This spring, graphic design students taking ART 472, Graphic Design Capstone Experience, have chosen the theme homelessness for their capstone exhibition.
The topic is split into four areas: resources, case studies, disproportionately affected and definitions.
Groups of students each focused on one topic area. The resources group focused on interactive installations for the public rather than art on walls. Senior Anna Bajorek explained that the most challenging part was making sure everyone was comfortable talking about this topic.
"This whole process is very rewarding, and you get a great sense of accomplishment," Bajorek said.
The case studies group wanted to base its piece on real stories from real people, so members connected with homeless individuals in the community. Senior McKala Harmon recognizes that as one person you can only do so much.
"This is one of those things that you can't just fix by yourself. We can just try to bring to light what's going on, and hope for change," Harmon said.
The goal of the disproportionately affected group was to humanize homelessness by looking at women and families, veterans, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with mental illness. A large number of people fall into the categories they're focusing on, and it shows how homelessness can happen to anyone.
"We want to focus on the 'why,' giving background information and showing people how it's not their fault," said senior art and design student Rachel LaFrance.
The last topic group, defining homelessness, intends its installation to function as an introduction to what the other groups are discussing.
Senior Jarrett Oldecek explained, "It's not just the guy who's sleeping under the bridge. There's so much more to it."
Junior May Napora agrees. "It's been hard trying to deal with a situation that's so heavy, you never know who's being affected."
'At the Threshold'
The exhibition will open at the University Art Gallery
March 29 and run through April 13, with the reception taking place from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, March 30. The gallery is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.