Visual Communication Design major channels passions into pieces

At first glance, spreading awareness about heart disease and environmental protection do not seem like related subjects. But for senior visual communication design major O.J. Moor, tackling both issues head-on is no problem.

Moor, who identifies as nonbinary,  is currently working on their capstone project to help educate people on heart disease. According to Moor, the campaign is geared towards increasing heart disease awareness among women—an issue that is close to their heart.

“I have a really personal connection with that [heart disease],” Moor said. “My mom just passed away last year from heart disease, so that’s why I’m trying to raise awareness and knowledge about it.”

Moor said that heart disease is the number one killer of American women, and that although there are many campaigns out there that help with heart disease, most are for women who already have it, particularly older women. Their goal, however, is to create a campaign for women who are not yet affected by heart disease.

The campaign Moor is contributing to is geared toward women between the ages of 20 and 35, they said,  because it is a pivotal time in a woman’s life and one where the effects of unhealthy living can still be reversed.

“At that point [in life] you can still make behavioral and lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease from getting as bad as it could,” Moor said. “I’m going to start getting annual checkups at the age of 25. One of the biggest things to do is to, honestly, research your family history… because if your parent suffers from heart disease, you have [approximately] a 70 percent higher chance of suffering from it yourself and if you have a sibling with it, it’s still like a 50 percent higher risk.”

O.J. Moor

Assistant Professor of Art and Design Rhonda Wolverton, who also serves as Moor’s capstone advisor, said that Moor showed promise from freshman year.

“I’ve taught them [Moor] since freshmen year,” Wolverton said. “O.J. came in with great skills and was doing great work, even as a freshman.”

Even apart from the heart disease campaign, Moor has shown an affinity for relating schoolwork with good causes.

For example, Moor created two environmental installations for  a third level visual communications design class, both first displayed on campus on Nov. 5.

The first project—plastic wrap between two trees with the word “CHOKED” spray painted in red—was displayed in front of Krannert Memorial Library for one day. The other, which was the words “PICK IT UP” made out of trash from around campus, remained until Nov. 14.

The project that Moor created the pieces for was a typographic monument, meaning that students were tasked with creating a sculpture out of words. Class members created their pieces using any materials they wanted but were strictly prohibited from using written words on paper.

Moor said that the idea to construct their project from used cups and food boxes came from the high amount of litter they noticed strewn across UIndy’s campus.

By seeing the words “CHOKED” and “PICK IT UP” made out of litter from UIndy students, Moor said they hope that students will be forced to consider their impact on the environment and, ideally, be inspired to take better care of the campus they call home.

“I want to  use my voice for something,” Moor said. “I wanted to push it  towards an area I felt strongly about and littering on campus is one of those things.”

Wolverton said she has enjoyed working with Moor over the past four years and is excited to see what they accomplish after graduation in May.

“O.J. has always been eager about design, passionate about their skills, and willing to help those around them,” Wolverton said.