Sandra Devaux believes art should contain something of the soul. A lifelong aficionado of art and design, Devaux also enjoys finding words that convey her aesthetic beliefs.
One of those words, “meraki,” means “to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work,” and given the term reflects her relationship with the world of art, Devaux chose it as the title of her exhibit. “Meraki,” which runs through Dec. 11 in Lightner Gallery at Lightner Library, features many branded creations Devaux has created for Keuka College, as well as photography and select drawings. An artist reception with light refreshments will be held Thursday, Nov. 12 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. and Devaux hopes guests who attend will see beyond words and graphics to the creative passion beneath them.
“I like to incorporate more artistic sensibilities into the design process. A lot of people think of graphic design as functional and practical, but I want people to see it as an art as well,” Devaux said.
Indeed, Devaux’s work has taken her to New York City, before a return home to Penn Yan, where, after a two-year transition freelancing for the New York Yankees and designing ads for a weekly newspaper, she joined the College in December 2012. Since then, Devaux has made her mark, so to speak, revamping a number of print and digital materials across the College before being tasked with a lead role in transforming the visual identity, including the school’s logo and its athletics mascot, in 2014. In recognition for that work, she received the school’s highest employee award, the Presidential Award for Sustained Outstanding Achievement, in August 2014.
According to Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art and curator of Lightner Gallery, it was important to showcase the work of a graphic designer at the gallery. The College offers a major in Art and Design, and a minor in digital design has just been added to the curriculum as well.
“Sandra’s work has impacted the College aesthetically in so many ways. She is so talented, and has learned from some of the best, including Milton Glaser In New York City,” Newcomb added, referring to the man artists consider the “Father of Design.”
When Devaux first moved to the Big Apple in July 2005 she applied for an internship at Milton Glaser, Inc. and spent a few months under the tutelage of Glaser and his design team. Glaser is known for the state’s famous “I (Heart) NY” icon and the popular silhouette of Bob Dylan with multicolor hair.
“What really excited me about working there was the passion and dedication everyone had, a drive to communicate a message in a way that made it appealing and as clear as possible. That was really the first experience for me in the real world and it was very encouraging to work with people so dedicated to what they do. It was an amazing start in the right direction,” Devaux said.
From there, Devaux freelanced a short time for mNovack Design in New York, designing materials for hospitals and city colleges. The transition from internship to freelance work was fortuitous, she said, as she ultimately landed a job at the Catch 24 Advertising and Design Agency in Manhattan. There, she was assigned to national accounts including DirectTV, Lufthansa Airlines, American Express and the Yankees. She worked in New York City almost seven years before returning home to Penn Yan.
A few select works from Devaux’s big-city career appear in her show; most, however, are more recent designs created for the College. But while Devaux hopes guests enjoy seeing some original prints, feeling textured paper and flipping pages, she didn’t merely frame her works. Many print pieces on the gallery walls are presented from a new perspective, one created when Devaux photographed them, often by spreading the works across a surface and shooting at an angle or adding filter effects.
“It’s amazing how typography and imagery can take on an entirely different personality depending how you look at it,” she said. “Including photographs that show design in a more abstract way helps convey that sense of art as well, and I want them to see design as I see it.”
If members of Keuka’s Class of 2013 are looking for inspiration as they enter the job market, they should check out Stephanie Lange, who was in their shoes just a year ago.
In her time at Keuka, Lange ’12 of Apalachin made quite a mark. While completing a double major in visual and verbal art and organizational communication, Lange helped found and lead an intellectual exploration group known as Tabula Rasa, worked as the graphic designer for the student newspaper, and completed a bronze sculpture installation of a red-tailed hawk as her senior art project.
Now she’s venturing into new ground in the arts, and landed what she calls her “dream job.”
In late January, Lange started work as the program coordinator for the Schweinfurth Arts Center in Auburn. She is now directing a two-week annual conference, “Quilting by the Lake,” for the non-profit in addition to helping promote the Arts Center’s five annual exhibits, communicating with corporate sponsors, and producing and designing the center’s newsletters and other marketing materials.
The annual quilt show convention, held each July on the campus of Onondaga Community College near Syracuse, features more than 30 quilting-related classes and lectures, a quilt show and specialty vendors. According to Lange, while traditional quilting styles and methods are featured, there is a focus on modern quilting techniques involving painting on the fabric and elements of geometry, all of which creates an artistic quality.
“It’s not like something my grandma does,” Lange said. “The precision required for quilting is difficult to master.”
Like others, Lange had been forewarned to expect great challenge finding a salaried, full-time position in the arts field and said that awareness had her raving to her family that this opportunity was amazing. Not only does she help stage exhibits – some in the same measurements she learned as a student assisting with shows in Keuka’s Lightner Gallery – but she can participate in art classes hosted by the Center, as well as meet artists and local residents through Schweinfurth’s special events. (more…)
Prismacolor butterflies. Black and white typography. Cupcakes and dandelions, in triplicate. Colored-pencil portraits. A powerful pink-and-orange sunset. A ship sailing off on a sea of cotton.
These are some of the works featured in the Keuka College student art show, running through April 18 in the Lightner Gallery, with additional works on display on the fourth floor of Hegeman Hall.
