Thursday, March 26, 2015

sustainable city

Proposal: City in a Garden, Sustainable Chicago Poster, 2014
Designer: David Versluis
City of Chicago Poster Competition
Poster Not published

The main visual elements of this poster are created with waste paper, which creates a variety of shapes, colors, and textures. The use of waste paper in the design suggests that a sustainable city is also a vibrant city, one where the disposable elements of a wasteful culture are re-purposed to create communities where all are empowered to thrive. The different colors may suggest a patchwork of races and cultures, while the shapes and textures call to mind the outlines of buildings, or the grid of the Chicago streets. The overall effect of the design and copy is a call to action to join together to create a sustainable, diverse city where all humans flourish and no one is treated as “disposable.”

Poster design was inspired by Hans Hofmann’s The Gate from 1959:

Hans Hofmann
The Gate, 1959-60
Oil on canvas
Image taken from Wikipedia

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

New work: The 2015 St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church’s Oratorio Singers Poster

Graphic designer: David Versluis / Lucca photography: iStock

This year the Oratorio Singers in Vancouver under the direction of Darryl Nixon is scheduled to perform Messa di Gloria by Giacomo Puccini at St. Andrew's-Wesley Church. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The photographic image seems to emulate the look and feel of a 1930s color postcard. In addition, dots on the letters “i” in Puccini have been lowered to suggest a closer visual proximity in the type style.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

New work: The 2015 Sioux County Oratorio Chorus Poster

Graphic designer / photographer: David Versluis

This year the Sioux County Oratorio Chorus is scheduled to perform Mozart’s Requiem at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton, Iowa where the sound will resonate. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church was founded in 1870. The current church building was built in 1908 and for the most part the building remains much as it did when it was erected.

Among the many distinguishing characteristics of the interior are the wonderful stained glass windows made in Munich, Germany. The series of windows suggests a European classical charm.

I have developed a poster concept for the 2015 Oratorio Concert that utilizes as a background the rosette image from St Mary’s east semi-transept. It seems to be a fitting image for Mozart’s Requiem (The image has been darkened to contrast the poster text). The SCOC logo / identity was developed by Shelby Heerema, a graphic design student at Dordt College.

While St. Mary’s is not a true Christian church basilica, it nevertheless has Roman characteristics of a transept set crosswise to the nave and apse.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Dordt College campus event—student graphic design

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—Dordt College Event Graphics (vinyl banners)
This banner series was initially designed in fall 2012 and continues to be used each year.
Kuyper Apartments (the stage area)
Each banner is w 42 inches x 130 inches

The MLK banners graphic design group for 2012:
Andrew Steendam, Darin Lammers, Mandy Faber, Cait Vaags, Ashley Viet, Nathan Morehead.

Quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. 

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Objects for Collective Inquiry: Sara Alsum-Wassenaar presents art exhibit at Dordt College

Sara Alsum-Wassenaar, artist. Top photograph is a gallery installation and above is a Salad Foraging Bowl (detail) being used in the process of gathering a weed salad.

Traditionally, the newest member of Dordt’s art faculty is invited to have a solo exhibition.  As a result the community is invited to attend the solo art exhibition by Sara Alsum-Wassenaar, assistant professor of art at Dordt College. The show is on display in the college’s Campus Center Art Gallery until February 1.

Alsum-Wassenaar has created an exhibit that showcases how “built and natural environments interrupt one another, the spaces where human intervention interacts with creation.” Her artwork includes objects such as sewing, ceramics, and bike building, to name a few.

“The work explores basic human needs and fulfills them within a regional environment through a process of labor,” says Alsum-Wassenaar. “They invite foraging and object making, reveal relationships between bodies and land, and compress the space between humans and their habitat by using a mediated form, like clay or a bicycle. Through this mediation the handmade landscape is domesticated.” In a statement about her show Alsum-Wassenaar writes the following:

These objects cultivate alternative modes of occupying spaces where the built and natural environment interrupt one another, the spaces where human intervention interacts with creation. These objects facilitate a relationship between the handmade and the land by utilizing traditional craft methods including metalworking, pottery, woodworking, and sewing -processes that can be produced on an individual level. Objects are designed, made or hybridized on an individual scale in response to specific land-use requirements. The work explores basic human needs and fulfills them within a regional environment through a process of labor. They invite foraging and object making, reveal relationships between bodies and land, and compress the space between humans and their habitat by using a mediated form, like clay or a bicycle. Through this mediation the handmade landscape is domesticated.
Alsum-Wassenaar has a B.S. in psychology and art from Hope College, an M.Ed. in secondary education from Grand Valley State University, and an M.F.A. in new media from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 Dordt Northwestern Student Juried Art Show.

