Hello Hello

by Ashley Chiappetta 

The University of Northwestern – St. Paul’s Denler Art Gallery presents the work of UNW’s senior graphic design majors in the exhibition “Hello Hello.” The students showcasing their work this semester are Catherine Brinker, Brooke Gillquist, Kiley Goldfarb, Carmen Johnson, Claire Ripley, Mariah Visel, Tia Wagner and Othello Xiong. “Hello Hello” is located in the Totino Fine Arts Center on the second floor and is open until February 16.

“Hello Hello” is the result of many art and design students’ work during their fall semester, senior-level Graphic Design III class. The exhibition is a celebration of their research-based professional level projects that, for many students, were a year-long process to complete. The showcase honors each students’ self-expression, talents and skills they’ve learned at UNW.

Assistant Professor of Art and Design John Printy spoke on the significance of the exhibition. He said: “‘Hello Hello’ is an opportunity for design students to show the depth of their work. While there is a traditional graphic design portfolio set up in the hallway (outside the Denler Art Gallery), the work in the Denler tends to be more personal explorations as students explored different materials and different media. This showcase is an important part of the design major here at Northwestern because our students get a chance to put together the concept for the show and show that they are ready to make the transition from academia to the design business world.”

In addition to showcasing their art, the “Hello Hello” students were also in charge of learning how to put together the show regarding promotions, marketing materials, food, coordination and more. Printy said, “The students learn the mechanics of putting on a show and presenting their work in public. This design show is more personal because it allows them to spread their wings in ways they’re most unique.”

Tia Wagner created a piece titled “Glimpses.” It’s a 77” x 67” Cyanotype and spray paint on wood art piece that allowed her to explore a variety of mediums. From photography to painting, woodworking and experimenting with cyanotype chemicals, Wagner said the focus put into her piece was matched with her attention to its meaning. “It pulls from my personal fears of forgetting the memories of those I love,” she said. “This is displayed through the fading photos on the wood. I started my art project last October and worked through December. It’s a great opportunity to be on display in the Denler Art Gallery because it’s something art students dream of at the start of freshman year.”

Brooke Gillquist created a piece titled “Venetian Doors.” It’s a 78” x 24” oil on wood. Her goal in her art is to appreciate the small moments in life that are taken for granted. Regarding her work she said, “I get a lot of my inspiration through traveling. I’m really into vintage and feel like that style represents me well.”

Orthello Xiong created the art piece “Together.” It’s a 24” x 24” digital on paper. He said the piece is a unique part of him, sharing both his culture and his story. “The color, shapes and patterns represent my Hmong culture and how I find stories in everything.” The repetitiveness of swirls and shapes in his art piece all have their own meaning in how he finds everything to work together in harmony.

Hannah Bergh, a junior art major, attended the  opening recepion. She said, “I came because, being an art student, I love getting more acquainted with the art department. It’s a way for me to see the placement of works and get inspiration from the colors, designs and overall art.” She looks forward to working on her project for her senior exhibition next year.

President Cureton and his wife, Gayle, also attended the opening night of the exhibition. He said, “Whenever we are able to come we like to come to the shows. We like seeing the creativity of the students. It’s amazing to see their ability to produce things that are so professionally done. It’s great to see students experience what the Lord has done through them and how they are using the gifts and talents he has given them.”

President Cureton offered parting advice for the senior art and design students preparing to graduate. He shared, “Stay at it and believe in yourself. You’re going to see rejection a lot in life, but just stay at it. Also, don’t be afraid to widen your field a bit; there are many companies in the suburbs and opportunities for you to bloom.”

Printy also had words of encouragement for the graduating students. He said, “Keep in touch. I often tell my graduating students their success is part of our benefits package. Let us know what you’re doing and how you’re doing. We love to see alums’ work.”

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