The next Picasso of graphic design may be emerging.
The 2013 Graphic Design Senior Show will take place at Remedy coffee shop on Friday, May 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. The show will feature art from 16 senior graphic design students who will be graduating in the spring.
"The show is a night for the graduating graphic design seniors to present their portfolio work and projects to the public," Debbie Shmerler, associate professor of graphic design for all the students participating in the show, said. "It's a festive and popular occasion that marks the end of their life as students at UT, honors their past accomplishments and celebrates their future endeavors."
Each of the graduating students will present their work on a table, as well as on a laptop where they can showcase their portfolio with their final capstone project to future employers and attendees of the show. They were asked to pick a few pieces to present that were personally important to them and were among their best work during their college careers.
"My favorite part about participating this year is the fact that it is a celebration, in a way, of the past four years we have experienced together in graphic design," Emma Meskovic, senior in graphic design and artist featured in the show, said. "We are all really close and proud of each other, and this event will definitely prove it."
Graphic design, which ranges from typographies to advertisements, is a modern genre of art that is embedded within many other industries, making it relatable to any student in any major.
"If you are a student interested in being a designer, it's a perfect time to see what type of research and work you would be making while at UT and how to prepare for a future in design," Shmerler said. "If you are a student in another field, you might want to come see what design is all about, and from that, imagine ways to collaborate with your fellow students here at UT.
"Design is always about looking at solving problems, whether self-defined or client-defined. It takes teams of people now to solve the problems we have in the world. More often than not, designers are valuable team members with expertise in communication, different medias, design thinking and creative processes."
Emily Gilles, also a senior in graphic design, will be contributing pieces concerning religious diversity and a collection of mundane objects she acquired from Knoxville community members.
"Since the graphic design program is so small, we have the benefit of becoming close friends with our classmates," Gilles said when explaining her favorite part of her career as a graphic design student. "We know each other so well — our styles, quirks, and flaws — so when it comes to critiquing each other's work, we can be honest and open without worrying about hurting each other's feelings."
Since they're allowed to choose any of the pieces they have ever created, students that are part of the show are finding it difficult to pick which pieces to showcase.
"I am still choosing!" Meskovic said. "I am trying to figure out which pieces really portray my personality and what is important to me. Establishing your style in design is very hard at first."
Designed for the students to be able to showcase their art and get a kickstart on their careers, each artist will have their own table and business cards to hand out to future potential employers.
The event, which will also have free hors d'oeuvres for attendees, will hopefully give people a better understanding of what graphic design really is, Gilles said.
"Many people think we just make logos and tri-fold brochures, but our ability to experiment has led to some interesting forms that everyone can enjoy, like flash mobs, video games, podcasts and music-zines," Gilles said.
Alumni from the graphic design program at UT have landed jobs at companies like Google and Ideo. The 16 students featured in the show this year are soon entering the work force, just as many other graduating students this year. Shmerler said that she is most excited for the "bright, creative futures they have in front of them."
"We have a rigorous program in graphic design and the students have worked very hard to reach all the necessary benchmarks," Shmerler said. "I have every reason to believe that these talented seniors will also move on to places and jobs where they can be active participants in their community."
Chosen by the students, the theme of the Graphic Design Senior Show is "BE GO DO." Shmerler said that she hopes this encourages them in the future.
"I hope five years from now, this event acts as a reminder to them to BE happy, GO where desired and DO what their heart tells them to do."