June 18, 2001 – Moby and Justin "Dewey" Francke, both graduates of San Francisco's Academy of Art College, distinguished themselves in artistic fields recently on opposite sides of the globe. But it was just a couple more milestones in the lives of these creative brothers who grew up on St. Thomas.
On May 18, Moby Francke received a $3,000 award from the Starr Foundation at the New York Society of Illustrators annual student competition for his oil painting illustration. He received a similar award from the society last year.
Eight days later, Dewey Francke received the National Product Design Award in Taipei, Taiwan, for his design of a disk array, a computer component.
They are the sons of Rosemarie Francke, a longtime St. Thomas artist known for her tropical floral paintings. Now a resident of Ormond Beach, Fla., she attended the gala event in New York where Moby received his award.
Also among those present were former St. Thomas residents Frank and Sonja Peterson, who now live in Massachusetts, where she is the dean of the University of Massachusetts School of Nursing and he is chair of the Bristol County Estate Planning Board; and Gita Roy, of St. Croix and St. Thomas, a University of the Virgin Islands graduate who recently received a master's degree in sociology at Fordham University.
Moby, who graduated this year from the Academy of Art College, also has received recognition for his artwork in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he currently works for Lucas Productions. On St. Thomas, he attended Sibilly, All Saints and Sts. Peter and Paul Schools. He taught watersports at Caribbean Boardsailing for many years before moving to San Francisco.
Dewey's award-winning design topped 140 international entries in the Taiwan competition. The ceremony was attended by major product designers from throughout the world.
Dewey, who attended All Saints School and UVI on St. Thomas, was attracted to product design at an early age. He purchased his first kit car, a Frazier Nash, and assembled it by the time he was old enough to drive. He was frequently to be seen in the driveway of the family home on Skyline Drive, tearing cars apart and re-assembling them.
His project of cutting the hard-top off a Fiat X19 and refashioning the rear for a radical look made the cover of a Fiat owners' magazine. That was when he decided to study product design in earnest. He enrolled at the Academy of Art College, where he studied industrial design and graduated last year with honors.
He now lives with his wife, Angie, a fellow product designer, in Taipei, where he works at I+U Design.


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