Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents the Senior Graphic Design Exhibition “SkillShot,” featuring work by Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree candidates Holly Carden, Jay Greer, Melissa Mayhew and Jill Thompson, on Thursday, April 30, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Anode in East Nashville.
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The one-night-only portfolio showcase, which is free and open to the public, will introduce to the community four outstanding graphic designers and illustrators through a showcase of print and multimedia projects in advertising, packaging, branding and identity, digital publishing and illustration.
Each graduating class of graphic designers at Watkins chooses a presentation theme for their group BFA show, and this year’s concept reflects that “Just like pinball, excellent design requires a careful balance of luck, skill and wizardry.”
“The Spring 2015 class is a small but potent group of designers, said Jim Valosik (Watkins ’07), award-winning art/creative director and adjunct instructor in senior portfolio. “In addition to being amazing people to enter the workforce, they come with some serious design and Illustration chops — their talent level is as high as their professionalism.”
Holly Carden (Smyrna, TN) – hollycarden.com
Holly Carden, “Sad Turtle”
Originally from Buckley, North Wales, Holly will present high-detail illustrations (pen & ink, watercolor, pencil) used in packaging design, hand-constructed product mockups, advertising campaigns, and more.
Over the course of her experience at Watkins, Holly’s illustration work has been juried into multiple exhibitions and recognized with honors such as the Robb Swaney Prize for Visual Excellence and a National Student Addy Award. Upon graduating, Holly intends to focus on growing her freelance illustration business and becoming a bigger part of Nashville’s thriving art and design community.
Jay Greer (Collierville, TN) – jaynebulae.com
Jay Greer, “Robo-Rabitt”
“Bizarre branding meets face-melting illustration in my fun and freaky portfolio; low-brow meets high-culture, so there’s a little something for everyone. Illustration, advertising, typography, and brand storytelling will all share the spotlight in this particular show.”
Recognized and exhibited in a number of shows throughout his time at Watkins, Jay is as busy in the business of the design world as he is in the local low-brow art scene. Jay enjoys wielding the digital pen when it comes to illustration and typography, although he has a passion for the old school with ink, paint, and markers always on hand. After graduation, Jay hopes to give the advertising world a shot while also growing his freelance design business.
Melissa Mayhew, Student Addys poster
Melissa Mayhew (Lawrence, KS)
Driven by color and inspired by nature, Melissa is excited to collaborate with other designers and help people achieve their creative vision. When she isn’t painting or drawing, Melissa loves to read, learn, and travel.
Jill S. Thompson (Pulaski, TN) – jillsthompson.com
Jill S. Thompson, R.E.M gig poster
Jill is a graphic designer who incorporates illustration and printmaking into her work. She has experience managing all aspects of production, from concept-generation to coordinating with vendors for creation of the final product. Jill has designed logos, flyers, email blasts, digital conference materials, infographics, and even large-scale banners.
For more information, visit show website SkillShotShow.com.
The award-winning creative agency Anode Inc. is located at 926 Main Street/37206 in East Nashville (near the corner at McFerrin Avenue).
Watkins Graphic Design students and alumni are consistently among the most honored in the country through their submissions to regional, national and international advertising design competitions, particularly in the student and professional categories of the ADDY Awards (hosted by the American Advertising Federation). At the 2015 Nashville Student ADDYs,
Holly Carden, “Groaty”
Watkins won more top awards than any other school competing (for the third consecutive year), this year claiming 12 Golds, 11 Silvers, two of four Judge’s Choice honors and Best in Show. In the next-level District competition, against schools from five states, Watkins students again won big, claiming four Golds and four Silvers.
Jill S. Thompson, “Ken”
Watkins students continue to blanket Nashville and the region with their intelligence, visual wit and creativity through unique opportunities with several beloved Nashville community events. In the past few years, their talents have been chosen to promote signature happenings such as the American Artisan Festival, the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival, Music City Hot Chicken Festival, Nashville Sister Cities Program, Nashville Symphony and Nashville Opera performances, and Murfreesboro’s JazzFest, as well as the Nashville Scene’s “Best of Nashville” cover art.
About the program
The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design at Watkins College begins with a strong foundation in the basic principles and elements of design and typography. The curriculum then builds incomplexity until students graduate with a professional, high quality, entry-level portfolio. Coursework effectively covers art, design, typography, technology, professional practices and the history of art and design. Small class sizes allow for each student to have individual consultations with faculty at every stage of assigned projects. Graphic design electives, including internships with area advertising and design agencies, enhance each student’s education.
Melissa Mayhew, “Dazed”
The curriculum culminates in the capstone course, Senior Portfolio Development, where each graduating senior works with senior faculty to polish his/her portfolio. Finally, the graduating class, as a team, puts together a senior exhibition that features their portfolios.