Senior GVSU art students showcase commercial design in exhibit

GVL/Kate Branum - THREE exhibition

Kate Branum

GVL/Kate Branum – “THREE” exhibition

Kate Branum

Grand Valley State University senior art students Kelsey Kolokowski, SeoHee Lee and Hannah Schrotenboer have created “THR3E,” a group exhibition showcasing each of the final projects they have been working on for the duration of the fall semester.

The exhibition, held in the Stuart B. and Barbara H. Padnos Student Art and Design Gallery in the Calder Arts Center on the Allendale Campus, opened with a reception held Thursday, Nov. 17.

Each artist aimed to create a project that reflected their personality and interests, resulting in an exhibition that is a split into three vastly different themes including makeup, tea and kayaks. Using their knowledge of graphic design, all three artists produced a company and a series of items with unique packaging and presentation.

Every aspect of design was considered when creating the final products, from color-schemes to the shape of the boxes. The artists wanted to make packaging and branding that would attract attention and look professional.

“This is (the students’) final thing and they were responsible for every aspect of the project,” assistant professor of graphic design at GVSU Vinicius Lima said. “They managed their time and they managed their budgets. I was there as an advisor giving feedback on their work, but they chose what they wanted to do. It’s kind of a big step, they spend a whole four years working on assignments that are given to them, and eventually (the students) find themselves having to do their own thing and deciding how they are going to approach it.”

Kolokowski created branding and designed original packaging for a cosmetics company she created called “NOVA.” Drawing inspiration from outer space and high-fashion, Kolokowski produced 13 different lipsticks and 12 shades of eyeshadow. Each product is set in black packaging with popping neon accents, reflecting the extraterrestrial editorial mood she wanted to convey.

Included in her display were large posters and a catalog portraying a model wearing Kolokowski’s products as well as a card listing the names of her eyeshadow colors.

“I’ve always really liked makeup and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my show,” Kolokowski said. “I talked with multiple people about what to do and they told me I should do a makeup line. I usually don’t get to do things like that–what I enjoy–because usually we are given assignments. (The assignments) are fun, but I wanted to do something I was passionate about.”

Lee produced branding and packaging for her tea company called “Pourri,” which featured white packaging with dainty, floral designs and gold accents. Utilizing dried flowers, small, round tins and carefully folded cardboard boxes, Lee recreated classic tea flavors including lavender, chamomile, blue chai and pink rose. Accompanying each tea flavor was a description of the product and enticing gift tags.

“I want people to enjoy design itself and realize how it can be colorful, enjoyable and fun,” Lee said.

Schrotenboer’s project, “QAYAQ,” spanned the right wall of the gallery, displaying three handmade, small-scale wooden kayak models. Under each kayak, she included the name of the model and the dimensions of the large-scale version. Schrotenboer also made a white T-shirt and a gray sweatshirt with the QAYAQ logo printed on the front.

“There is quite a bit of learning involved in this, and it might seem like some of the choices are done just for fun, but there is a lot of thought behind the things and there is quite a backstory for each of the trends that should hopefully come across. It’s important for people to see that,” Lima said.

“THR3E” will be on display until Friday, Dec. 2.