Coleena and Jennifer
From left, COM graphic arts professor Coleena Jackson and first-place winner Jennifer CrawfordJennifer Crawford’s winning poster design

In a sea of purple, green and gold, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. But College of the Mainland graphic arts student, Jennifer Crawford, did just that after earning top honors in the 2020 Mardi Gras! Galveston Poster Contest. As the first-place winner, Crawford’s design will now serve as the face of this year’s festivities.

“I never really had any clue that the poster would win and still am kind of stunned it turned out the way it did,” said Crawford. “But I’m proud to now be a part of Galveston’s Mardi Gras history.”

Competing against more than a dozen entries from across the region, the annual contest allows artists to showcase their best two-dimensional or digital/graphic designs highlighting the spirit of Galveston’s historic 109th annual celebration. The college’s record in the competition is particularly impressive, as this is the fifth poster designed by COM graphic arts students that has won the contest.

Led by COM graphic arts professor Coleena Jackson, Crawford created the poster as her final project during a previous graphics class. She says she was inspired by the picture of the arch, the Tremont House and the crowd of revelers.

“Seeing the Mardi Gras colors, the angle of the view, the revelers — just the spirit of the image speaks to me,” Crawford said. “I added my daughter into the poster as a partygoer in the balcony. She can be seen blowing confetti over the crowd as they are ‘catching the spirit.’ ”

After taking a break from her academic pursuits to enter the workforce, Crawford later reenrolled in COM’s graphic arts program to revive her true artistic calling. She now anticipates graduating in December 2020 with an Associate of Applied Science in graphic arts/web design.

“Passion inspires me to be a graphic artist. I truly love every aspect of my profession and it brings a satisfaction to my soul.”

To learn more about College of the Mainland’s graphic arts program, visit