EICHOLD GALLERY SPRING HILL COLLEGE
OCT. 1 â€“ NOV. 3 2018
The NOW show is a collection of works by 27 alumni from the first five classes of Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in graphic design program. All work in the show is in square format and seeks to represent WHERE WE ARE NOW
This is the 4th graphic design alumni show following in the footsteps of Leslie Tane’s TADA show, MA (2014), Troy Patterson’s ROADTRIP show, PA (2016) and Darlene Town’s CROSSROADS show, MO (2017) Curated by Rachael Hatley, the NOW show was on display in the Eichold Gallery at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama from October 1 to November 3, 2018
BRIAN BEDNARSKI I am a designer and a maker. Professionally, I am the Director of Product Design at Major League Baseball Advanced Media and Adjunct Design Lecturer at New York City College of Technology. I am a multifaceted maker with an extensive range of design discipline experience, but I truly enjoy and have the most expertise and experience with sports branding. I’ve also had the opportunity to integrate both 2D and 3D design as a Lead Experiential Designer, illustrating and designing mobile marketing and interactive user experiences, shaping national branding campaigns for companies like McDonald’s, Keurig, Dunkin’ Donuts, and PUMA. In October of 2013, I earned an MFA in Graphic Design from the Vermont College of Fine Arts with a focus on the personal development of a design process. I based my work on communicating through participatory design. www.brianbednarski.com
INCOMPLETELY WHOLE Digital Print
Incompletely Whole exposes two conflicting characteristics that I possess, taking on way too many projects and requiring closure in my process. It is a constant challenge for me to accept that I can’t always have both with a final product that meets my personal standards. Highly influenced by Martin & Morgan, I use witticism to keep things in perspective. There’s a slim to zero chance that I’ll stop aiming for what I consider perfection, but I am starting to realize that I may need to accept the fact that it is most likely impossible.
Hand dyed cotton, thread, and beads Resilience is the ability to bounce back after adversity. For me, it required resilience to recover from a devastating accident that left me unable to walk on my own for nearly two years. The bones in my right leg were shattered, the knee broken. Screws and rods were used to rebuild the leg. I endured multiple surgeries and excruciating pain. I spent many days in hospital beds, with too many hours alone and unable to do much of anything. Although I lost control over my body and my life, I knew things would work out. My determination to walk again kept me going. Although the pain was unbearable, I worked hard not to take it out on anyone. I’m still grateful for many things: the staff supporting me in the hospital, my husband, family, friends, and the joy of not losing my leg. And where am I now? After recovering and learning to walk again, I took the next step forward in life. I accepted my husband’s challenge to move to Italy, and a personal challenge to focus my efforts solely on my art practice. I chose to express the concept of resilience through the practice of Shibori, the art of fabric dyeing that uses various techniques to resist dye in order to create designs in fabric. I used multiple lines of stitching throughout this project, including on the cloth prior to the initial phases of dyeing, again before overdyeing, and then sewing these pieces of dyed cloth to dyed pieces of stitched cloth. It is a challenging and time-consuming process, much like my recovery. Each stitch represents hours spent in surgeries, in hospitals, in rehabilitation, all while holding on to hope. They are expressions of my loneliness and despair during that time—and my capacity to hold on to empathy. The process symbolizes every hour of pain I endured––and still endure to this day—while staying determined to go on. Shibori is the ideal representation because it bears the element of surprise and a certain lack of control (like my situation) that leads to unexpected (and often positive) results. There is an important relationship between my experience and the art of Shibori in the shared elements of accidents, chance occurrences, and the achievement of a desired outcome.
KATHLEEN CASE Kathleen is a seasoned graphic designer with 20 years of experience. She left a successful but unfulfilled career in banking to return to school and become a graphic artist. Her experience in print design includes work with pharmaceutical and non-profit organizations, as well as magazine and catalog design. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Kathleen is currently living in Vicenza, Italy focusing on her art practice of painting, textile design, and fabric dyeing.
FARAH R. DOYLE Farah is a resident of Wilder, VT, holds a BFA from Colby-Sawyer College from New London, NH, and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, both in graphic design. She was born in Karachi, Pakistan and lived there until she was thirteen years old. As a first generation immigrant she had to work extremely hard to be where she is today. Her work explores cultural identity through visual design. Her work, she says, “is a demonstration of reflective discovery and cultural connection through making.” www.frddesign.com
REDIRECTION Acrylic glass
(Purple & Yellow)
When I first moved to the United States, design had a much functional purpose for me. I relied on design to communicate and express myself. However, after all these years it has still remained a huge part of who I am. My personal design work (www.frddesign.com) focuses on recontextualizing personal memories into new visual forms. My process is a demonstration of reflective self-discovery and cultural connection through making. Through this work, I developed my voice as a designer and achieved a deeper understanding of my dual cultural heritage. My recent work evolves around my mother’s journey and her life experiences.
