Hasbro announced its first "Official Play-Doh Artist of the Year" yesterday, awarding the honor to Rhode Island School of Design student Ian Williams, 21, of Rochester, New York. "I’m passionate about sculpting and grew up playing with Play-Doh, so I’m
truly honored to be chosen as the ‘Official PLAY-DOH Artist of the
Year,’" Williams said. “Working with Hasbro is a wonderful opportunity
and I look forward to sharing my creativity with the Play-Doh online
The company worked with RISD to offer a $5,000 tuition stipend to the student who could make the best sculpture of presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney using only Play-Doh. Entries were judged on realism, craftmanship, creativity, presentation and incorporation of the brand's personality. Williams, a senior at the renowned art school, has also been invited to
work with Hasbro on creating a variety of Play-Doh originals to use on
the brand's digital channels.
“Our PLAY-DOH compound is a wonderful creative medium that inspires
artists of all ages and skill levels,” Senior Vice
President and Global Brand Leader Jerry Perez said in a statement. “The ‘Official Play-Doh Artist of the
Year’ is the first-ever program that invites art students to showcase
their talents using our iconic compound. We are excited to work with Ian
to deliver outstanding Play-Doh sculptures to our fans.”
The company plans to continue celebrating the talents of those studying sculpture and design by doling out the annual award to one art student each year. Play-Doh is also donating a million cans of the clay to charities across the country that work with young artists in honor of the occasion.