By Maria Ortiz
Art can be an important part of civic engagement. It can shape or clarify our understanding, beliefs, and attitudes. At Mankato State University, professors Mathew Willemsen and Harlan Bloomer ask students in their courses to work on practical projects that could be utilized in local or national campaigns on a variety of issues.
Students design logos or images as well as motion graphic campaigns that utilize their skills as visual communicators to effect change in our society or to portray specific messages (see examples in the slide show below). Here are links to three examples of motion graphic campaigns created by MSU students 1 | 2 | 3.
There are over 100 design majors and a motivated AIGA student group. If organizations need assistance in developing print collateral material they can contact Professor Willemsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Maria Ortiz
Minnesota Campus Compact supported a collaboration between the nonprofit Juxtaposition Arts, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the University of Minnesota’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Design Institute, dedicated to the revitalization of Northeast Minneapolis. Their work began with the West Broadway Gateway Project. This project created murals, sculptures, seating and other people-centered amenities meant to transform the community into a welcoming and aesthetically attractive commercial avenue. The partners and community members focused on the environment, geographical prospective, ownership, zoning issues and public art. All aspects of the project were modeled after other successful projects around the United States.
As the project developed so did its support, scope and goals, eventually being renamed Remix: Creating Place for People on West Broadway. The project completed the installation of a sculpture garden at the West Broadway East Gateway Area. Where artists, architects, landscape professionals and university students and faculty designed and fabricated public art and landscaping elements in a former parking lot. Neighborhood youth and artists also created light post street banners with images of their artwork that were hung along the five block West Broadway commercial district.
The Remix: Creating Place for People on West Broadway project is the kind of project that advocates for community-based place making. The activities created reasons for people to visit to particular places and raised awareness and interest in those places. This project not only brought beauty, but also brought people together in building this place, their community. MORE