Copy is from Dordt College publicity:

The annual Dordt/Northwestern Student Art Exhibit is an opportunity for students from both schools to share their best artwork of the year in a combined exhibit. This student-selected and juried exhibit will be on display in the Dordt College Campus Center Art Gallery this past December. 
This joint exhibit by Dordt College and Northwestern College art students has been an annual tradition since 1999. The colleges alternate hosting the exhibit, with Dordt students selecting the Northwestern art that will be shown and Northwestern students selecting the Dordt art that is shown.
Below is a Dordt Diamond interview with David Versluis gallery coordinator.

Q. Can you explain a little about how this show works? I know the students from each college choose pieces from the other college to be shown, but how much of a role do the professors play?

A. The works selected for recognition showcase the imagination and technical abilities of Dordt/NWC students. The pieces featured in the show are produced mainly in art studio classes. Every year the show is initially organized independently by the art faculties from both colleges who then develop a schedule. The art gallery coordinators administer calls for artwork from each school and student jurors are asked to serve.

The fact that the jurors are students evaluating the artwork from the other school is very unique. This year with the show being hosted by Dordt, members of the Art Senior Seminar class were asked to curate the installation. The design and layout of the artwork in the gallery space is sensitive and thoughtful — Rebekah Dykhuizen, Melissa Brantsen, Bridget Rowe, Hayley Dahl, and Aubrey Pasker were attentive to the details and did a very fine job. I, along with Kit Drennon did the installation.

What do you think students (the students who will have their work shown) can learn from this exhibition or how can they benefit from it?

This is an experience for students from both schools to gather in community to review the artwork of their peers, which has great value. Viewers can discover the variety of visual art being generated by our students and see how the art has the technical skill and conceptual capacity that speaks to them.

Q. Why do you think Dordt students should care about this exhibition? Why should they know about it?

A. While this show is interestingly competitive it’s also indicative of the relational attitudes between two Christian colleges that are in fairly close proximity to one other. As a result this show helps build community by mixing artwork from both schools; it is more community service-focused and less about self-centric art-making, which seems paradoxical.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Harold Sikkema: Curiosity as strange, but also as inquisitive

Dordt College recently completed the run of “I am curious” art exhibition by Canadian artist/designer Harold Sikkema. The following are notes from one of Harold's presentations when he was visiting the College.

By Matt Van Rys—
My Notes on Harold Sikkema, Visiting Artist/Designer
Dordt College Senior Seminar Class Visit / Presentation—21 October 2014.
  • From Caledonia Ontario.
  • Working Graphic Designer, Web Developer and Fine Artist
  • Showed exhibition design, to scale, pillars, wall layouts with templates provided by David [Versluis] (see illustration above).
  • Freelance, Self-Employed.
  • Spoke of the importance of curating as part of the art making process
  • Conversation within a specific space
  • Think about the installation as it reflects with the work
  • Harold is also currently using Google’s Open Gallery to show digital versions of what the “i am curious Show might look like.
  • Expressed habit of being on the lookout for traces of humanity all around, think footprints, scratches, paths, trails and the like.
  1. Borrowing as a way of respecting the people around you (collaboration, making marks in the world together)
  2. Photoshop can be a very lonely place, just you and the screen
  3. It can make you move to get more active engagement
  4. How to connect the dots between art and religion (Reformed as a form of minimalism)
  • Community as performance artwork – committed to a confession
  • Community world service Asia (example of branding and website)
  • Commercial work can enrich your personal art
  • Journaling and writing as a secondary outlet and resource (good and helpful for building and shaping perspective)
  • Curiosity as strange, but also as inquisitive
  • “Otherverse” as nature, the other form of revelation

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