Senior Emma Williams presents graphic design art exhibit

Emma Williams debuted her award-winning art at her senior exhibit this week. The exhibit includes a suicide awareness campaign and many photography-based pieces.

Photo by Alena Blakley. 

By Abigail MeredithAssistant Arts Editor

Good art comes with a story, and Emma Williams’ senior art exhibit is chock-full of stories. Her show opened Monday, May 8th at 7 pm, and will stay open throughout the week.

From neon light to photography, viewers are invited to come appreciate the stories behind each piece.

“What makes it unique is probably the amount of photography I incorporate into my designs,” Williams said. “I came in with a pretty strong photography background, and I’ve learned how to incorporate that into my design style.”

Sarah Gilstad, a senior art major who was in several photographs on exhibit, said there are difficulties graphic designers can face with their exhibits.

“A really strong show can be difficult to accomplish for graphic designers since studio art is usually more appealing in the context of an art show,” she said.

Despite these difficulties, Gilstad said she had several favorite pieces for Williams’ show.

“I really like her “to write love on her arms” series because it’s for a good cause,” she said. “Also, I like the ‘keep living’ shirt which is a part of the series because it’s a reminder to keep going even when things get tough,” Gilstad said.

Williams also shared some of the stories behind her favorite works.

“My favorite pieces are a shoe campaign I did called “Daphne’s Shoes” and a suicide awareness campaign for the organization To Write Love on Her Arms. The shoe ads are heavily influenced by Roy Lichtenstein, who is one of my favorites. Plus I just love shoes! The other campaign is really important to me because I love the organization To Write Love on Her Arms. I also won an ADDY this year for it, which was super exciting and I didn’t expect it at all.” Williams said.

She also discussed one of her successful projects which played only during the opening night.

“My “Demanding Joy” project went really well. I built a slideshow to play throughout the opening and I’m excited about it. It looks nice and there are a lot of people who were able to be part of it.”

Gilstad explained how much work Williams put into the show.

“Emma prepared by coming up with a theme, actually making the working, figuring out where it’s going to hang, printing labels, business cards, setting up stands, picking out music, planning the food, actually making the food, framing… the list goes on and on.”

Williams offered details.

“A lot of preparation was creating a visual identity for myself, making a playlist because I’m heavily influenced by music, and also my project “Demanding Joy” started last semester and there was a lot of time that went into that.”

Gilstad made it clear the Williams was, luckily, not alone.

“Her mom was coming down and she helped a lot. And just about everyone in the art department has pitched in whether it’s critiquing a project, offering Inspiring ideas or help to accomplish those goals.” Gilstad said.

Gilstad also supported Willaims.

“We always help each other out whether it’s posing for a picture or gluing things together or just helping to clean up the mess.” Gilstad said.

Williams said the art show didn’t come without its difficulties.

“I had trouble printing at first because the nozzles needed to be cleaned. I also had an awkward run in with the guy in the mailroom,” she said.

“I ordered fake blood for a photo and the bottle opened up in the box, so there was a ton of realistic looking blood dripping all over the mail room. The guy looked really concerned and asked if I knew what was in the box. I felt so bad, he must have been horrified,” Williams said.

To see the art behind the stories, check out Williams’ exhibit in the art building any time this week.