RECTO/VERSO, A NON-LINEAR PAUSE
Sculptural book(s): assemblage, paper, straight pins, and board One flows on the breadth of continuum. Each square reinterprets itself in form based on past iterations — connected, yet inextricably intertwined. The ever-present potential to entangle, to cast shadows of one’s ephemeral existence — an ode to a past, a fragile presence — a visual epode to one’s song without words…
WMT, 3/4 REDUX
Mixed media/assemblage clay, nails, masonry board, fire & egg cartons Absence/presence, a symmetry of times gone by… the physical, the buried, the unspoken — all penetrate as ‘now’ in or cellular selves — past, present and future intertwine
SONDRA GRAFF Sondra came to design circuitously through the world of dance with an unanticipated stop at Parsons School of Design. She subsequently received her MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is honored to be a part of this stellar community of artist/ thinkers/makers. Her work explores the juxtaposition of the absurd combined with chance, the distressed and the intangible. Sondra’s scope moves from micro, creating forms with found objects and the influence of time, to macro, developing larger scale interdisciplinary endeavors. Her work in performance, pedagogy and design have melded into years of creative and collaborative projects. Sondra is an Adjunct Associate Professor teaching at FIT in New York City and is also a faculty member of the Artist Immersion Program (extending pedagogical interaction to locations around the globe). When she is not designing, collaborating, or teaching, she can be found in the Gunks, at times, dangling from a rope. www.traversingwithonions.com
KATE GRAY Kate is an award-winning professional fine artist and graphic designer. Currently, Gray is a graphic designer at Independent Stave Company in Columbia, Missouri. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Stephens College. She received her BFA in Advertising Art and a minor in Marketing from the University of North Texas and has an MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Gray has more than 30 years of professional experience in all areas of the education, communication, and design fields. Her experience includes: owning her own awardwinning design firm, Add Design; designing for Intel Corporation; and managing a creative team as the assistant director of publications at the University of Missouri. www.kategraydesignart.com
Acrylic on canvas “Hey there, what are you doing now?” A common question. Normally one that is easy to answer. But not this time. When that question was asked related to my creative work for this show, I had no clue how to answer. Stumped. I pondered this perplexing question, “What and why in the world am I creating - NOW?” Just in the past few months, my life has changed drastically. NOW – I am on a new career path that is allowing me to write a new story for my life. Does changing professions require my art to change too? Does the work I am making need to better reflect who I am and what I am doing – NOW?” As I began to dive into the creative process of answering these questions – I realize that everything I am, strive, hope and long for is related to that word - NOW. Being present and aware has brought me to this magnificent moment. The art of being aware is allowing me to see big picture goals as well as small details—like the ball of the cheap pen in my hand that moves across an innocent unlined sheet of paper without a care while writing this statement. Currently, my work is nothing more than a creative process of awareness, trusting the next steps (even if I don’t know what they are), a love of the unknown, passionate pursuit of marrying art and design, and just having fun. To NOW
FOR SEAMUS HEANEY
Found ephemera, beeswax/resin, and poetry This piece was inspired from a recent trip to Ireland in June 2018 to see family, to walk the wild landscape of the Burren, and to study the works of the late Irish poets, John O’Donohue (1956-2008) and Seamus Heaney (1939- 2013). Infusing the collected imagery and snippets of poetry in beeswax and tree resin allows me to explore and preserve the ideas of nostalgia, story, time and place within my work.
MARY HANRAHAN Mary has been a graphic designer and a project manager in the field of Design and Communications for over 25 years. She received her BFA from the University of New Mexico in printmaking and photography, and trained at UNM Tamarind Institute of Lithography as a technical assistant collaborating with artists. Mary’s love of repurposing found ephemera, design, and typography led her to pursue her Masters in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts earning her MFA in 2013. In the summer of 2019, she will be doing an artist residency for a month at the Burren College of Fine Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland. www.makement.com
RACHAEL HATLEY Rachael is a designer and educator originally from Derby, England. She has designed work for the petroleum, publishing, mens apparel, and manufacturing industries both here in the US and in England. She maintains a steady freelance design business addressing both local and national clients branding needs. She is the founder and creator of The Litter Letter Project, an award winning 3D typographic community-driven initiative designed to address the issue of litter. What began in Louisiana in 2012 as her MFA thesis while attending Vermont College of Fine Arts, has grown exponentially since by working with communities across eleven states to develop many large scale Litter Letter public for public events. The project has now crossed continents with Litter Letters created internationally in cities in Australia, the Philippines, and England. Rachael is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama where she teaches typography, branding and digital design to undergraduate students. Rachael is also the faculty advisor for Spring Hill College AIGA student group. www.thelitterletterproject.com
Digital print/fabric on canvas When I reflect on where I am right now the word that comes to the forefront is thankful. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, a designer, a colleague, an advisor and a friend. On a daily basis others ask for my opinion, advice and help. This piece seeks to share those daily questions I am often asked that not only make me feel like I contribute in some way, but also that I am needed. Feeling needed is a gift and for that I am truly thankful.
