FLCC wine Persevere honors' students' labors

Staff reports

SUM GRAF: A former Keuka College student studying fine arts and graphic design at FLCC selected the name and designed the label

The name chosen for the wine that Finger Lakes Community College students will bottle next spring reflects the fortitude shown in a semester transformed by the pandemic.

Fine arts and graphic design major Aimée Hawkins, of Canandaigua, selected the name Persevere and designed a label featuring a pen-and-ink drawing of an abundant grape vine.

The back of the label is adorned with a small quote written by Hawkins: “Savor the drive, the determination and the perseverance that led us down the path to creating this wine.”

Hawkins said the quote seemed fitting for FLCC students this semester, as they’ve pursued their studies with mostly virtual instruction while juggling other demands and challenges caused by COVID-19. Perseverance also happens to be one of FLCC’s four institutional values, shown on a large banner display in the main entrance.

Viticulture and wine technology students chose this label, Persevere, in an annual contest meant to give their counterparts in the graphic design program experience pitching their work to a potential client.

Hawkins and her classmates designed labels for a course taught by Liz Brownell, of Victor, professor of graphic design. In what has become an annual tradition, the labels were revealed during an event — held virtually this year rather than at the college’s Viticulture and Wine Center in Geneva.

Student designers took turns sharing their concepts, touching on themes, color palettes, font choices, as well as the computer programs they used to create the labels.

“I felt it was really important to maintain a clean crisp feel while conveying the unique nature that this vintage represents,” Hawkins said during her presentation.

Students of Paul Brock, associate professor of viticulture and wine technology, took part in the event and voted on the labels. Students Leah Herring, of Rush; Leanne Camuto, of Dansville; and Faith Webster, of Palmyra, also were finalists in the contest.

“Having been chosen as the winning wine label design really serves as vindication that I am doing the right thing – that I am actively working toward an attainable goal,” Hawkins said. “I am truly honored.”

Aimée Hawkins, of Canandaigua, designed the winning label to appear on wine made by students in FLCC’s Viticulture and Wine Technology Program.

Hawkins is a non-traditional returning student. After graduating from Canandaigua Academy in 1995, she attended FLCC and received an associate degree in liberal arts in 1998. She went on to study elementary education at Keuka College. 

“My dream was always to be an art teacher or to work in illustration and design,” she said.

She and Bruce Hawkins married in 2000 and had four children. Working as a substitute teacher in the Canandaigua City School District rekindled her dream. 

“Spending all that time back in the art department really reawakened my passion for creating and teaching art,” she said.

With the encouragement of her family and friends, Hawkins decided to pursue a secondary degree in graphic design.

“Coming back to school after so long was very daunting, but I have received nothing but encouragement and support,” she said. “Learning how to create art in this new-to-me digital world was very intimidating, but here I am, using a digital camera, creating vector art in Adobe Illustrator, and learning how to merge my love of fine art with digital media.”

The 2020 vintage wines will be bottled by viticulture and wine technology students in the spring. Niagara Label of Akron is donating its services to make the labels and Waterloo Container is donating the bottles.