As of Thursday, Sept. 3, The Gallery of Art and Design, located in the George Hurst Building, opened its doors to “Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012.”
“Graphic Advocacy” is composed of 122 posters that display visually compelling images of modern time. The works of art promote social justice and equality, as well as advocate for environmental defense and commemorate lost lives. The exhibition has traveled all over the globe as non-commissioned visual substances to help raise money to support political and humanitarian causes. “Graphic Advocacy” was organized by professor Elizabeth Resnick and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.
The exhibition is also available online. This has allowed the exhibition to gain even further support and feedback among its followers. The entirety of the exhibit, with the use of technology, has become a mile- marker for advocacy through a graphic medium.
Mark Rigsby, museum director at The University of Southern Mississippi, reached out to Resnick and requested that the exhibition be displayed at the university. He said it is unlike anything the university has had before. He also said he has had positive feedback from the students on the exhibition and that they feel it is the best exhibition they have ever had.
“I think it’s a great show. The images are powerful and thought-provoking. The designs are colorful and beautifully executed. And most importantly, each work vividly communicates a compelling message. I think it’s a show that everyone should take the opportunity to see.” – Rigsby
Rigsby also noted that the exhibition and closing ceremony lecture has been generously supported financially by the College of Arts and Letters and Partners for the Arts. Partners for the Arts is a group that brings funding and opportunities to the various art departments on the Southern Miss campus.
Gabrielle Graham, a graphic design major with a minor in art history, shared her thoughts on the exhibit.
“It’s always very inspiring to see that many people voice their opinions about cultural and economic problems in society, but these artists present their viewpoints in a way that evokes so much emotion from the audience,” Graham said. “There are so many ways to express yourself, but through the emotion-fueled pieces in this gallery, the passion for these matters is tremendously more evident than it would be in a speech about ethics or a monologue about our flippant society.”
Graham said that the piece that stood out to her was one entitled “Because This Mouth is Mine!” by Frank Arbelo. Graham described it as depicting a man whose mouth is being covered by a government “hand” and representing government censorship.
“This speaks to me because it shows a simple photo that contains a magnitude of meaning that not only resonates with me personally, but also with those affected by the ‘hand’ that guards their mouth,” Graham said.
There will be a closing lecture on Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. under the direction of Resnick on the “Propaganda and Protest Graphics: A Selective View of Civic Empowerment and Resistance by Artists and Designers.” Anyone is welcome to attend the lecture. It will be at the George Hurst building in the gallery where the exhibit is held.