Mixed media, acrylic, and paper Moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico has created new challenges and vulnerabilities for me. I have had to let go of many of the preconceived ideas about who I am and what I do. As I connect with my new environment, I am aware of how the structures around me play an important part of belonging and engagement. The view of the Sandia Mountains, just outside my window, is an example of one of these structures. The desert has its own beauty, much different from where I lived before. This grand mountain, that often turns pink at sunset, is a source of visual beauty, engagement and activity. It connects people to one another, to themselves, and to the earth. There are hiking and bike trails, and a tram that lifts those who dare to the top of the mountain at 10,000 feet above sea level. As a baker, I’ve made a connection at the micro level. I observe patterns that the gluten fibers make as they naturally create cohesion and allow bread to hold its form. Each time I bake bread, I am mindful of the living process. I am amazed at how the simple ingredients of flour, water, yeast and salt can create such a result. The process of baking bread in itself grounds me in the moment. I am a participant.
FROSSENE KING Frossene received her BFA in printmaking from Oregon State University, and her MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Art. While at VCFA, Frossene studied the dynamic relationship between order and chaos and how it relates to the creative process. After living in Oregon for over 25 years, Frossene and her husband recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The move allowed the opportunity to explore new creative avenues. Frossene chose culinary school, which facilitated immersion into a community, and the chance to work professionally in a new field. Remembering the stories of her grandparent’s confectionery, the idea of creating beautiful food and providing hospitality like her grandparents was irresistible. Frossene realized that the fresh Greek flavors used in her family’s heritage worked well with southwest spices. Frossene took this idea and started her own company called Kalamata 505. Utilizing the theme of Greek Fusion, the company’s name is derived from the Kalamata olive, a symbol of Greece, and 505, the area code for Albuquerque. Currently, Frossene makes hundreds of loaves of bread, and other pastries, each month for retail and restaurant wholesale. The company’s signature product is Kalamata Olive and Green Chile bread. www.frosseneking.com
CHRISTINE LHOWE Christine is a designer and educator with a decade of experience in print and web design. She is Assistant Professor of Art & Design at Seton Hall University where she teaches courses on typography, introductory graphic design, and advanced graphic design. She is also Art Director at Ridge Marketing & Design in Basking Ridge, NJ. Christine’s work explores the intersection of functionality and emotion, aiming to create experiences that better connect people together and improve lives. Christine holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA from Seton Hall University in Graphic, Interactive, and Advertising Design Art. www.christinelhowe.com
THE PAST NOW Digital Print
When reflecting on NOW, I catch myself thinking of the past. While it’s the very recent past, it’s still the past. Ironic. What is NOW when every second of NOW gets shifted to the past as the clock ticks? The Past NOW is a poster that documents May through July 2018— the months that have most recently led to my NOW. The colors are selections from daily photos taken, each serving as simplified archives of the day. The type and photos are recordings and thoughts from the timeframe. My NOW is about appreciation, and The Past NOW is what helps me understand it best.
US/MEXICO BORDER 1 / US/MEXICO BORDER 2 Wood panels
I’m trying to understand how divisions into groups happen, by creating two different pieces that represent a fake dichotomy or polar opposites, and then trying to connect them, I’m reflecting on the idea of building bridges, and finding commonalities between these two groups.
ALEX MOYA Alex is an artist, designer and educator living in Salt Lake City, UT. He moved from Mexico, where he grew up, at the age of 15, and since then he’s been trying to find a way to better connect to people, find meaning, and build community.
DIANE MYERS Diane is a graphic designer and a full-time Associate Professor at Andrews University located in southwest Michigan. Before teaching at Andrews she worked in Toronto, Ontario as an Art Director for a media and publishing company. In her 20+ years she won many awards, specifically in magazine design, and has always enjoyed working with multiple page products and “playing with type” for a living. Letterforms have always fascinated Diane, even in her elementary school years, where she would practice writing in different styles and enjoyed perfecting a variety of signatures, which she only used for fun and artistic purposes. Handwriting was her favorite class in elementary school and her report cards always commented on how neat and tidy her handwriting was. She is still fascinated with handwriting and the variety of styles one can create even with very simple instruments. Since graduating from VCFA, Diane enjoys spending time away from her computer and playing with typography as an abstract form. She’s interested in exploring how letters can be used not just for reading, but also as a visual element. She’s curious about the energy and outcomes using a variety of materials and gestures to create energetic and abstract calligraphic forms.
LETTER TO BEA Pen
“Letters act as practical and useful signs, but also as pure and inner melody.” —Wassily Kandinsky On June 5, 2018 Kate Spade’s life ended. I didn’t know her personally, or have any of her very popular handbags, but the news was tragic. As the events of her death unfolded, my heart immediately sank when I heard about her surviving daughter, Frances Beatrix. Kate called her “Bea” and she was only 13 years old. Her mom left her a note. According to the news reports, this is what it said: “Bea, I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!” My heart sank once again. I also lost my mom around the same age. Totally different circumstances—but a loss of a mom is a loss of mom, no matter how. As a motherless daughter, I felt instantly connected to Bea. My mind flashed back to 1982, when I was just 12 years old and got the news that my mom had passed away. That never leaves you—the moment you hear that your life is forever changed. I enjoy working with letters. I’m fascinated by the way overlapping letters can create endless possibilities and interesting new forms. The positive and negative areas take on new meaning as their original shapes disappear. For some reason the abstract results soothe me. I like the fact that I can write whatever I want—my honest thoughts, feelings and emotions—but the work is unreadable. The letters are no longer practical or useful for reading. That is comforting to me. This work is my letter to Bea.
