Monday, March 23, 2009

Thoughts on USITT's Cover the Walls Exhibit

I think that the Cover The Walls exhibit is a great way to share designs (lighting, costume, scenic and technical. It's open to everyone at a relatively low cost. It allows the viewers to see what shows are being done, how they are being approached, and generate new ideas of their own. Its also a great way for acedemia to get out the word about what they are doing at a location where they are recruiting, and for people who are looking for work at USITT to exhibit a portfolio piece.

Despite what reasons people choose for participation, there are a number of ways to approach the final appearance. This year I would say the exhibits were either the traditional pages pined (or attached with double stick tape or velcro) in an artistic array over the space, prearranged foamboard displays attached to the wall, printed / plotted displays, and 3-demensional works. There are some that mix - Mine was plotted, but with full color photos and bluelines attached, and some used a fabric background, with applied works.

There are a couple things to keep in mind when designing the display. They supply pins and hammers, but it's better to design in an attachement method, as the pins are a pain. Make sure your double stick tape is hefty enough to hold your stuff (I made this mistake the first year and needed to resort to pins). They say no 3-D, people do it, but make sure you bring what you need to support the element on your panel. Panel design is important. No matter how nice your work is, if it looks sloppy, it reflects on you. This is like a temporary portfolio review that hundreds of people look at - while not being able to ask any questions to clarify what you were trying to convey. The design needs to supply all the important information in an eye pleasing manner that uses the provided space well.

The pictures below reflect the variety of the displays. The first was done with foamcore boards.

On the one below, I liked the center one with the fabric. The one on the right that was printed was nice, but might have been easier to read if it took up a little more of the panel space.

I liked the 3 demensional elements on this one.

The bottom two was my favorite display. It is obvious that the design took alot of time with the display.

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