Art lovers were not prepared for the jaw-dropping works of graphic design put on display in the University Art Gallery on Saturday, where every piece dazzled the eye and bombarded the senses.
Visionarium, an exhibit created by the graphic design capstone class, opened Saturday with a reception and a chance to talk to senior graphic design students about what they created and why.
Visitors were greeted at the door by a creatively animated promotional video designed by the class to introduce the exhibit. The theme of the gallery is visions of the future, metaphorically and literally.
Flint senior Rebecca Thresher, a featured designer, wanted to develop a concept for something that doesn’t exist yet.
“I have a love of science and the gallery’s concept was a vision of the future,” Thresher said. “What better way to see the future than with a time machine?”
Viewers of the piece could use a computer to explore the possibility of time travel and analyze an infographic explaining the theory of relativity.
Northville senior Evan Bentley redefined the meaning of interactive art with his piece that asks the question, “What is worth?”
Sporting rows and rows of single dollar bills hanging on cloths line, 98 in total, people could take a dollar off the line if they took a photograph of themselves, printed it at the exhibit, wrote on it what they thought their existence was worth and hung it in the dollars place.
Photos left at the gallery left messages such as “our love” and “our goofy personalities” on the prints.
“People measure themselves by how much money they make to decide how much they are worth,” Bentley said. “It’s not about how much you have, it’s how much you give.”
Bentley’s work is far from finished as he set up a camera near the exhibit to record people leaving photos of themselves so he can turn it into a time-lapse video.
The gallery is not simply a high-tech display of graphic design greatness. There were also numerous creative works designed to have as much function as they do style.
Other work on display at the gallery include designs for Michigan’s rebranding campaigns and infographics about the importance of vaccinations.
“I love the overall design concept of the gallery,” said theater professor Betsy Richard. “It has a perfect mix of low-tech and high-tech designs.”
The Visionarium is on display in the University Art Gallery until April 19. The exhibit is free and open to the public.