DECOLONIZING DESIGN THROUGH YORÙBÁ NARRATIVE Tyvek prints
Earlier in the history of Yorùbá people, stories were passed on by word of mouth through poetry and song. It was a simpler time. People used what they had to tell their stories—words. They had time to tell stories as they worked on the farm, did their chores, or went on hunting expeditions. In traditional Yorùbá settings where families lived in close proximity to one another or within compounds, they were likely to have had common experiences together. During their interactions, stories were told and retold. It had a curatorial and editorial effect on stories that were edited, embellished, and passed on. Today, Yorùbá families are scattered around the world. The opportunities to learn or retell the stories that were once passed down from one generation to another are slowly disappearing. Everyone is busy. Time is limited because of the demands of work and family life. The lack of cohesion among family members is getting worse because, each person has access to a plethora of electronic entertainment options on smartphones and personal hand held devices. My journey at the moment, is to gather the stories of Yorùbá people in words and images, to remind us of who we are and introduce elements of the culture into my work. Decolonizing design is not complicated. It is taking ownership and telling old stories with new tools, from the artist’s perspective, and I encourage everyone to do so and make the visual world a richer place.
’SEGUN OLUDE ‘Segun runs a collaborative graphic design studio and teaches graphic design. His professional portfolio includes 10 year dossier of teaching graphic design at the University of Manitoba, while also producing various editorial and magazine design, corporate identities, web design, commemorative postage stamps for Canada Post, local and international event branding, including the event branding and publicity materials for TEDxWinnipeg. ‘Segun is involved in various professional and community organisations in Canada. He participates annually in community development missions with his wife. ‘Segun also teaches professional development courses each year in Canada and Nigeria. An engaging presenter, he is often called up to present or speak about topics ranging from human rights, immigration, integration, and multiculturalism, through Historica Canada and Passages Canada. www.segunolude.com
FAYE OSTERGARD Faye lived in a Canadian prairie city until she was 36 (Edmonton, AB) where she and her mom enjoyed going to the ballet, theatre, and opera together. They also traveled to Great Britain and Europe where Faye developed an appreciation for history, architecture, and calligraphy. Faye began practicing and studying calligraphic lettering in high school. In University, Faye would spend hours in the old book section drooling at the artistry of the letters and observing the transition of the forms and styles throughout history. Unbeknownst to her, she was studying typography! Years later, when Faye landed her first job as a graphics coordinator at a pulp mill, she moved to a lakeside village. After five years, Faye knew design was her career path and enrolled in Graphic Arts at Vancouver Island University (VIU). This fall, Faye returned to VIU as an instructor! Lakeside living helped Faye discover a connection with nature. Now she and her husband, Colin, live on a small farm in Ladysmith, BC, with their horses and chickens. Faye values the harmony and balance a connection with nature brings to a busy life full of digital technology. In her limited spare time, you’ll find Faye in her workshop either quilting or making upcycled book sculptures. www.coolmccooledesign.ca
Upcyled encyclopedias (1975/77) and dictionary (1945), red wine, and embossing thread Ipsi Fieri is a Latin phrase I stumbled across when I was doing research on Celtic art and manuscripts for my Master’s Thesis. The phrase morphed into my mantra — meaningful words I subtly infused into my altered books to keep me moving forward. After all, motivation can be elusive in the face of trepidation and self doubt when you compare yourself to your peers. A couple of years later, I began my career as an instructor. Quickly I learned that many students are inhibited by fears. In my role as mentor, I always encourage students, regardless of their fears, to draw on what inspires them and to let the joy of their craft bolster them. After all, how do you achieve success without hard work, persistence, love of what you do, and the courage to take a risk? And what kind of mentor am I if I don’t tackle my own fears and take a risk? So here it is…Ipsi Fieri! “Self, you can do this!” This sculpture reflects how much the process of research inspires me. I enjoy handling a physical book—infusing my senses with the smell of the ink, the feel of smooth glossy paper or rough textured deckle edges, and the movement of flipping to the next page. Yet, the modern pace of life and the extent of information available on the web has transformed how I access information. Despite the change to researching digitally, it amazes me when I reflect on the idea that technological conventions, like a password, draw on an everyday item, a key, invented almost six thousand years ago. Even the most rudimentary key has the power to unlock something within! For me, it is the ‘secret phrase’ Ipsi Fieri that I now share openly with you.
