
be on the pages of daily papers!
The Spartan staff has featured several of Ackerman's cartoons
in recent issues and Blow has enjoyed his work so much he recently
asked Ackerman to collaborate with him to design the cover for a
book he is working on.
Ryan Ackerman currently resides in Clarendon Springs, Vt. while
attending Castleton State College where he focuses on digital