Since the 1930s, musical theatre has reflected changing trends in American history. This thesis illustrates how we use entertainment to discuss difficult topics, such as war, poverty, and disease, and proposes an exhibition that uses musicals as a lens to examine American history. By identifying a major historical trend from each decade from the 1930s to the 2000s, this thesis connects historical context to an American musical production of each era. I analyzed data from a survey I created to gauge respondents' familiarity with the historical themes identified, and emotional intensity of their reaction to each theme. This data will be implemented in the design of the exhibition, and will allow the exhibition to more effectively reach the identified target audience of young adults. The experience of emotional connection to entertainment is universal to young adults, and this thesis posits that it can be an accessible foothold into American history.
Animating Concrete Poetry
The program was to alter an existing piece of artwork so that it blurred the line between viewing the piece, and reading the piece. I animated two concrete poems by Gomringer, making the mental process of following the words in one's mind a literal visual animation.
by Eugen Gomringer
"Ping Pong", 1952.
by Eugen Gomringer
Posed as the question, "What if a neighborhood could be an exhibition?," Swampoodle! was a project that combined urban interventions with temporary happenings to both honor the history of a neighborhood that no longer exists, and provide an enriched experience of the area for its residents. A partnership between myself and Megan P. Magee, the goals were to activate empty spaces, celebrate the neighborhood, and fill a gap in the city as a whole. Proposed interventions included a skateboard park, commissioned graffiti pieces by local and international artists, and the renovation of an abandoned warehouse to become a multi-use space for art, retail, and festivals.
One example of the proposed interventions was a skate park installation by Jordan Bernier that was to be part of the permanent part of the warehouse site, and would encourage socialization and recreation. Lighting would be installed at this site so that it can be utilized in the evening. The rear of the Fab Lab was chosen as a site because of its connection to the arts community in the neighborhood. The proposed piece was to be a mural by MOMO, an artist from New Orleans who works outdoors with systems and homemade tools. There would be additional lighting installed on the building to illuminate the mural at night.
Taking place in the Rice Gallery of McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, this project was a collaboration between our class and Professor Robert Lemieux of McDaniel College. Students worked in groups to propose a design for this exhibition, which opened January 26, 2014. Focusing on the principles of clarity, simplicity, and color, our group established organizational themes and a floor plan which catered to a mixed audience of children, adults, and the campus community.
The challenges for this project included a limited budget, and the necessary use of temporary walls that were already in the gallery. Our solutions to these constraints included an emphasis on thoughtful use of paint to organize with color, and object placement on the temporary walls provided, with a layout based on the four themes we identified for organization: Flora, Fauna, Fantasy, and Family.
Uptown Museum: An Urban Renewal Project
The challenge was to propose a way to renovate the current structure of the Uptown Theatre in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and to design a space to house a contemporary art collection. My design drew upon the history of the building, constructed in 1936. By drawing upon elements from the Bauhaus movement of the 1930s, the space achieved a modern aesthetic which complemented the contemporary art, while honoring the history of the building.
The galleries feature concrete, glass, and light wood to create an experience of texture and warmth. An open central area allows for relationships between pieces on separate floors of the gallery, and showcases the Calder mobile to great effect. The proposal also included a cafe and store, accessible from the sidewalk without having to enter the gallery, that would feature food from local D.C. companies, and would function as a standalone retail and socializing space.
Candace Wheeler: A Journey Through Time
The objective was to create an exhibition on the life of Candace Wheeler, the mother of interior design. By creating the framework of a "steampunk time machine," the design became an engaging and accessible entry into a subject matter that did not hold wide appeal. Visitors experience an immersive environment that was accurate to the design principles that Wheeler established, with appropriate color palettes and materials choices.
Visitors entered the exhibition through "Professor Cornelius Fitzwidget's Aero-Flux-Chronometer," a space which served as the transitional "time machine" experience. The character of Professor Cornelius guided visitors through the exhibition, offering a meta-narrative about the historical events that shaped Candace Wheeler's life and work.
Using techniques such as soldering and careful shaping, mounts were created with respect to the material and stability of each object, and utmost conservatorial care.
Models crafted to encapsulate different forms of an action; in this case, "to lean".
Truth & Lies in Advertising
A personal competition among the CCAD students and faculty, this program was to bring a dish to a potluck with a label that concealed a lie.