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2013 Fall Exhibition
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12/5-8: AT BERKELEY, A TOUCH OF SIN, PORTRAIT OF JASON & more!
August 13, 2013
At least six grads will have work in weekend's art, design and music fest.
By Carolyn Jack
What do weapons of mass destruction bring to mind? Dubai, Iran … maybe that other CIA.
But WMC – the Weapons of Mass Creation festival – is all about cutting-edge music, art and design. No wonder its founder, designer Jeff Finley of locally-based GoMedia, considers the right CIA – the Cleveland Institute of Art – a major arsenal of artists and designers he can draw on for his annual event.
“I think it could be very good” as a source of talent for the festival and of job candidates for his business, Finley said. “I went to the BFA show they had last year. I was really impressed.”
And when something makes an impression on Finley, he likes to bring it home so everyone here can enjoy it, too. He started WMC in 2010 to showcase bands and artists from all over, known and unknown, looking for “the perfect line-up … of up-and-coming talent and work that would look great in an art gallery.”
A lot of what he’s found can be traced back to CIA. In fact, this year’s festival – nicknamed WMC4 and taking place on the Cleveland Public Theatre campus this Friday through Sunday, Aug. 16-18 – will feature several CIA graduates as speakers, exhibited designers, and vendors, including noted music-industry artist Derek Hess ’88; fashion designer and “Project Runway” alumna Valerie Mayen ’05; portraitist Oliver Barrett ’07; Aaron Sechrist ’02, of OK Pants Design & Illustration; and Durham, NC-based professional designer Katie Parland ’10.
Parland will be showcasing a series of experimental collages she calls “landscape-esque explorations with color and composition,” that represent a big departure from her design work. “By day, I'm a graphic designer, working for clients on all kinds of things, but in my free time I really like to step away from my computer and make (right now anyway) cut paper illustration work.”
In addition to these established CIA artists and designers, a new name has emerged: illustrator and graphic designer Lucy Williams graduated from CIA only last May, but as a result of her BFA thesis, Finley and WMC4 have selected her work for a festival exhibition that will be her first professional show.
For her thesis, titled “The Cleveland Project,” Williams decided to interview creative individuals in the Cleveland area and design posters for their businesses, she said. One of those people was Finley, who later asked her if she would like to show her work at the festival, “which I was ecstatic about,” she exclaimed. “I’m a bit nervous, because I think there are going to be a ton of really talented people there.”
Six of Williams’ 14 posters will be on view at the festival. (To see examples, click here.) The entire work also exists as an iBook; Williams hopes she can one day give other artists an incentive to explore Cleveland by turning her thesis into an iPad application, through which other artists can add their own interviews and posters to “The Cleveland Project.”
Williams sees her WMC4 debut as just the latest good chance that her time at CIA has brought to her. She’s enjoyed a spectrum of such opportunities, beginning with the freedom to explore graphic design in addition to illustration and leading to specific skills, community connections and great mentors such as CIA Art Director Richard Sarian, who edited “The Cleveland Project.” Williams calls him “one of the most fantastic graphic designers at CIA. I would never have been able to do it without Rich.”
CIA “makes it easy to do what you want to do, as long as you’re driven,” she said. “They will provide for you.”
Tickets to WMC4 are $35 for a single-day pass to $75 for a standard three-day pass. To purchase, or for further information, go to wmcfest.com.
Above: A poster by Lucy Williams '13 that was part of her BFA thesis, "The Cleveland Project." Six of her posters from this series will be on view at the Weapons of Mass Creation festival from August 16-18.
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