Starting in 2012, I initiated and organized the senior portfolio show for my graduating class at VCU's Communication Arts department. This epic, year-long undertaking gave me experience with event coordination, booking a space, volunteers, printing, hanging a show, liaison duties, and delegation, not to mention preparing work for a show and selling art.
The best part of this process was painting a mural for the show.
The mural design was key: the image would not only be a 13 foot tall announcement welcoming people to the show as they entered the gallery, it would also serve as the identity for the show, get printed on posters and postcards, and function online for social media and the department's website.
With several volunteers helping, I was also able to make a spotlit list of all the artists participating in the show, as well as hand-label each artist's spot with their name.
Size: approx. 6' wide x 13' at top
Location: 6 E Broad St. Richmond, VA
BEFORE & AFTER
1500 people attended to see 27 student portfolios.
Photo credit to Tyler Darden
Planning & Process
This design was inspired by the imagery of a potted plant - when you pull it out to re-pot it, its roots have likely spiraled and snared around each other, outgrowing their current container but with nowhere to go. For us, graduation was a time of release and exposure. All packed in cozily together as we were, it will take us a few stretches now to find our new shapes.
I got this piece up on the wall starting with pencil - after thumbnails and sketches, I made a final design on tracing paper, outlined it in marker (all the easier to scan it with), and polished it up digitally. Once I have a digital, hi-res file and a projector, I can paint anything.