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Fairmont State graphic design students present virtual senior show

Seniors in Fairmont State University’s Graphic Design Technology program are showcasing their talent and skills through a virtual exhibition titled “Design Without Walls.”

Katie Sickman, assistant professor of graphic design, said the senior show is a culmination of the hard work and effort put forth by the students over the years.

“This serves as a capstone experience for their design education,” Sickman said. “The graphic design program is structured to ensure students are mastering foundational elements and building on those as they progress through their first few years, but also provided explorative space in their upper-level courses to pursue more specific areas of graphic design as their own interests and ambitions dictate.”

“Design Without Walls” features projects that range from documentaries, comics and stop motion films to photo galleries, abstract art depicting social justice issues and more. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the students collaborated to create pieces of work that could be showcased in a strictly virtual space.

“Some of the natural workflow and creative brainstorming is harder to facilitate digitally, but these students adapted beautifully and raised their work level to meet the challenge,” Sickman said. “They took the initiative at every opportunity to make sure they were presenting the best show possible.”

Sickman said the title of the show was chosen by the students to reflect not only the virtual format, but also their shared experience of creating a nontraditional exhibition.

“’Design Without Walls’ refers to the virtual space being used and the new interaction experience offered to ‘show-goers,’ but it also pays homage to the unique creative challenges this year,” Sickman said. “Students definitely had to think outside the box, or outside the walls so to speak, to not only tailor their own work for the virtual experience, but to also collaborate in a virtual workspace for the show as a whole.”

Sickman said the exhibition demonstrates the students’ unique interests and abilities while showing how their skills can contribute and translate to a variety of professional industries.

“Graphic design touches almost every other industry out there, so it’s imperative our students take an informed, active role in completing their education,” Sickman said. “Our program produces a really diverse group of designers in each graduating class who can all offer unique work and perspectives to the collaborative show experience.”

Sickman invites the community to support the graphic design students by viewing “Design Without Walls” at https://www.fsuseniorshow.com. The show will remain live through the end of December and archives will be developed to create a permanent, accessible record of the collection.

“I urge everyone in the Falcon Family and beyond to view this extraordinary Senior Show,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “Adaptability and ingenuity are the hallmarks of a Fairmont State graduate. And this show is a perfect example of how optimistically Falcon graduates tackle the challenges of today, and how prepared they are to take on whatever the future has in store.”

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