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Exhibit is a study of design process

Amanda Joy Gingery's graphic designs will launch the fall season of exhibits at the Villa Julie College Art Gallery.

The show, simply titled a designer, is an exploration of the processes and concepts involved in her work.

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"It's really about the origins of being a designer," said the 28-year-old artist, who teaches at the college.

The exhibit, which opens Monday, combines finished pieces with "childhood artifacts" in a chronicle of Gingery's artistic career.

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It begins with a section called "Origins," an assembled grid of more than 90 photocopies of sketches, journal entries and photographs from her grade school, adolescent and college years.

Gingery said the exhibit's second section, titled "Message," attempts to show that graphic design "is as much intellectual as it is visual."

These works allowed her to act as a "storyteller," communicating with both words and images, she said.

The third section, dubbed "Method," follows a design from concept to finished product, with sketches and drawings flanking the completed piece.

Though the end product is displayed alongside the drafts, its role in the section is secondary to that of the sketches, which illustrate the entire creative progression, Gingery said.

Rounding out the display is a final wall of finished work, "Designs."

The polished creations of the 1995 Maryland Institute College of Art graduate are a fitting end to an exhibit that details the process of becoming, for both artist and art.

But the exhibit's smooth sectional transitions shouldn't give the impression that skill in design is just a natural gift, Gingery said.

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A graphic designer's fluency in visual communication is the result of hard work and training.

And the show, she said, should give viewers a sense that a career in design is challenging.

"I hope people realize," Gingery said, "that we have to be talented problem solvers.

"There is research involved in graphic design; you have to understand your audience."

But a keen eye for aesthetics doesn't hurt, either, she said.

"We're not mouse clickers. We don't learn Photoshop and suddenly become good designers."

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Gingery will discuss her artistic journey at the opening reception, which will take place 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on Sept. 4. The show will run through Oct. 4.

The Villa Julie College Art Gallery is at 1525 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 410-486-7000 or visit www.vjc.edu.

For more art events, see page 42.


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