‘Are We There Yet?’ graphic design awards exhibits senior talent

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 5:43 PM
‘Are We There Yet?’ graphic design awards exhibits senior talent by Rick Chernicky
Photo: Rick Chernicky

Edinboro University seniors showcased their projects in the 10th annual Senior Graphic and Interactive Design Exhibition Awards Reception on April 11. The ceremony was held on the second floor of Doucette Hall where guest juror Mitch Goldstein, an art and design professor at RIT, congratulated the artists on their work. 

Platforms raised above the floor held original pieces aiming to demonstrate the relevance for graphic design through marketing techniques used in the workforce. Smiles ran high as the table of snacks and refreshments began to dwindle, while the arena of art resembled the atmosphere of a one-time-sale at an independently owned boutique. 

As observers circled their way around the second floor, Goldstein invited students, parents and friends to gather around the work submitted by the seniors. He then proceeded to award the recipients as they walked to the professor and thanked him for the honorary mention. As the show came to an end, Goldstein excitedly congratulated everyone once more.

“So again everybody, there was nothing bad here. The work was really good. You guys should feel really good about yourselves. If I was hiring, I would hire you all, but we have a very small studio,” said Goldstein as people giggled.

“This has definitely been a super crazy last week,” said Quinn Thompson, a senior at Edinboro. 

“Our professor was out sick so Kevin Motko took the lead on the senior design show, and he basically designed the event and the posters for the event. He came up with the idea to paint the walls [which reflects] the whole idea that 10,000 hours are needed to be a master of anything.”

This rule was coined by Malcolm Gladwell, a journalist for The New Yorker, and his principle holds that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” is essential to becoming an expert in any field. 

When asked how many hours the senior put into his profession, Thompson said, “I honestly couldn’t put a number to it, but I know that this semester has been the most filled, time-wise.”

After the ceremony, Mitch Goldstein held a lecture in room 119 of Doucette where he discussed ideas of unpredictability and the importance of generating art without a plan. 

“I think it’s really important to acknowledge that you are not in a vacuum; none of you are in a vacuum. You live in the world and everything you do, and everything you eat, and everything you go to, and everything you read influences your work,” explained Goldstein.

As he discussed the systems and frameworks aspect of his PowerPoint in the darkness of room 119, he emphasized how he was interested in letting his work emerge out of the process of not knowing what it is before it’s done.

“Physical stuff makes our work very personal,” said Goldstein, while providing examples of his work that incorporated construction paper and strategic lighting. 

Some of the examples provided dealt with magazine and book covers, along with how graphic design correlated to storytelling. In one example, Goldstein led students through the process in which he helped create the cover of a book called “The Woman Who Read Too Much.” During his example, students were able to gain a better understanding of unpredictability and how it benefited their profession.

After his presentation, Goldstein addressed everyone with some final words of wisdom, while noting the significance of just “starting at the start.”

“I think it’s so obvious that you don’t even think about it...so much graphic design starts at the end. Sometimes you think, ‘Oh my God, is that font going to be Futura? No. No we’re not there yet. Let’s start at the beginning.’ All of our work starts at the start and that is kind of why the work gets to where it is.”

Rick Chernicky can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com. 

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