School of Art

The University of Arizona Alumni Association has named John Meyer (BFA ’82, Studio Art) the College of Fine Arts’ 2023 Alumnus of the Year.

Meyer is an award-winning creative director, marketer, strategist, and image maker who has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona School of Art, his alma mater. 

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John F. Meyer
John F. Meyer

“I’m beyond thrilled to receive such a distinguished honor from my favorite school,” said Meyer.

“The School of Art created a more focused foundation that helped bring out my talents to make myself more marketable. The U of A in general increased my access to job opportunities and earning potential. It also encouraged creativity and independent thought – while exposing me to other cultures and backgrounds.”

Meyer is the chief creative officer of Absolutmeyer, a firm he founded in Scottsdale in 2015. Before opening his own firm, he worked for some of the world’s leading advertising agencies for clients like Apple, Taco Bell, Levi’s, Chevron, Pom Wonderful, TD Ameritrade, Virgin and Walgreens.

“We are so pleased to honor John Meyer with this award,” said Dean Andy Schulz. “We strive to prepare our students for success in the real world. John has certainly succeeded at the highest levels. He is a perfect example of a creative problem solver. And we will always be grateful for his help as an alumnus with the art students who want to follow in his footsteps.”

Meyer appeared on an episode of AMC’s reality series “The Pitch,” regaling viewers with his experiences working with some of the world’s leading advertising agencies. Drawing upon those experiences, in 2017, Meyer returned to the School of Art as an adjunct instructor for a capstone illustration and design course. The class focused on professional portfolios, branded promotional materials, self-promotion, ethical guidelines, and sensitivity to financial issues.

In addition, Meyer has helped art students land internships with his firm and others nationwide. He has judged the school’s undergraduate exhibitions and worked with students in the Letterpress & Book Arts Lab in designing a series of greeting cards with a Southwestern emphasis.

“Here at the School of Art, we tell our students to “focus their passion” and effect meaningful change in today’s world,” said Colin Blakely, school director. “John Meyer has found his creative passion, and he’s helping the next generation of artists nurture innovation and challenge modern society. Giving him an Alumni of the Year Award not only honors his accomplishments, but also our mission as a school.”

He has been recognized by The One Show, Ad Critic, Print Design, Communication Arts, The Webby’s and The Clios. His work has been featured in Communication ArtsShootAd AgeAdweekBrandweekThe New York Times and Print Magazine. In addition to being a judge and speaker for national and international award shows, John has volunteered his creative support for the Epilepsy Foundation and Prostate Cancer Research Institute.

College of Fine Arts
Alumni of the Year Winners

2022-23 … John F. Meyer ‘82
2020-21 … Lindsay Utz ’03 | video
2019 … Brad Slater ‘96 | video
2018 … Guy Moon | video
2017 … Sue Scott | video
2015 … Craig Huston | video
2014 … Jeffrey Haskell ’64 | video
2013 … Elizabeth Murphy Bruns ’67 | video
2012 … Henry E. Plimack
2011 … Peter D. Murrieta ‘88
2010 … Joan L. Ashcraft

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