By Shane Barnes and Amy Wells
20/09: Graphic design seniors prepare for the real world
Mark Westbrook has been preparing for this for over a year. He's gone through several ideas, compiled several drafts and constructed pillars of spam mail. After countless hours of intense research and even more intense design, Westbrook and his fellow graduating School of Art graphic design majors will be exhibiting their final projects as a part of the Graphic Design BFA Exhibition titled 20/09.
The undergraduate exhibition, which will be in the Ohio University Art Gallery through May 23, gives the 20 undergraduate students their first formal show, and the first chance to prominently display what they can achieve outside of the classroom. The process is long and involved, with a proposal due at the end of the student's junior year, several revisions, even more research and then construction. All of the students must pick a fairly specific topic that usually coincides with what they do after graduation.
"I'm interested in the Truth campaign, things like that, so I'm doing a branding type project, focusing on junk mail, just trying to show the sheer amount of it that Americans receive daily," Westbrook said. Projects others have chosen to do include comic book-style pieces, other branding projects, typography and new media.
Each year the students have their work evaluated by an outside professional who later decides the winner of the prestigious Charles Logan Smith Excellence in Design Award. This year, Deborah Cavanagh, a 1979 Ohio University alumna and current associate publisher in the creative services department of Vogue, will be that judge. Cavanagh will view the pieces as they are displayed, taking down critiques. After the top five students have been selected, they'll be interviewed with the winner announced at the Graphic Design Honors Banquet. Cavanagh also will present a lecture offering guidance and advice to students sitting where she was 30 years ago.
"It's a real confidence booster to know someone who started in my position made it to places that Deborah has," Westbrook said. "I'm interested to see what she had to go through to make it from Athens to Vogue."
In her position at Vogue, Cavanagh oversees the magazine's in-house creative agency, as well as integrated marketing, promotion and events, and even has been instrumental in starting Vogue.tv, an entertainment Web site that allows viewers to shop for the products seen in television shows.
The lecture, titled "Heart. Mind. Heels. Fashioning a Career at Vogue," is at 7 p.m. today in Walter Hall 145 and is free and open to the public.
The Ohio University Art Gallery, located in Seigfred Hall 536, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free.
School of Dance celebrates spring
Featuring six original work by faculty, staff and students, the School of Dance presents its annual Spring Dance Concert at 8 p.m. May 20, 21, 28 and 29 at the Shirley Wimmer Dance Theatre in Putnam Hall.
Junior Kelly Skala's piece "Seeing that Sound" was inspired by American Sign Language (ASL) and provides a peek into the beautiful world of silence. Partially funded by the College of Fine Arts Dean's Undergraduate Creative Research Award, Skala was able to study ASL at Gallaudet University, a school known for being the first university established for deaf and hard of hearing students. Performed and rehearsed in complete silence, Skala's dancers had to learn ASL in order to communicate and work together.
"Please Don't Feed the Animals," choreographed by junior Anna Stewart, delineates the social relationships and behaviors of non-human primates. For inspiration, Steward observed primates at the Columbus Zoo and the studied the behavioral ecology of apes. Her work abstractly depicts the complexity of social relationships and intelligence of such apes as the bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas.
In addition to the original works, dances by celebrated choreographers Jean Erdman and Alwin Nikolais have been reconstructed for this concert.
"These two works are as divergent as two dances can be, providing a stylistic and historical counterpoint to the faculty and student works on the program," said Mickie Geller, professor of dance.
In Nikolais' "Noumenon" the dancers are encased in fabric that conceals their human features and transforms them into abstract, moving sculpture. Tito del Saz, artistic director of the Murray Louis and Alwin Nikolais Dance Company, restaged the piece for the School of Dance.
Erdman's "Suite of Three" presents three solos, "Passage," "Creature on a Journey" and "Hammadryad," that evoke an idea or image such as spiritual flight, a journey and the spirit that belongs to a tree. Nancy Allison, a 2002 alumna of the School of Dance, staged the piece.
General admission is $8. OHIO students with a valid ID receive free admission through Arts for Ohio.
Be sure to catch these other arts events:
- The School of Theater wraps up its last main stage production of the year, "The Tempest," at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at the Elizabeth Evans Baker Theater in Kantner Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for seniors and non-OHIO students and free for all Ohio University students with a valid ID.
- The School of Music presents a variety of ensembles including the Graudaute String Quartet, University Symphony Orchestra with combined choirs, New Music Ensemble and Jazz Ensembles. Check out the Arts for Ohio calendar for more information. Visit www.finearts.ohio.edu/artsforohio/ for more information.