AU Graphic Design Students Prepare for Senior Showcase: “Evolve”

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Anderson, Ind. — Every year at Anderson University, senior graphic design students prepare for a final spring art show as part of their major capstone course. Students spend the entirety of their senior year creating this final project to showcase all they’ve learned throughout their four years of design education at AU. The past few years, the theme of the senior show has been “Design for Good,” encouraging seniors to flex their design creativity to develop solutions to real-world problems.

This year’s show, holding the same theme, is titled “Evolve” and features the work of seniors Rebekah Joyce ’21, Tori Phelps ’21, and Caroline States ’21. Evolve explores how skilled designers are always changing and growing in their craft, just as strong solutions are adaptable to fit the ever-changing needs of the world. Each of the designers’ projects seeks a solution to an existing problem — a solution that can grow and evolve as the issue does.

Phelps’ senior project, “Made Small,” showcases a company that helps small businesses break through the noise of today’s big-business messaging. The project focuses on consumers’ reliance on big-box companies and seeks to equip small businesses with the tools to stand out against these larger businesses. Phelps developed this idea from the impact of large corporations in her own community. “Being a small-business owner myself, I have found it difficult to compete with big-box stores because they provide low prices and convenience,” Phelps said.

States’ senior project is called “Revive,” and its centerpiece is a digital guidebook compiled with strategies for becoming an activist. According to States, the never-ending nature of devastating social problems often pushes people toward something called “apathy syndrome” — a lack of motivation to help solve social issues due to the overwhelm of widespread suffering. The project suggests that by utilizing a series of clearly mapped-out strategies, working to end issues such as the climate crisis or institutional racism could be much less overwhelming. “The key to sustainable activism is practicing regenerative activism, a series of strategies rooted in the understanding that fighting for worthy causes takes a real emotional toll,” said States, thus requiring patience, and intentional time to rest and recharge in order to see progress.

The seniors’ work will be open in the Jessie C. Wilson Gallery at Anderson University from April 17 to May 7, 2021. An opening reception will take place from 3-5 p.m. on April 17, with talks from the artists from 4-5:30 p.m.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

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