Senior graphic design majors are saying sayonara and waving their hands goodbye to the university, while waving their professional portfolios in the faces of potential employers. The Pinpoint gallery opened this past Friday in the Emily Davis Gallery, located in Folk Hall, as a part of the Myers School of Art.
The Pinpoint gallery consists of numerous stands belonging to graphic design majors who plan on graduating this spring. Each of the 37 graduating seniors are showcasing their own creative works and projects that they’ve completed over the years as students. The primary initiative Pinpoint has is to help the seniors get their foot in the door in the world of design and present their works to interested companies and other employees looking for full-time and freelance graphic designers.
The concept of titling the gallery “Pinpoint” and its following design was originally conceived by Eryn Peterson, who plans to graduate with her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in May.
“The initial concept I had was simply pinpointing the location of our gallery, and I designed the invitations with this idea in mind, and put the exact GPS coordinates of the gallery on them,” said Peterson. “Pinpoint just grew from there, and eventually it was more than just location. We also want to pinpoint our talents and skills through the use of our portfolios.”
With the help and guidance of several professors in the School of Art, the seniors built the gallery from scratch, setting up the stands and painting the walls. On the premiere evening of the gallery, all 37 students gathered at their own stalls and showcased their works to visitors, including friends, family and potential hirers.
Each stall was complete with a portfolio, resume, business card, several examples of the designer’s works and an iPad that allowed the visitor to interactively experience the abilities of each senior.
The great diversity and skills between the seniors can be easily absorbed as you walk past their kiosks. Not one stall was the same, and the individual styles of each student combined with each other to create a Crayola crayon box of talent.
One such student, Sofia Bastulli, uses printmaking, a fine art technique involving the use of printing artworks on paper, along with her graphic design, which is something not regularly seen in the art world. On her stall, she exhibited several small books with a screen-printed image of a quick response (QR) code on the front that could be scanned with a cell phone.
“I loved the printmaking community at The University of Akron, and that’s what inspired me to go further into it and consider it as a career,” said Bastulli. She plans on continuing education with printmaking and obtaining a master’s degree in the field.
Another student, Nathan Ruble, focuses on identity work, a process that involves working with companies to establish a way to represent themselves via graphic design.
“The university has given me a skill set and a mental attitude to go out into the world, find a problem and come up with a solution,” said Ruble. “I want to be able to help companies find themselves.”
Latasha Smith received an ADDY (American Advertising Award) for her design of The University of Akron Dance Company’s promotional poster for its fall concert in 2012. The poster, among numerous other designs, was sprawled out on her
stall for the visitors’ viewing pleasure.
In addition to presenting their best works and potentially getting a job pitch, many of the seniors at the exhibit also listened to the thoughts and opinions of the visitors in hopes to gain feedback on their designs. Senior Stephanie Tremble said that was her main reason for being there.
“It’s common for us to receive feedback from our peers and professors,” said Tremble. “But it’s nice to get a chance to get feedback from different perspectives, like that of a random person or a professional. It’s a learning experience.”
Something in common with all of the seniors at Pinpoint was that they all had the university to thank for their progress over the years. The professors that taught them and gave them advice, as well as the feedback and two cents from their peers, helped build them into the capable individuals they are today.
Mahala Bloom is particularly grateful for her experiences at UA.
“I started off at Kent State University, but their teaching styles were controlling and didn’t allow me much freedom to move,” said Bloom. “I blossomed once I came to UA. I was able to be more creative and start doing what I wanted to do. We have a lot of diversity here, with typography, printmaking, photography, and graphic design, and I’m learning all the time from my fellow seniors.”
“The university has really helped me,” said Peterson. “With the help of the faculty and the encouragement of the staff, I was able to grow into graphic design. I wouldn’t trade my experience for everything.”
“Ever since coming to UA I have been motivated to go out and show the world what I’m capable of,” said Tremble. “I feel like what I’ve learned here has built me up and is preparing me for something bigger in the world.”
The Pinpoint gallery will be open for the remainder of the school week, with the last day being Friday. It will be open to the public for viewing between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The seniors are collectively proud of their achievements of creating the gallery and encourage their fellow students to come and visit and see what they have in store.
Make sure to visit the Emily Davis Gallery sometime this week and pinpoint the many specialties and talents these graduating seniors have to offer the world.