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Student artists create aquatic life in the art courtyard
Student artists create aquatic life in the art courtyard

Student artists create aquatic life in the art courtyard

By Charlotte Williams Indy Staff Writer

Friday, November 08, 2019 | Number of views (1107)

Aquatic creatures line the brick walls of the art courtyard as a result of a project for a communicative design class from Oct. 28 through Nov. 15. 

Using wheat paste, students paste online illustrations they’ve created on printer paper onto the walls as a fast means of communication, Anthony Carton, digital media professor in charge of this project, said.

Students within the digital media course were required to use the online design program Illustrator to create a design that fit the theme of aquatic life, Kasey Diehl, Carton’s teacher assistant, said.

“Wheat pasting is a form of graffiti art, but it's temporary and it doesn't use any toxic substances,” Diehl said. “It's a simple flour and water mixture that is boiled.”

The wheat paste makes the art easily removable, and they will be removed after two to three weeks to respect the space, but wheat paste also stays up pretty well, Diehl said.

The intent of the project was to help students build their illustration skills, as well as to have a piece of work that they can have in their portfolio for later, Diehl said.

Although the project is temporary, students such as Bella Fields used the project to express their creative means.

According to Fields, this assignment is labeled as a temporary installation project, that focuses on putting something up quick rather than the art itself, Fields said.

This project helps students to understand the media's different ways of posting and making their art known, Fields said.

Since the art pieces are displayed before the public eye, students must be aware of the affect their messages have on the public, Diehl said. 

“We're always trying to have the designers be conscious of what they design, especially in a public place,” she said. “We want to make sure that it's appropriate to the public.”

In the previous three years of doing this project, the theme has been open for students to choose what to illustrate, Carton said. But this year, there was a specific theme of aquatic life.

“In the rough lines around aquatic matter or aquatic life, the students were able to pick what they liked about it, or try to interpret aquatic life how they want to,” Diehl said. “It was a good outlet for them to express their creativity.”

By adding a theme to the project, it ties the temporary nature of this project, making something and put it up on the wall, to gaining print production skills, Carton said.

Given that client work often has a theme or guidelines that specify what to create, assigning a theme simulates some of that client interaction, but we still want it to be something that the students feel like they can express themselves with,” Carton said. 

Shepard Fairey, the creator and founder of the clothing line Obey, was a source of inspiration for this project, Carton said.

Part of Fairey’s background includes street art, Carton said. 

An important aspect of this project is having the students understand where graphic design comes from, Carton said.

Students who aren’t art majors can still participate in learning how to communicate ideas through artistic means by getting involved with registered student organizations such as American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) for communication design, Carton said. 

“Art helps you get new perspectives on things,” Diehl said. “If you're stuck in a monotonous way of doing things, it's fun to create something and have that freedom to open your eyes up to something else, a different type of learning to work.”


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