Graphic Design Talents Chosen to Promote Signature Nashville Events
Watkins students are blanketing the city with their intelligence, visual wit, and creativity through unique opportunities with several beloved Nashville community events.
Nashville’s premier arts and crafts gathering, the American Artisan Festival, turned to Watkins to provide a signature piece of art commemorating the 2011 edition. Illustration 1 student Giovanni Delgado illustrated the event poster promoting the annual showcase of high-quality American handcrafts and fine art staged in Centennial Park. This year more than 165 exhibitors from across the country will participate in the free festival on Father’s Day weekend, Friday, June 17 through Sunday, June 19. In choosing Giovanni’s work, festival organizers cited his “inspiring view of the Parthenon somehow uplifted and floating in the breeze of Centennial Park. So magical!”
For the second year in a row, the kind folks at the Music City Hot Chicken Festival — the Independence Day food-and-entertainment extravaganza celebrating a Nashville culinary tradition — allowed Watkins illustration students to define the look of their event. The Chamber of Commerce’s Jeff Hite introduced the festival and its history to a class of 16 students, who then set out to conduct high-intensity research at Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish. Working with a real client heightens the classroom experience for Watkins’ graphic design majors and gives them a real opportunity to fulfill a client’s needs while attempting to produce a successful image.
This year, to crank things up a notch, the school partnered with Bryce McCloud to create a unique letterpress-printed hot chicken poster on the shores of the Isle of Printing. (As further testament to the students’ dedicated work ethic, many hot dogs were consumed within and surrounding an old Sunbeam Bread truck.) By the end of the day, each student had drawn and carved a screaming hot bird, and printed them carefully on Bryce’s trusty Vandercook. Ily Phelps’ illustration was chosen to represent this year’s event, which features unique flare fare from local restaurants, an amateur cooking competition, children’s activities and lots of music. The holiday festival runs from 11am until 3 pm in East Park on Monday, July 4th. There’s no admission charge; food and beverage will be available for purchase.
This past spring, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) partnered for the fourth consecutive year with Watkins College of Art, Design & Film to design the artwork for their popular 19th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival presented by Regions Bank.
Graphic design student Rex Runyeon created the art which was used in all Tin Pan South promotional materials and on the website. A Nashville native, Rex described his resulting work as a response to the culture of Nashville and the way people communicate with letters and words. The singular microphone shows how a simple song gives a voice to an artist who communicates to the world.
According to NSAI’s Director of Development and Tin Pan South Festival Co-Director Erika Wollam-Nichols, “We are, as always, thrilled with the resulting work. Rex’s image of the iconic, antique microphone captures the history of the festival and the Nashville music scene while the free-hand style of the illustration and lettering reflects the unique flair of the festival and the songwriters who participate. We also loved the contrast and how the red highlights and accentuates the festival’s name.”
The Watkins/NSAI partnership will continue for the 20th anniversary Tin Pan South festival, set for next March.