Letterpress/print/canvas There has been a new shift of focus in Troy Patterson’s work to feel connected to more tactile kinds of production in his work. He is investigating his collection of old magazines, books, discarded ephemera, and a stock pile of cast-off prints from his letterpress studio. Using this vast collection, Patterson is cutting and pasting a distinctive and contemporary style of collage and mixed media art as a way to release objects, ideas, and design back into the world. The intent is to bring back collective memories of nostalgic days gone by. This work is part of a larger body of work called Out of Chaos. It is the combination of two parts. One is the investigation of his collection of wood type, metal type, and cuts along with industrial parts. The second is the exploration of letterpress printing that goes beyond the limitations of the traditional .918” tolerances of letterpress. To do this, Patterson built a printing press using a scissors jack, typically used to lift cars. This nonstandard letterpress device permitted him to explore new areas of printing with materials that will not fit into conventional letterpress systems. In his collection of oddities is car lettering and found industrial parts. He developed a method of printing with car lettering he calls Autotype. Autotype is a significant character set, salvaged lettering from abandoned automobiles. When combined with traditional letterpress elements, the compositions are noisy and naturally distressed. The prints consist of irregularities and disruptions amplified by the adhesives and imperfections on the industrial found parts. This new visual language is transposed into prints and creating the ethos of contemporary design style.
TROY PATTERSON Troy is a graphic designer, design educator, letterpress practitioner, and collector of things. He received a BFA in Communication Design from Kutztown University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Patterson is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at York College of Pennsylvania. While working with young designers is his main focus these days, he continues to be deeply involved in his own personal practice at Catch and Release Press. There, he works on a range of projects, both commercial and personal, where he makes 21st century digitally based graphic design and experiments in letterpress processes. He lives and practices in York, PA. www.catchandreleasepress.com
CHRISTOPHER PREVITE Christopher is an artist, graphic designer, writer, photographer, and educator. He has enjoyed working creatively for over 25 years. In that time Christopher has created content and solutions in the areas of illustration, identity and branding, print and web design, photography, and event media. His current practice explores themes of loss, responsibility, and impermanence through digital storytelling and comics. Christopher strongly believes that art and design should be adaptable and nimble and the best solutions are platform agnostic. He is currently an Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH. www.christopherprevite.com
CONTRAFORTE Digital illustration
America’s famed Apollo Space Program ended abruptly. In 1972 two astronauts (a pilot and a scientist) walked the surface of the moon for the last time. While there, they conducted amazing experiments and, much to their surprise, discovered something wondrously delicious. Before returning to earth they said, “We leave as we came and God willing as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.” But they never did return, and in face left something very important behind. Fifteen years later, ten year old Alice Moon and her older brother Greg struggle to find little peace and hope for the family. Alice’s best friend Lucy Reeves says “All parents are aliens,” and who knows... she just may be right. Or maybe the answers lie back on Earth’s moon, where three forgotten travelers, Harry, Gene, and Ron have been waiting.
THE HAWK, FOX, & LION Mixed media on canvas
Where am I now [and what do I know]? I now know the full width of my wingspan. This means I can fearlessly leap into the unknown with faith that I will not fall—I will fly. I now know how to actively listen to and follow my heart. This means trusting that my heart will never lead me astray. It tells me when to run, and when to stay. I now know the strength and power of my voice. This means I can use it to roar, purr, or sit in stoic silence. The hawk, the fox, and the lion. These are my “spirit animals”. They symbolize my journey since graduating from VCFA in October of 2014. Prior to VCFA I was stuck, stagnant, settling for less. Many of my alumni are familiar with the jarring life changes I made during the program that allowed me to break free. This transformative time provided a new beginning in my exciting life journey. Since 2014 there have been a lot of new “times”. I have changed jobs five times. I have moved three times. I have been in romantic relationships three times. I have traveled abroad two times, including once solo. I have launched and discontinued side businesses two times. I have grown so fearless and fierce that I easily stand up in the face of disrespect, adversity, and injustices—and I’ve done so a lot of times! Even when I must do so through tear-soaked eyes, I make sure my voice is heard. I walk when I need to walk, sometimes I run. And I trust I’m always going in the right direction. Despite the many things in life outside of my control, I feel very in control of my own life—and that feeling, that feeling is everything. Which brings us to right here, right now. I created these pieces by recycling and transforming the pieces I created for my VCFA thesis exhibit, “& I AM”. They are fusible photo paper on canvas, cut and sewn together with mixed materials to symbolize each spirit animal in my journey.
VICTORIA PITT Victoria is a graphic designer, maker, and clever seamstress out of Emmaus, Pennsylvania. By day, she works professionally as a graphic designer and material specialist in the field of mold making and casting. By night, she meticulously cuts, measures, pins and stitches textiles together, while following her own patterns often drafted only in her head. “I have a love for crafts and a connection to using my hands. I think what most people misunderstand is how seriously I take it. Fine craftsmanship is both my passion and my practice. I value it when I see it and easily spot when it is lacking. It doesn’t matter what I’m making, what matters is how I’m making.” The process of approaching a craft with refined skill and design is easily the most notable theme in Victoria’s work. Rarely is she trying to make a statement or reflect the current political climate. Although she’s a self-described “highly-concerned feminist”, she feels like living her best life as boldly as she can, is a statement in and of itself. A secondary theme often found in her work is autobiographical. www.victoriapitt.net
WENDY BRIGGS POWELL Wendy was born in Greenwich, CT in 1966. She received her MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Art in 2015 and her BA in Psychology from Denison University in 1988. Briggs Powell has exhibited her work in the US and at Brick Lane Gallery in London, England. She is represented by Libby Silvia Artstyle in Wellesley, MA, Kristen Coates Gallery in Newport, RI, and is part of the Chairish Artist Collective. Her work has been reviewed in Stylebeat Blog, Home Glow Design Blog, Crane and Co. Blog, and the Upper Valley (NH) News. Briggs Powell lives and works in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. www.wendybriggspowell.com
STAND CLOSE TO THE BOW Hand-dyed paper, framed
I received my Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2015. It was there that I found the freedom to explore working with my hands while engaging with the fundamentals of design. My watermarks evolved as a reaction against the sterile environment of the computer screen and the expectations of perfection that arise when creating with today’s technology. I needed a more sensual process of working—one that connected my heart, head and hands, while also serving as a method for expressing my lived experience. In making watermarks, I submerge large sheets of paper into various sized and shaped containers of dyed water. The process flows organically as a conversation with both the materials and the elements of design (color, form, line, space, scale), where my hand is guiding and allowing but it’s the water that leaves the mark. The marks mirror for me an internal emotional state and allow me to reflect on how I am living my life. This imperfect and unpredictable process allows for surprises and is a practice in giving up control and working with the way things are.
