International artist and filmmaker Suzi Chauvel creates study abroad scholarship for LCAD

One of Suzi Chauvel’s defining life moments was the fellowship she received in her junior year to study design in Copenhagen. Now an accomplished international artist and filmmaker, she is granting the same opportunity to students at Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) through the Chauvel Study Abroad Scholarship.

The first recipient, Kirra Nash, is an LCAD senior majoring in Graphic Design + Digital Media. While abroad, Kirra is studying Italian fashion design and cinema at Student Arts College International (SACI) in Florence, Italy.

“I couldn’t be happier with my lineup. I was worried I wouldn’t be doing much design during my time here, but I’m the only graphic designer in class, so pretty much all that work in our projects is passing through me,” Nash said in her first dispatch from Italy.

International artist fur

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Kirra Nash, LCAD senior studies abroad 

Since Kirra arrived in Italy, she also has traveled to Rome and Pietrasanta, as well as Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. 

Kirra and Suzi regularly stay in touch through What’sApp and Instagram. For Suzi, it is a full circle moment. “I was the first in my family to study abroad,” she remembered. “At the time, I thought to myself that when I could pay it forward, I would want others to have the same experience because it changed everything for me.”

Chauvel’s pivot point put her on the path to combine art and fashion. As a textile artist for ten years, Suzi spent half of each year traveling Asia and India. When she transitioned to fashion design, she worked with design teams in 46 different countries. For the last nine years, Suzi has traveled the world writing and filming documentaries for an international client base including Disney, Levi Strauss, Nike, Pepsi, and Sony.

When Chauvel and her husband moved to Laguna Beach, they were first introduced to LCAD through a Collector’s Choice event. After meeting with LCAD President Jonathan Burke and LCAD Provost Hélène Garrison, she saw an opportunity to give students the chance to see the world. A hands-on philanthropist, Suzi sat on the scholarship selection committee and met with every applicant.

“Kirra has that personality that makes her perfect for a study abroad program,” she said. “Travel gets us out of our comfort zones and for artists that always leads to great inspiration.”

“We feel it is so important to make our students’ experiences as complete and meaningful as possible,” said Jonathan Burke. “We are very grateful to Suzi for her generous gift that allows sophomore and junior students the opportunity to travel abroad and to ignite their passions to become creative leaders.”

Visit www.lcad.edu/dové-kirra to follow Kirra’s journey while she studies abroad! 

This annual scholarship is available to one LCAD student per year. If you would like to support LCAD students, visit www.lcad.edu.