Graphic Design and Animation Students Present First-Ever Senior Exhibit

The First Senior Exhibition of Graphic Design and Animation is being displayed in Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall’s DiMattio Gallery from March 27 to April 4; the work presented by the senior art students is the product of countless hours in the studio to express themselves and what they are passionate about. 

The DiMattio Gallery’s first floor walls are covered head-to-toe with beautiful and thoughtful pieces from graphic design students, and the second floor contains creative works from animation students.

Last Friday, the opening reception of the exhibition drew a crowd of about 150 people with positive energy, and the students really had the chance to show off their work and receive live feedback from an audience. All of the seniors involved in the exhibition had a story to tell; many of them have been working towards this moment for four years.

Marissa Clemente, a graphic design student, said, “I am really proud of what I accomplished, partially because I didn’t really realize how much potential my work had until finishing last night at 1:30 am. Now I can stand back and look at everything I’ve done at Monmouth and I realize it’s a lot.”

The various styles and formats the senior art majors have in their arsenal of skills were unleashed in a beautiful display of expression. Some seniors were influenced by other work or even personal experiences.

Clemente said, “My grandfather was in WWII and he served on the U.S.S. Cabot. I took images from letters he wrote and meshed them with not just pictures of war but hope as well. Sometimes you just get really involved in your work; I spent three weeks on that particular piece. It was so cool because you’re diving into history.”

With no restrictive theme as to what or what not to do, the senior art students were challenged by professors to try many different styles.

Clemente said, “I never thought I would do branding, actual packaging, or designing a book cover.”

A lot of the work in the exhibition will be used in the artists’ portfolios, which is the equivalent of a resume for most graphic designers and animators. 

Andrew Russo, senior graphic design student, said, “I wanted everything to look appealing but yet professional. So I focused in my work to really have the work clean, well cut and organized.”

By gearing some of the work towards a professional market, most of the art gave off the impression that it could be right out of a magazine or on the front of a cereal box.

When describing a magazine layout, Russo said, “I did a couple spreads for an electric dance magazine in my graphic design class. It was a challenge for me because I’ve never done anything like that before, incorporating pictures on the page without it being an eye sore.” 

Most of the students displayed logo designs and brand work as one of their avenues of expression.

Russo said, “I came up with my logo design on my business card by fooling around with my signature a bit. I realized there is a triangle in the ‘A’ in my name and triangles act as a symbol of unity; it brings different pieces together from different angles. So every project I do now I try to approach from different angle, even if that means taking a step back and trying something new.”

Creating so many different kinds of work really showcases an artists’ ability to adapt to whatever medium is available.

Matthew Gorski, a senior animation student, said, “I use Photoshop and elements from Maya, which is an animators tool on the computer. We take the 3D work we did and shape it up with after effects, then we make a video out of it and put it on the screens to show what we’ve done.”

The compilation of animation work on the second floor looked highly professional and almost dreamlike.

When asked about influences for his work, Gorski said, “I wouldn’t really say I have a set influence, I just go with stuff that I like, like space; who doesn’t like space?”

The students had the freedom to express philosophical and current social issues in their work.

While referring to one of his works done with Photoshop, Gorski said, “This certain piece has a religious tone to it with the church in the background. I tried to depict two kinds of topics and show how you would see them, so I picked creation from a scientific standpoint and creation from a religious standpoint.”

All of the students were very excited, proud of their work and eager to share with whomever walked by.

Gorski said, “I hope the department puts some of our new work on the TV monitors in the lobby so people walking by can really check out our stuff.”

Patricia Creeson, an art and design professor that oversaw the event, said, “I heard many compliments from friends and family on the work; the general feedback was that this was a very professional and creative exhibit and many were surprised at the high level of work.”

The DiMattio Gallery is open from 8 am to 5 pm most days of the week and open to the public. Leave your preconceived notions at the door, because this exhibition truly captures the future of art with its pleasant atmosphere.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University