BFA in Design seniors are rounding out their time as students with the presentation of client projects they have worked on throughout the Fall 2021 semester. In the biennial BFA in Design Exhibition, these real-world client projects demonstrate the techniques design students acquire before graduating with their BFA. The show opens for First Friday Art Walk on December 3 and will be on view through December 17 at the Carolla Arts Exhibition Center.
Unlike a typical portfolio-based show covering all work done throughout an entire college career, this show focuses on summarizing what design students have gained during their studies by applying those skills in a months-long client partnership. The show focuses on the display of final client projects, but students also choose an additional project to claim as one of their best works from their entire course of study.
The students exhibiting with a BFA in Design for the Fall 2021 semester are as follows: Dalia Alzanbaqi, Rachel Baltz, Michelle Batista, Ashlea Duckworth, Grace Elliott, Samantha Gray, Emilie Hallgren, Ashlyn Hendrickson, KaLen Love, Sara McLemore, Brady Roberds, Meagan Smith, and Staci Stokes.
The projects offer students a glimpse of job industry experience by separating design and illustration methods from the academic setting. “The clients range from public institutions, charitable organizations, non-for-profits, and churches, to businesses big and small. [The may also vary] geographically; many of them are local small businesses and organizations, but we had clients in Florida, Texas, Illinois, Mexico, and in many other places. Presently, one of our students provided the design service to a client in Saudi Arabia,” explains Jacek Fraczak, professor in the Art + Design Department’s Design and Illustration department.
Ashlyn Hendrickson, a BFA senior with an emphasis is Graphic Design, chose a local Springfield business for the project, “I am presenting a project that showcases the work I did for a local coffeehouse, Potter’s House. I worked with Berna, the director of Potter’s House, and created different elements such as updating the current logo, business card variations, thank you card, a donor card, letterhead, etc. It was a joy working with Berna and tangibly visualizing what she wants and expects for the Potter’s House brand.”
While one purpose of the project was for students to exercise the techniques they know, the experience still held plenty of lessons to be learned as students that will carry over into careers in the industry. Navigating the different needs that change from client to client stood out as an important lesson learned from this project for Staci Stokes, a Graphic Design senior, “The process of working with a client is always unique to each project and each occasion. . . My client was very open in sharing the expertise that they had from working on other projects and was also incredibly understanding of the busy schedule of a design student. While it was a bit different to be working on this project, differing from other professional work or class assignments, in that it didn’t have precise times needed for turnaround, it did give me enough time to do thorough research and feel comfortable taking on such a large and new type of project.”
Emilie Hallgren, a BFA student with an emphasis in Illustration, considers the lessons from personal experience that might apply to future students, “What I would relay to other students taking this class (DES 490) or any design classes at all is to remember to work hard, rest, study, love your work and don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and get out of your comfort zone. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. I promise you’ll blossom.”
Carolla Arts Exhibition Center is located at 326 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Missouri. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday 11 AM–6 PM and Saturday 11 AM–4 PM. Call 417-837-2330 for additional details. Please wear a mask and practice safe distancing when visiting the gallery.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.