For graphic designer Kelly Salchow MacArthur, the digital arts communicate important ecological messages.
The art department will be hosting an exhibit of MacArthur’s work from Oct. 20 to Nov. 19. The exhibit combines an array of digital designs printed on paper and metal, highlighted by different lighting techniques. The exhibit’s purpose is to encourage viewers to rethink how they treat the environment.
This is the first time the art department has hosted a graphic artist as its featured exhibit since the college started offering graphic design classes over 15 years ago.
MacArthur is an associate professor of studio art and co-coordinator of graphic design at Michigan State University. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and also studied at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.
According to Teacher of Graphic Design Bryan Springer, displaying her work will expose students to a type of art Hillsdale does not usually have the chance to experience.
“The medium is unique and in an area that is contemporary and relevant,” he said. “And MacArthur’s work is beautiful. She offers a specific visual language you don’t see in painting or sculpture.”
The art department decided to host MacArthur and her work because the exhibit will serve the dual purpose of exposing students to professional design and of showing how graphic arts could transcend utility and communicate something higher.
“We see the value of graphic design as it relates to the traditional artists,” Springer said. “It fulfills the need to communicate visually one’s own identity.”