Communication Arts integrated visual media senior showcase: ‘Be Seen. Be Heard. Be You.’

Corey McFeeley / THE GATEPOST

Communication arts seniors concentrating in integrated visual media displayed a wide range of photography, video, and design projects they’ve worked on for their capstone class, prior classes, and internships April 2 in the Mazmanian Art Gallery.

Christopher Bowen, communication arts professor, said the showcase/reception is a great way for students to display and celebrate all they’ve accomplished throughout the years. “Although everyone has their own individual work,” he said, there is still “a cohesive presentation.”

Communication arts seniors participating in the show included Sydney Buono, Brittany Dougal, Alison Evans, Michael Johnston, Ethan Norton, Cat Pilotte, Nada Shaaban, Abbie Smola, and Brittany Yates.

Throughout her communication arts experience at FSU, Buono said she has focused on graphic design, film, and animation.

Her work in the exhibition consisted of Hilltop posters, two 20-minute videos she created for her internship at the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Health and Wellness Center posters, a spoof video of Law and Order, an illustration book called “The Little Field Hockey Team That Couldn’t,” and four photographs of herself, her friends, and others that she redesigned in Adobe Illustrator to make the photos “more graphic.”

Shaaban also decided to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to manipulate the photographs she took on her study-abroad trip to India to make them look like illustrations. She placed the photographs on different colored canvases and hung them from strings behind her display table.

While in India, Shaaban said the experience felt surreal and her perspective of the world changed – most of the photos she took seemed fake to her. “I turned them even more into illustrations, to make them even more fake, to kind of represent that surrealistic, abstract expression I felt when I was there.”

Shaaban and the other seniors in the exhibition also created and presented their branding packages, which included a personalized logo, resume, cover letter, and stickers or buttons to market themselves.

Shaaban’s brand “R.I.P. Youth” “comes from the reality that there are moments in our lives that force us to grow up too fast, and as a result, ‘rip our youth away’ – for lack of better expression. This causes a loss of innocence, but nonetheless, makes us who we are, or who we are meant to be,” she wrote in her artistic statement.

In Yates’ artistic statement, she wrote, “Photography and design have always been a passion of mine. Yates Creative is a professional outlet where I am able to showcase and create pieces that reflect who I am and my style of work. This brand also allows me to separate my professional work from my personal life.”

Yates created a photography portfolio and collage using photographs from her photojournalism, basic photos, and photo and architecture classes for her final project. Her photo collage contains photos of decaying buildings from Framingham State University, Wrentham State School, and Wrentham State Hospital.

Evans exhibited pamphlets and business cards for her brand, Aje Designs, on a table below hanging crystals – her brand’s image.

Evans also designed creative company posters, travel brochures, a promotional poster and a lyric CD sheet for her friend who recently released an album.

Besides her internship work, which involves creating promotional posters for events on campus, Smola created four black and white pixelated portraits of her friends. She said she wanted to “incorporate photography and graphic design into one piece.”

The four portraits are enclosed in one large bordered frame to create a “cohesive piece. … All people are different and of different races, but they all go together,” she said.

In her artistic statement, Smola wrote, “Photography has been a passion of mine longer than graphic designing has been, but I equally love both. I take portraits mostly, but I consider myself a lover of all subjects. I take pictures to capture a moment in time. … With my graphic designing, I like to create all sorts of things, whether that is a logo for a friend and their startup company, or making posters for events that are happening around town.”

Norton presented his “lookbook” on patterned shirts, a project he has been working on in his independent study with Professor Laura Osterweis. 

Norton said for his capstone project, he wanted to incorporate all the things he studied while at FSU. He looked at the project as “an opportunity to integrate design, illustration and photography” to produce a piece that shows his personality, perspective, and the different skills he has learned.

“It’s a mixture of photography and design,” he said. “The project is quite literally in progress at the moment. … So, I’m presenting half of the book as like a spread on the board of an office, where you’re discussing it with photos that can be used as inspiration or a style guide.”

Norton is also working on another spread on jackets, “Waiting for A Good Rainy Day.”

Dougal said she wanted to work on something completely different this semester for her project. She created a three-part video, “Someone is Watching,” about a guy wearing shunglasses who is transfixed and kills certain people also wearing sunglasses.

She shot and directed each part of the video in a day with help from her co-workers.

Johnston created a documentary called, “We Are Here,” an inside look in the day-to-day life of a deaf person. “It shows that they have the ability to do anything they want to do. Of course, they can’t hear, but that doesn’t stop them,” he said.

The documentary contains interviews with his parents, who are both deaf, his sister, who is deaf, and Father Shawn, a priest for the deaf community in Newton.

Johnston also took photos of Father Shawn for his project.

Pilotte focuses on digital art, spending eight hours to two weeks drawing different anime and indie video game characters.

She said she always had a passion for digital art, starting at the age of 12 on her Nintendo DS and picking it up again on a tablet once she turned 18.

In addition to the senior integrated visual media exhibition, the communication arts department is also hosting a solo show April 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the forum. The show consists of three short films constructed by film production senior John Malešević.

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