Interactive touch and sound, conductive paint, and raspberry pi My experience at VCFA helped me to discover an intersection for my interest in technology and art. I’m finding new ways to create with technology, combining analog and digital mediums together. I have found that the addition of a technological component invites the user to interact with the pieces in a more tactile way.
RACHEL RAMSAY Rachel Ramsay is an educator, designer, entrepreneur and reluctant role model. She graduated from Utah State in Art and holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. In a desire to create opportunities for girls she developed the Girls Go Digital program. One of the main goals of the program is to expose girls to STEM subjects, specifically Technology and Computer Science, that they might not naturally choose to explore, due to gender norms or fear of the unknown. Girls ages 8 to 18 come to camps and learn about computer programming, design, robot programming, e-textiles, micro-controllers, soldering circuit boards and more. It is Rachel’s hope that she might be able to cause a “Positive Disruption” in the lives of the girls who attend. What started in 2013 as an experiment during her thesis research, has grown exponentially in the following years. Girls Go Digital fills a growing need for girls to choose STEM subjects as careers. Rachel is an Assistant Professor of Design at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. www.girlsgodigital.org
LISA RASMUSSEN Lisa is an illustrator, designer, artist, and educator. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Carnegie-Mellon University, an MS in Elementary Education from Russell Sage College, and an MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Lisa has been an artist for most of her life, learning at an early age from her mother who was also an artist and designer. She is a versatile maker and enjoys working in a variety of media both traditional and digital. Her first loves are painting and drawing. She is on the faculty at 4 different institutions of higher learning as an adjunct instructor. Lisa also teaches quite a few workshops throughout the year, most recently for Simply Bound Books at The Center for Contemporary Crafts in Pittsburgh and a 4-session life drawing workshop at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie-Mellon University and Painting workshops at Heritage Public Library in McDonald, PA. In addition to her teaching, Lisa also takes on commissions, freelance work, and keeps up her own studio. She can’t imagine doing anything else. www.rasmussenillustrationanddesign.com
Artist’s Book: book board, cardstock, decorative paper When I read the criteria for this exhibit, I started thinking about the square and how many different ways we use the idea of a square. It signifies so many different things. A square gives the viewer a feeling of stability. Some cultures consider the square spiritual. In ancient Greece, and again during the Renaissance, the use of the golden mean (of which the square is an integral part) was considered a way to “reach toward” the divine. Squares are part of human history. In the present as well as the past, beautiful and terrible things can, and have occurred in town squares. The square is a significant part of my own past. When I was in school learning to be a designer, many of the projects we were given were square in format. I spent countless hours drawing perfect (well...near perfect) squares and cubes. I teach as I learned; using the square. My intent with this piece is to show many different aspects of the square as I explore the question: “What is a book?”
Acrylic and embroidery floss on canvas Loran has recently volunteered to work with inmates at Hampshire County Jail. She has been thinking recently about prisons of all kinds: not only state-established incarceration and immigrant detention, but also the psychological and societal prisons we build for ourselves and one another. The work in this exhibit skims the surface of this topic and is drawing Loran into a deeper involvement and reflection on ways we can set ourselves and one another free.
LORAN SAITO Loran practices creativity and community living in Western Massachusetts. She is the Program Director at North Star: SelfDirected Learning for Teens, where she works with 13 - 19 year olds who choose to pursue their own individual educational paths, without school. www.lorandiehlsaito.net
CARLA SENECAL Carla is a design creative, educator, and exhibiting artist who currently lives in the central New York area. She is a Vermont College of Fine Arts alum, earning her MFA in Graphic Design in October 2014. www.carlasenecal.com
SELF PORTRAIT SERIES #1, #2, #3, #4 Mixed Media
Carla Senecal is a designer whose current creative work explores the merging of digital and traditional mediums and spaces. Our devices have become extensions of ourselves. Our stories are now ephemeral yet permanent, artificial yet believable, augmented yet diminished, personal yet exposed. Using various mixed media, found objects and digital platforms her series of self - portraits tell visual stories that invite the viewer to interact with the design on canvas as well as to engage with the story through interactive options of a digital nature.
