When a pandemic forced their final semester into a remote learning environment, Georgian Court University graphic design and multimedia graduating seniors and Jinsook Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the graphic design and multimedia program, stepped up to the challenge, creating a virtual exhibition for their work.
Enter the GCU Graphic Design & Multimedia Senior Show 2020, where seniors Heather Arbachesky, Sean Eldridge, Michael Ivanko, Ariana Mexquititila, Rebecca Paneque, Alexandra Roman, and Samantha Widmer each present seven pieces. Each artist has prepared a theme project that explores a particular theme in three different channels (2D, 3D, 4D, or IxD—interaction design), as well as four revisited projects from past classes.
“The show used to be an offline event; we invited people and shared our work in the M. Christina Geis Art Gallery or the International Collaboration Center,” says Dr. Kim. “This year, we converted the work from print to digital, or from tangible to virtual, to host the show online.”
Rebecca Paneque was inspired by the issue of mental health awareness for her theme project and produced a book cover and design for a book called Dealing With Your Demons to show readers—in a friendly way—that they should not be afraid to talk about mental health issues.
“[The book] is meant to help those with mental health struggles feel secure and reassure [them] that it is okay to feel the way that they do. It also teaches them some positive coping mechanisms to prevent them from hurting themselves and others, Rebecca explains. “The book is presented in a way that is digestible to the reader as well as enjoyable. It is made to be a good experience and for them to feel relaxed and calm by viewing these patterns with the words along with them.”
When creating his theme project, graphic designer and 3-D modeler Sean Eldridge looked to re-create a scene from the 2007 film Hot Fuzz, in which a skilled London police officer is transferred to a small town with a dark secret. Sean notes that the director, Edgar Wright, is one of his favorites.
“‘Move to Sandford’ was [a] great project to challenge myself and hone my skills as a 3D artist,” says Sean. “This project touches on nearly everything I have learned over the course of my time at Georgian Court University, from 3D modeling, to video editing, and even some graphic design. The mundane nature of the scene, paired with the editing style of Edgar Wright, makes for an interesting contrast and is further emphasized through the use of animation.”
The senior show is the graphic design and multimedia seniors’ capstone project, so the digital show allowed the students to creatively complete their major and showcase their work to an even larger audience than usual.
“It was especially fun to compare each student’s (now designer’s) unique style to the various design problems,” adds Dr. Kim. “The showcase unpacked each junior designer’s unique talent, diverse themes, topics, media, dimensions, and creativity.”