The gallery, located in Lightner Library, is open during regular library hours, which vary during the academic semester, but can be found online at: http://library.keuka.edu
The exhibit will featured drawings, paintings, sculpture, mixed media, and photography from the hands of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, as well as a few seniors who are non-art majors.
Senior Ashley Larimore and others enrolled in the new graphic design course offered this spring have debuted typography collections in the show. Larimore said that although she does not major in art, she loves drawing and painting, and “couldn’t wait” to add the new course to her schedule so that she could build more design skills working with Adobe software.
“The experience I gained working in Adobe Illustrator after the first project is incredible. I’ve really enjoyed overcoming the challenge of creating art through a screen using a mouse, rather than my hands,” Larimore said. “Every time I see my finished product, I have to remind myself it’s my work.”
According to Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art, the submissions for this student show are “the best yet” in her four years teaching at Keuka.
“I say every time, ‘It’s the best show yet,’ and it seems to get better every year,” Newcomb said. “The quality is just great.”
The majority of pieces surround drawing and photography works from the Drawing I & II and digital photography courses held in the fall. In addition, works from last spring’s Painting I course, and mixed media pieces from a general-education course, Foundations of Art and Design, as well as Sculpture I & II, which were both offered this spring, appear in the show.
Junior Stephanie Collins, an occupational therapy major, said she could relate a lot of the material she learned in art education class to art therapy. The show features a series of colorful butterflies Collins created using colored pencils.
“I’ve never really used them for a project before so it was really cool to see how bright I could get the colors,” Collins said. “This class lets me explore different materials like crayons and colored pencils that I wouldn’t be able to use on other projects. It teaches me how to incorporate art into things I never would have thought of before.”
According to Collins, the student works in the show tell her a key point about Keuka: “I am impressed with all of the talent at the school!”
The student show will be followed by Keuka’s senior show, which will feature capstone works from six seniors majoring in visual and verbal arts.
By John Locke, director of instructional design and multidisciplinary studies
Is Keuka Park the new Roswell?
Judging from photographs taken by students in CMP 265: Computer Visual Design, one might come to that conclusion.
Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) were photographed hovering over Point Neamo, outside residence halls, and various other locales on campus. However, panic has not set in. In fact, students, faculty and staff have been going about their daily routines and paying no attention to the strange objects flying overhead.
That’s because these are photographic “hoaxes” that students created using Photoshop. Call it a high-tech spinoff of the 1938 radio drama based on H.G. Well’s “War of the Worlds,” sans the hysteria but with much more educational value.
“I try to get my students out of the textbook and into a project as soon as possible, so that they can apply what they’ve learned so far,” said Instructor John Locke. “We are all aware that Photoshop can be used for nefarious purposes, so I figure we might as well get it out of our systems early on in the class.”
“I think the UFO project was really fun… we got to put a twist on college life at Keuka and spruce up the campus,” said Maddie Reynolds, a senior educational studies major.
Her photo depicts an odd-shaped spacecraft hovering outside her residence hall while a student points in astonishment at an extraterrestrial who is throwing a soccer ball out of a second-floor window.
As their homework assignment, students photographed the scenes where their UFO “sightings” would be staged, and then they took pictures of everyday, common items to use as their “UFOs.” Back in the classroom, they worked in Photoshop to create a composite of their assorted images.
“It was a great introductory project for us to apply basic skills we have been learning in Photoshop,” said John Miller, a senior organizational communication major.
Miller’s photo shows his friends speeding along in a boat with a flying saucer hot on its stern.
“I showed the photo I edited to my friends that were in it. In disbelief they kept saying, ‘What is that?’ until I explained that I had created the UFO myself,” said Miller.
Locke said “more strangeness can be expected” from his students.
“They have been morphing each other’s facial features onto their own portraits to create an army of CMP 265 Mutants,” he explained. “Every time another mutant is ‘born’ and presented, the class breaks out in laughter. Combining facial features is not a skill they will probably ever use in a practical sense, but in the process, they are becoming pretty competent photo retouch artists.”
Last year around Halloween, students created a collection of horror movie posters that hung in the hallway near the Geiser Refectory. Locke plans to resurrect that project this season, and hopes to display another crop of petrifying posters produced in Photoshop.
Hien Pham may be a Vietnamese student studying for a degree at an American college, but she’s taking advantage of every opportunity afforded her to pave the way to a future job. At Keuka College one of those opportunities is Field Period, the 140-hour internship in real-world workplaces that each Keuka undergraduate conducts each year.
Pham hails from Hue City, Vietnam, and studied at Vietnam National University (ISVNU) in Hanoi, a partner school to Keuka, before transferring to the home campus in Keuka Park last year. With a business management major and a communications minor, the senior put multiple skills to use in January for Action for Boston Community Development Inc. (ABCD), a non-profit agency that provides a range of services to low-income families, including minorities and internationals.
During her four weeks at the Dorchester City neighborhood branch, Pham used her graphic design skills to create a four-page branch newsletter, which showcases numerous programs and offerings for the many Asian and African-American families served by ABCD. She also drew and painted a large banner of Rosa Parks’ bus to hang on a center wall for children to add names of famous Black Americans during Black History Month in February.