Dade Delegation sports accessories designed by NWSA student designer

Dade Delegation sports accessories designed by NWSA student designer

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is pictured with NWSA BFA graphic designer John Soto
(Photo courtesy of NWSA)

New World School of the Arts (NWSA) graphic designer John Soto had the opportunity to travel to Tallahassee during the recent legislative session to represent NWSA and introduce his new fashion sense — the 2016 Dade Days in Tallahassee ties and scarves.

“The design is the result of the Miami-Days Competition,” explained Maggy Cuesta, dean of visual arts at NWSA. “This is an almost three-decades-old judged competition, that is open to all NWSA college graphic designers, which allows the winner to see his or her design mass-produced and distributed… More importantly, this competition highlights the importance of our state’s legislative process and the role our community plays in the process.”

The Dade Days ties and scarves are limited edition items and each realized design becomes highly coveted among political, community and civic leaders who look forward to expanding their collection with the beautiful cutting edge accessories created by NWSA college students.

In addition to seeing his design come to fruition and being recognized for his creativity, Soto’s experience included interacting with key political figures during the session and even having photo ops to capture the moment. Among the dignitaries he met were Miami-Dade County Commission chair Jean Monestime, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, State Sen. Anitere Flores, and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

“Having the opportunity to travel to Tallahassee and seeing my design featured at Miami-Dade Days 2016 was an amazing experience,” Soto said. “Meeting community leaders and seeing their reaction towards the design I made was great. I witnessed a few ‘aha moments’ when people spotted their own zip code [part of the design] and that was entertaining. I was specially honored to see people wearing their ties and scarves proudly.

“From flight attendants to city officials — they all made me feel humble and grateful. A sincere thank you to all of them, as well as to my professor Rosario Martinez-Cañas and classmates for their unconditional support in this journey.”

Soto explained that the flag of Miami-Dade County was his inspiration for this year’s blue and green gridded design.

“I focused on the elements that could bring this idea to life. Elements used in design, such as line, shape, direction, and color. While researching, I realized the characteristics I was looking for are in Miami-Dade County’s own flag.” he said.

“Overall, I wanted to make sure the theme of Miami-Dade County was prominent and create something worthy of wearing for this event as well as for any occasion — a design that would represent the county with integrity by showcasing order and elegance in a fashionable way.”

Soto is a graphic design artist at New World School of the Arts, who will receive his BFA degree this year. As a graphic artist, his artwork is functional for user consumption and the aesthetics of most of his work is minimal and elegant. Craftsmanship is equally important to him as he emphasizes quality of design on artwork created by hand, as well as on digital and printed media. His overall goal is to create artwork that is not only meaningful, but also useful to the end user.

More information available by calling the NWSA Visual Arts division at 305-237-3620 or at

New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.

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