I am a prolific maker and love handcrafting my work. I have to always be working on something with my hands and in my head to feel like I’m me. There is a constant conversation happening behind each piece that helps me decide the medium(s) to use to convey the message I want the viewer to see and experience. Sometimes my work is very well planned, while sometimes it is improvisational.
(Glass relief sculpture) is a glass relief sculpture that began as a digital composition of what is it means when something is OK, okay, k, a-ok...Nice and tidily created on the computer. But digital and paper does not reflect the differences in meaning and intent. To achieve the subtleness of the intent and meaning, I cast this piece in iridescent glass using hand-cut fiber blanket to bring forward and backward several different layers of OK.
(Letterpress print and embroidery) began as a letterpress exercise where my husband Dave and I created several different iterations of a Día de los Muertos skull using layers of letterpress type on handmade paper using our Vandercook Universal 1 press. This piece was one of the earliest iterations that I then handstitched additional details to complete the skull with a sense of intimacy and memory that is an integral part of the Day of the Dead celebration.
JULIE SITTLER Julie Sittler is a designer as well as a glass and mixed media artist. She is a member of DJKK Sculpture, whose public art installation is featured at the headquarters of Marshfield Clinic Health Systems in Marshfield, WI. Julie recently collaborated with book artist Caren Heft of Arcadian Press on La Bendición By Max Yela. In addition to having her work shown throughout the United States and South Korea, Julie has taught popular workshops in both letterpress and glass. She currently serves as the Marketing Specialist for the College of Fine Arts & Communication at the University of WisconsinStevens Point. www.juliesittler.com
DONALD SUTHARD Donald is an experiential graphic designer living in Amesbury MA. He received his BA in Graphic Design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and his MFA in Graphic Design from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is an associate at Arrowstreet Architecture and Design in Boston where he works on various wayfinding and placemaking projects as a member of the graphic design team. He has taught a variety of graphic design courses at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Fitchburg State University, Emmanuel College and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, and Clark University in Worcester, MA. www.donaldsuthard.com
Wood panels with collage and block printing ink When I began my journey at the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) I knew I would learn more about graphic design. I didnâ€™t realize at the time I would also learn more about myself. The program at VCFA is student centered, so I was encouraged to create work meaningful to me. Towards the end of the program I looked at my body of work and realized it all contained a 3D element to it, and all the work included the participation of the viewer in some way. This led me to the realization I am an experiential graphic designer. At VCFA we were also encouraged to study topics of interest to us, whether they directly related to graphic design or not. This allowed me to study (among other subjects) Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy. This is when I realized both my process and work are based in Taoist principles. I left VCFA a very different designer than when I started. I now work professionally as an experiential graphic designer and I continue to incorporate the Tao when creating work, in both my professional and private life. The 3D aspect of Present, along with the viewer participation, represents my current work. It also has a background in Taoism, both literally and figuratively, as the background texture is made up of passages of the Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu, the writing upon which Taoism is based.
Paper and Thread THEN: Making was most comfortable on a computer; “artist’ was not on my resume; designing was my job; life was predictable. NOW: I’m a high school graphics and photography teacher who’s shown work in several art shows. I’ve worked in watercolor for Chasm, which is the result of an art class I took after VCFA graduation. Making by hand continues to be challenging, but worthwhile. The painting is amorphous, abstract and it represents the tone and tenor of the last five years. The chasm, the slice through the work, illustrates the shocking health crisis I suffered in 2016, when I nearly died. After a month in the hospital I was able to recover from sepsis but my outlook on life has never been the same. There is a clear before and after, stitched together by family and strength.
LESLIE TANE Leslie received her MFA in Graphic Design from VCFA in October 2013. She is currently teaching Graphics and Photography at South Hadley High School in Western Massachusetts, where she lives with her two kids and three cats. In the past five years, Leslie has shown her artwork in several art shows, including: “Crossroads” Kansas City, MO 2017; “I Love You. I Hate You. Don’t Leave Me” Montpelier, VT 2017; “West Parish Garden Cemetery PASSAGES project” Andover, MA 2015; and “Motion-Emotion: Northampton Arts Council Biennial Juried Exhibition” Northampton, MA 2015.
TERRILL THOMAS Terrill is an artist, designer, and educator who is passionate about developing experiences that cultivate community and creativity through collaborative experiences. This can be seen in the FAM nights at La Sierra, where students, alumni, and friends come together to cook, share a meal, and celebrate their creative work. He firmly believes that hiking and playing outside is a way to nurture oneâ€™s spirituality, which in turn regenerates our creative soul. Outside of the classroom, Thomas enjoys learning with his students how to garden, design murals, and various renovation projects. Thomas is starting his 5th year as chair of the Art + Design Department at La Sierra University. Prior to his academic career, Thomas worked in the technology and entertainment fields of design, pioneering some of the early Flash animation work at Atomfilms.com during the dot com boom of the late nineties. His clients at the time included Microsoft, Warner Brothers, A&M Records, Swatch International, and KPMG. Thomas maintains an active design practice (t13media.com) providing design consultation for non-profit institutions, small businesses and entertainment clients through out the greater Los Angeles area. This active engagement in the business world of design ensures that his courses are based on real world design practices. Thomas teaches Web Development, Photography and Motion Graphics and Figure Drawing. He earned a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design, and an MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Thomas has a number of interactive games under development that are inspired by the parallels he sees daily between gardening and the creative processes found in graphic design.
