While each major has its own version of a capstone project, few are as visual and interactive as the visual communication design senior Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition. “Render,” showcased the work of senior visual communication design majors Hajar Aldawood, Fatem Alzayer, Andy Carr, Jenna Krall, Torie Peña, Alexandria Pesak, Juliana Rohrmoser and Kieffer Simpson on March 22 at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery.
Carr’s exhibition, titled “Movie Posters Suck,” looked and analyzed the similarities of movie posters in the film industry. According to Carr, the film industry is often very lazy when it comes to the designs of movie poster, and their promotion is often rushed, which results in a generic design that is irrelevant to the plot of the film. He pointed out that the film industry often uses common tropes and clichés when desiging posters, including: the teal/orange wash, floating heads, the lone figure, ensemble collage and the odd couple. Along with pointing out the common clichés in posters, Carr redesigned two film posters, “Spiderman: Homecoming” and “Hell or High Water,” and juxtaposed them with the originals to point out how the new designs were a better representation of the films’ plot and theme.
Simpson’s exhibit featured the concept for a fictional music festival, which he named Outflow Music Festival. The problem addressed by the conceptual music fest was hurricane relief. Simpson had conceptualized an interactive Outflow app which would allow attendees to donate hurricane relief funds, as well as view the festival lineup and purchase tickets. According to Simpson, the conceptual brand would benefit hurricane relief by raising awareness, providing a platform for donation and allocating proceeds from ticket sales to hurricane relief funds.
“My inspiration really came from my two friends who were in need during the two most recent hurricanes,” Simpson said. “I’m a huge music enthusiast and a festival goer, it’s what I love, so I was trying to find a way to incorporate helping people with having people attend something that could be a great time. After researching that 32 million people attended a music festival in 2014 [I thought] that was a great way to interact with a large crowd at one time.”
Alzayer’s exhibition was titled “All or Nothing,” which featured quotes in black and white in various positions around a white background from those who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder who wanted to have their stories shared. Another featured part of the exhibition were three cubes were tilted at a point, which pictured a different individual on each cube, with different photos on each side of the cube to represent emotional extremes. The exhibition also included a spot for attendees to write on sticky notes about struggles they have overcome and place it on the wall along with her quotes. Alzayer said she was inspired to focus her project on BPD, a topic she is very passionate about, after having gone through her own personal struggles with the disorder.
“The idea of this [project] is sharing stories from other people because of the stigma [of BPD],” Alzayer said. “So what I did was contact people through Facebook groups, BPD groups, and I took their stories and I asked them, ‘What do you want me to do with that?’ They said, ‘We want people to listen to us’…. I have it [the exhibit] all in black and white because that’s the way Borderline [Personality Disorder] people think, it either in black or white; good or bad. There’s no in-between.”
“So Damn Real” was Pesak’s exhibition at “Render” which focused on feamle empowerment by challenging traditional beauty standards promoted by the media, advertisers and society. Specifically, the exhibition promoted women embracing their authenticity and own sense of beauty, rather than letting outside influences determine their self-worth. Pesak cited a study by Dove in her exhibition, which claimed that in 2014, five million women had written disparaging tweet about beauty, most of which were self-directed. Pesak said that her own experiences with gossip influenced her perspective on the issue of women empowerment.
“I’ve grown up in a world where women are constantly being judged by the media, by their surroundings,” Pesak said. “I grew up in a really small town, so talking about other girls and gossiping was a really big thing because people had nothing better to do. So I decided to emphasize that whole idea [of women empowerment] here in college and in my life so that I can help change other people’s lives and pass this message on about women empowerment and the beauty in women.”
The “Rooted” exhibition, created by Peña, featured a conceptual “care package” that included items from local businesses around Indianapolis. The problem that Peña addressed with her project was the lack of resources that small, local businesses have at their disposal, and how they often do not have the funding to market themselves effectively. She said the concept of her idea would highlight the unique items and distinctive businesses of Indianapolis, while also giving consumers a hands-on experience with their products. The “care package” Peña created featured items from Silver In the City, Three Dog Bakery, Bakersfield, St. Joseph Brewery, Kaffeine Coffee Co., Metazoa Brewing, Watt’s Blooming and Chatham Home.
“My specific inspiration was moving here to Indianapolis right out of high school and coming out of state for college and not really having a sense of home, especially when trying to find myself as a college student,” Peña said. “Once I realized that, then I wanted to immerse myself in the local community. I really searched through the local resources of businesses and restaurants, and that kind of sparked my idea for this. It was just something I was really passionate about and wanted to bring to others.”
Aldawood’s exhibition, “Mazaji,” featured cartoonish children’s characters that are supposed to represent different moods. The exhibition showed activity kits, pillows, toys, clay, colored pencils, stencils and games featuring the characters. According to Aldawood, “Mazaji” means “my mood” in Arabic and that she used the word and characters as a way for children and parents to play and interact with each other. She said her goal was to create these activities in the hopes that it would bring parents and their children closer together.
“Project Collab,” Krall’s exhibition, focused on the issue of gentrification in lower-income areas and how to address it with an organization that brings new and old residents of certain areas together. She defined gentrification as when higher-income residents move into a historically lower-income area, which causes the cost of living to increase for the original residents to rise. Krall said her conceptual organization would act as an alternative neighborhood association in which residents could speak out and share community concerns.
“Take Flight” was Rohrmoser’s exhibition which conceptualized a program that would educate international students on opportunities to expand their professional growth and educational opportunities, along with the requirement to apply. She said that international students are often not aware or do not know how to find the resources to help them get on-campus jobs, internships and post-graduate opportunities. Along with providing international students with information, “Take Flight” would also feature an ambassador program, in which international students who have secured jobs in the United States would join take flight as an ambassador to answer questions for new students and attend networking events.
According to Simpson, the turnout for “Render” was more than he expected and he was glad to see so many people people come out to support him and his fellow seniors for their capstone projects.
The new art exhibition at UIndy will be the Art & Design Juried Student Exhibition which runs until May 5. The exhibition will be located in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery and will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m during the work week.