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Graphic art expresses public opinion in Elzay Gallery exhibit

Ivan Gazdov's

Ivan Gazdov's "Play of Silhouettes Series" depicts the perfect unity between humankind and nature. (Northern Review photo/Kasy Long)

Art expresses emotions in both a subtle form and imaginative creation. Sometimes, the only way to understand themes is to see it presented in artistic designs. For Ohio Northern University’s Department of Art and Design, these statements are more personal to the current undergraduate students. For many of them, the only way to express how they feel is to draw, paint, or construct with clay.

The growing department welcomes the Massachusetts College of Art and Design to feature multiple graphic posters for its current exhibit, "Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012" in the Elzay Gallery of Art until April 12. The gallery is free and open to the public daily from 1-4:30 p.m.

This graphic advocacy exhibit features the posters as a medium for social change. From confrontational and political pieces to persuasive and education posters, the works persevere as vehicles for public ideas, information, and opinion.

The posters also serve as a powerful manifestation of each designer’s commitment to social structure.

Curator of the graphic poster campaign and professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Elizabeth Resnick states, “As a medium for social change, posters record our struggles for peace, social justice, environmental defense, and liberation from oppression. Posters communicate, advocate, instruct, celebrate, and warn.”

Works include Lanny Sommese’s “No!”, Eric Drooker’s “Occupy the Streets,” “Frank Arbelo’s “Because This Mouth is Mine!”, Anita Wasik’s “Close Guantanamo Bay,” Antonio Castro’s “Migrant Workers,” Maziar Zand’s “Our Modern Family,” Götz Gramlich’s “Hope for Sichuan,” Hilppa Hyrkäs’ “Stop Climate Change,” Ivan Gazdov’s “Play of Silhouettes Series,” and Asher Jay’s “Dolphin Drip Disaster.”

Many posters display creations of political and social issues, including the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Occupy Wall Street, repressive governments, homosexuality, global warming, and pollution.

Resnick adds, “Without a doubt, the poster remains the most resonant, intrinsic and enduring item in the arsenal of a contemporary graphic designer.”

Ohio Northern University has a strong graphic design program, and with this current exhibition in the gallery, students find inspiration right in their comfort zone. Posters have become a cornerstone of the 21st-century advocacy, which is definitely a confidence booster for many students.

"Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012" showcases a selection of 122 posters, and ONU’s Department of Art and Design is proud to feature a select number of those art pieces.

The Elzay Gallery is an education art gallery for the Ohio Northern community and for the Northwest Central Ohio region. The annual gallery season is designed to serve as a cultural resource, to host national and international touring exhibitions and programs. In addition, the gallery hosts original exhibits featuring works by current undergraduate students.

The department invites the public from April 20 to May 3 for the Art and Design Photography Exhibit in the Stambaugh Theatre Gallery and the Senior Capstone Exhibit in the Elzay Gallery.


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