Art+Design students complete "We Don't Believe" artwork

Thu, 2012-09-06 13:55 -- univcomm
September 6, 2012

On April 25, Anderson University Art+Design majors completed installation of a collaborative design project on the Anderson University campus. The project is a series of eight digitally printed canvases which visually interpret AU's current We Don't Believe" branding campaign. This artwork was commissioned by the Office of Admissions with the Department of Art+Design for the Kane Dining Room, a heavily used space where most prospective students and their families visit when they come to AU. Their goal for the project was to represent AU's values and describe the transformational growth that occurs for students during their time at AU. Audrey Weiger, Assistant Director of Admissions and Professor Kevin Rudynski, Chair of the Department of Art+Design, partnered with junior design majors to realize this project through completion.

At the start of the project, Audrey Weiger shared with design majors her own perspective-shifting experience while a student at AU. "When I came to Anderson University, I was asking myself the question: How am I going to change the world? After the years I spent on this campus learning and growing in faith, I began to ask a different question: How can I partner with the good work that God is doing in our world? Subtle, but significant."

In Professor Rudynski’s junior design course, Design for Print Media, students collaborated for several months to research, concept, and produce the final posters and installation solution. “This project lined up perfectly with the kind of client project I like my junior design students to experience. It offered students a chance to solve a very challenging visual communication problem: how do you represent an organization’s values in a visually thought-provoking manner? The students came through fantastically!” commented Rudynski.

During the development phase of their work, students researched AU's history and reflected on what makes the university a special, distinctive place. Recently, the university has articulated this through a series of "We Don't Believe" statements which describe the values and culture of AU through contrast. Examples include: “We don’t believe that conformity is the goal,” and “We don’t believe that giving means losing.”

These statements became the conceptual focus of the project. The designers chose these statements because they provided a unique way to communicate AU’s identity. The abstract nature of the statements also gave the designers just the right amount of flexibility — freedom of individual expression and a unifying theme to stimulate collaboration as a whole class.

The design students also knew the installation would need to be accessible to a mixed audience. Their We Don’t Believe posters make the AU identity accessible for prospective students who may not know much about AU. Current students and faculty can appreciate the work because it reflects an important part of their own experience.

The designers worked in small groups to develop a distinct visual interpretation of each “We don’t believe” idea. Yhareli Chamboneth’s group chose “We don’t believe that educational excellence and Christian humility are at odds.” This particular statement caught her attention because of her own encounters with the misperception that one of these qualities must be sacrificed for the other. She explained, “I don’t think this is true; your faith does not have to limit your knowledge or vice versa. However, it does require you to be intentional about making both a priority in order to be an effective Christian and a successful professional.”

In its own way, this project has helped the students do exactly that — merge conversations about education and spiritual growth into one seamless dialogue.

About the Department of Art+Design
The Department of Art+Design at Anderson University offers majors in the areas of fine arts studio, visual communications design, and visual arts education. Students gain experience through intensive studio practice, professional internships, and by working closely with faculty of professional artists and designers.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.