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York College of PA to Host Synecdoche: Graphic Design Senior Exhibition Opening on April 8

April 05, 2022
Graphic Design Senior Exhibition 2019

Written by: Brooklyn Blymier '23

From day one, York College of Pennsylvania promises that students will think critically and learn actively, so that they can graduate ready. Graphic Design majors from day one gain the hands-on experience they need, learning the tools and techniques, both traditional and digital, to make their ideas come to life. Now, senior Graphic Design students will be given the opportunity to showcase their unique ideas and skills at the Graphic Design Senior Exhibition, presenting their semester-long studio projects in their final semester.

The Synecdoche exhibition will open on April 8, 2022, in DeMeester Recital Hall, Evelyn and Earle Wolf Hall. The event will begin at 5 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. Gallery Director Matthew Clay-Robison will give a brief introduction of the event, followed by the students’ presentations and a reception that will include announcements of awards for first, second, and third place, which have been predetermined by faculty. Students who place will receive a monetary award. The senior exhibition will continue through April 23. Those interested in purchasing student work will be given the opportunity to do so both during the opening event and through the end of the exhibition.

The exhibition events are open to the public free of charge. Those planning to attend the opening in person should register to do so. Those wishing to attend the event online via Zoom should also register in advance.  

The 11 Graphic Design seniors began working on their Senior Thesis projects in fall of 2021, employing methods of concept, process, craft, and design learned in prerequisite courses. Since the start of the spring semester leading up to the exhibition, seniors have been fine-tuning their projects with advice from faculty. Students have also prepared PechaKucha style presentations explaining their creative work. This style of presentation requires the students to each show 20 slides, delivering 20 seconds of commentary for each.

The focus of the Senior Thesis this year is quite different from previous years. This year’s emphasis is on individual process and expression. Clay-Robison communicates that this year’s project allows students to create work that speaks to personal interest, with the chance to “show [their] voice as designer[s].”

Graphic Design seniors Madison Gillespie and Sydney Cashwell share their opinions on the importance of this project. Gillespie comments, “I think this is the most personal I’ve gotten with a project because everything that we’ve done here is usually based off of a structure. This is the first project where we didn’t have one and we got to design our own structure ... We got to work with what medium we wanted and what subject matter we wanted, and that kind of thing.” Cashwell shares a similar opinion, We basically could have whatever message we wanted to show, and we could tailor that to the medium we used. So, if we really enjoy illustration or photography, or whatever, we basically have free range from start to finish.”

While students were allowed to take this project in their own direction unlike previous years, this group feels a strong sense of connectivity. Clay-Robison explains, “The reason Synecdoche became popular among everybody [for an exhibition name] was this idea of how interwoven they feel as a group. They feel like they have come together so that they are both a unit, but they are individuals within that unit ... They are exhibiting as a unit, too.” This explanation makes a lot of sense since ‘synecdoche’ is defined as “a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent a whole.”