Keene State College’s first-ever graphic design exhibition, NEXT SHOW, opened at the Carroll House Gallery last Thursday, Feb. 25. This exhibition gave KSC’s graphic design students the opportunity to showcase some of their best work.
Senior and graphic design major Cassidy Hunkins said that NEXT SHOW was the product of “many all nighters, many edits and many prints,” but that it was all worth it in the end.
“I think the show really [helps] people understand exactly what we do as designers,” Hunkins said.
Hunkins explained how NEXT SHOW is purposefully set up in the gallery to demonstrate the process of a designer.
“The exhibit is separated into three different rooms. The first is the foundation’s room, the second is the advanced room and the third consist of some raging animation videos,” Hunkins said, “Throughout the exhibit you get to see the process we go through to learn about design.”
Senior graphic design major Bella Robinson said there was a lot of pressure preparing for the exhibit since it was “the first graphic design show to ever be organized on campus.”
“[NEXT SHOW] became my first priority academically, knowing that it was going to represent my major and surrounding classmates, as well as all of my professors,” Robinson said, “It was all very exciting.”
Hunkins said that representing the graphic design department in their first show was crucial to her because “[it] is a very underrepresented major.”
“It looks a lot of fun, but graphic design is actually very time consuming, which I think nobody truly understands,” Hunkins said.
However, Robinson explained that showing the campus how hard her fellow designers work was never the priority.
“Just showing everyone what we’ve got has always been the desire,” Robinson said, “We have taken huge strides and worked hard within the last five years to become more involved on campus and our presence at KSC is more prominent than ever.”
It seems the hard work paid off with the NEXT SHOW exhibit, because sophomore Chelsea Birchmore called it “really nice and different from other shows [she has] seen.”
Dean of Arts and Humanities Andrew Harris appreciated the show as well.
“What I liked about the NEXT SHOW was the sense of design process that emerged from the students’ work,” Harris said, “It was as if the Portfolio Review had been focused on the practice of graphic design itself, and I found that fascinating. It provoked the tension between graphic design as art and as trade.”
Birchmore, who is employed at the Carroll House Gallery, explained why she thinks it’s important to focus on art.
“Art is something that a lot of people stray away from sometimes because it’s deemed less important academically, but it’s so important to express your creative side,” Birchmore said, “Even if you’re not an artist yourself, you should at least give yourself the chance to look at art and expand your horizons.”
Hunkins agreed with Birchmore. She said that, although it is an underrepresented major, graphic design is crucial to everyday life.
“It’s so important for students to focus on art and design because it’s everywhere,” Hunkins said, “Take a step back and realize where the majority of your posters mobile apps, websites, album covers, stickers and t-shirts come from. It’s all graphic design and there’s someone working to make them look aesthetically pleasing.”
According to Hunkins, NEXT SHOW was entirely produced by a design center team, which “is an independent study consisting of seven graphic design students.”
The NEXT SHOW exhibit will be displayed in the Carroll House Gallery until March 26.
Stephanie McCann can be contacted at email@example.com.