VisCom Art Movements: EUPHORIA

This is my second year in teaching Visual Communication in Ateneo. The dynamics in class are always changing with the different types of students that composes the class. For the first half of the semester, we focused on the History of VisComm and learned about the different period, era and art movements that became influential in today's visual world. We learned the stories and meanings of art works, posters and graphic designs from each era which contributed to our database of knowledge. To quote Aldous Huxley, "the more you see, the more you know."

Hoping that my students learned something from our activities and discussions, I gave a project for their midterm requirements. I've always asked myself "How did they come up with art movements?" What I essentially learned from our lessons is that a movement should have an intention. The Arts and Crafts Movement by William Morris was created in opposition to the Kitsche art that was manufactured by technology. They wanted to bring back the hand made quality of products and rediscover the artists in everyone. Dadaism was created as "anti-art" art movement. So if we were to come up with an art movement, what would it look like? We explored this idea in class and I decided that this will be our midterm project.

We started with brainstorming. I grouped them into small groups and asked each group to come up with the following: a motif, a color palette, a typography style, an inspiration, and a name for the art movement. After the brainstorming, they came up with these ideas:

To determine what our visual style will be, I first tried to see what are the common things that they groups came up with: Minimalism, Grey, Thin, Surreal and Euphoria. This may seem a good combination for an art movement but they weren't happy with we came up with. So to make it fair, we had a votation. Each member may vote one for each category except for their own idea. Finally we came up with another set of visual keywords: Floral/Victorian, Light/Dark Matte, Bold and Surreal/Nightmare, and "Euphoria". Well..that didn't come up better either.haha

Anyways, moving forward we have to take this as a challenge. I divided the class into 2 groups and gave the final instruction to them. They have to develop the "Euphoria" concept and put up an art exhibit. They may only change one of the keywords and they should individually create one poster and one artwork according to their group's visual style.

On the day of the gallery show, we divided the room in two and each group shall exhibit their artworks and posters. After the show each one of them presented their works and the judges gave their critiques and scored them. Here are some photos during the gallery show.

Team 1 getting ready

Pre-show rituals?

Preparing the circus-themed gallery

With the sophomores..

Mandy's final touch of their exhibit

But first...

Last minute preps...

Group 2's final gallery look

Cool installation in the entrance of  Team 1's gallery

Team 1 had a concept of "Circus". Some of their works included the floral theme and circus imagery like clowns and ferris wheels.

With Team 1: EUPHORIA: Circus of Fears

Special thanks to my panelists, Bianca Zamora and Tennyl Canlas

Team Euphobia during the presentation.

Team EUPHOBIA focused on each of their phobias. Their posters shows the name of the phobia and each of their artwork or design had limited colors: white, black, grays and red.

In the end, team EUPHOBIA showed more cohesiveness in terms of visual style. Individually, their artworks and posters were well-researched and presented well. For winning this challenge, I gave each one of them a print of some of my digital illustrations. Kudos also to Team Circus of Fears for the nice setup and cool artworks too. Congratulations to each one of them! I really appreciate your works!

In the end, I realized that creating an Art Movement was not easy. Individually, we have our own preferences and style and that creates conflict and tension. But what makes us are also the people around us. We are influenced by our peers, our family, our culture, school and the media. We must learn to adapt, collaborate with other artists and learn from one another. Critics are always there and it may hurt our egos and pride. But it's part of life. We must see the world in a positive light and accept these critiques constructively in the hopes of improving one's self.

I really enjoyed this activity and I feel contented with what our class has produced. I hope that these future communicators will grow into better visual thinkers and creators. Check out their individual works below. Click on the image to be redirected to their blogs.
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