ZINDAGI: LIFE Game Board
Zindagi: Life is a game that takes inspiration from a dark period in our family life where we suffered loss, month after month, for five months in a row. During that time, we started a garden to teach our young daughters (9 and 10 at the time) about life, where food comes from, and the beauty of working with nature to cultivate life. We tended the garden, and in turn the garden nurtured us, teaching us so many lessons along the way. We learned that you do not have to fear bees, and for that matter, even wasps. They were in fact partners with us in continuing the cycle of life. We learned the importance of water and sunshine, and the difference between heirloom plants and GMO produce. Zindagi is the Hindu word for â€œLifeâ€?, and comes from South India where my Dad is from. In Zindagi: Life, players move their pieces (pollinating insects) around the board trying to bring them home. Along the way they will encounter various gardening events, some positive, like earth worms, and some negative, like GMO contamination. Some choices benefit all players, and some penalize all players, just like in life. This game is designed to educate kids about how to garden, while cultivating the broader ideals of sustainability, community, and hopefully awaken a deep and profound love of nature.
NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST 3D Boxes with painting/collage
North, South, East, West represents my current state of mind—me, NOW. Each block is its own story combining into one. North tells about the increasing temperatures, decreasing rainfall, torrential rains, flooding, wild fires, etc. These I attribute to climate change from global warming. We can no longer deny our role in this and Mother Nature is smacking us upside the head. South is about human relationships. We’ve not had the healthiest of relationships lately. The cruelty and hatred hovers on the edge of crimes against humanity and international perspectives of how people are expected to be legally treated. East tells of the increasing struggle I’ve had with growing a vegetable garden. This is related to North, but involves food more intently. Who knows how long before we start really feeling the effects of food and water insecurity. I’m looking at my five acres and how it could potentially become my main source of food. West is about the others who live with me. I don’t eat my chickens. I have a hard time eating something I’ve named or grown to know its personality. The hens do provide me with eggs, and in return, I provide the best life I can offer them. I have an agreement with the wildlife—they give me my space and I’ll give them theirs. My dogs and cats are not yet on board with that agreement.
DARLENE TOWN Darlene considers herself an environmentally conscientious artist and designer and her concerns about the effects of climate change are reflected in her life and work. For the last 17 years she has lived on a rural few acres with her dogs, cats, and chickens. She finds connection with nature through gardening and maintaining a balanced ecosystem for those she shares her space with. Darlene was born in Rochester, NY and raised in the Kansas City area. She worked as a graphic designer in advertising and publication starting in 1987 and, after 14 years, branched out to freelance and teach. She began teaching Commercial Art, Graphic Design and Studio Art as an adjunct instructor at both University of Central Missouri and Longview Community College in 2001. She later joined MCC-Penn Valley full-time in fall 2006 as the Graphic Design program coordinator. Her concern for the environment and other social causes always finds its way into her classroom as she encourages students to find their own voice as visual communicators and persuaders. She also freelances from her home studio as a graphic designer, web designer, and illustrator and has exhibited her work around Missouri and Texas. Darlene holds a BFA in Commercial Art: Illustration, and a MA in Art from Central Missouri State University. In 2014, she completed the MFA in Graphic Design program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. www.dtimages.net
AARON WINTERS Aaron is a versatile designer, artist, writer, and educator whose professional practice spans 20 years in Identity, Packaging, Publishing, Web Development and User Experience. Following nearly a decade of self-employment and adjunct teaching, he joined the web services team at the California State University, Sacramento as its Lead Visual Experience Designer in April 2018. Aaron’s creative work blends cut-paper collage, vector and 3D digital rendering, black-and-white illustration and text-based abstract composition. This work has been published in Wonderland (DK), Semi-Permanent (AUS), Faesthetic (US) and idN (HK), and shown at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, and 111 Minna Street gallery. Aaron lives with his wife and two dogs in Sacramento, California, where they co-parent their two nephews. www.primarilydesign.com
SAME AS IT NEVER WAS
Latex, Enamel, Acrylic on Found board collage “Where Am I Now?” feels more complicated to answer in mid-2018 than it has in awhile. I’ve had to close a lot of doors recently trying to open possibilities. Accept a series of defeats in order to start finding success again. This piece is a structured fracture, sadly humorous, new and old, sweet and sour. This isn’t an approach I’ve attempted before, both literally and metaphorically.
THANK YOU Wanda Sullivan, MFA
Professor of Art & Eichold Gallery Director
Stephen Campbell S.J., Ph.D
Department Chair, Visual & Performing Arts
Jessica Gagliano & Mitchell Dembowski Eichold Gallery Assistants
Bden de Jesus Estrella Booklet Design & Production
The NOW show is a collection of works by 27 alumni from the first five classes of Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in graphic design progra...
Published on Nov 23, 2018
The NOW show is a collection of works by 27 alumni from the first five classes of Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in graphic design progra...