SSU Receives CASE Award for Excellence in Design

casewinners.jpgCollaboration is alive and well at Sonoma State University, and the hard work of many has resulted in a silver award for Excellence in Design from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Creating the posters for the 2010-11 Theatre Arts and Dance season was a group effort, involving students, faculty and staff from the Art Department, Theatre Arts and Dance Department, and University Affairs.

Art students Francisco Alonzo, Jenny Braun, Ryan Butler, Crystal Hudson, Matt Hunt, Ben Ikola, Amber Fawn Keig and Jason Perry worked with professors Paul Draper (theatre arts and dance) and Kurt Kemp (studio art and printmaking) to create the artwork that eventually became a series of seven color posters, used to publicize the 2010-11 season.

The students also collaborated with directors of each production, to ensure that the artwork captured the essence of the shows.

Sandy Destiny, Director of Creative Services for University Affairs, used the completed artwork to create the posters, adding graphics and text to the imagery. Destiny worked hard to create a unified series of posters, no easy feat considering that each piece of original artwork was vastly different from the next.

The end result was a series of eye-catching posters, created entirely by members of the SSU community (click on the image below to view posters in high resolution).


The benefits of this interdisciplinary approach were numerous. The art students were given a collaborative opportunity to create original artwork, that was then distributed throughout the greater North Bay Area. Professor Kurt Kemp remarked that the students enjoyed the exposure of seeing their artwork in the windows of local stores and plastered around campus. Some of the images were even repurposed into postcards, t-shirts and other promotional items.

The Theatre Arts and Dance Department benefitted tremendously, in both creative and cost-saving ways. Rather than working with an outside graphic designer, faculty and directors were able to participate and guide in the creation of the imagery. Additionally, the only costs associated with this project involved the printing of the posters.

This collaborative process will be recreated for the 2011-12 season, allowing another group of students and faculty to enjoy the creative process of designing original artwork.

This is the first CASE award received by any of the participating departments and divisions. The award was formally presented at the CASE District VII Conference, held in Los Angeles from March 2-5.

CASE awards are used to recognize the best practices in alumni relations, fundraising, public and government relations, advancement services, special events and outstanding communications. Sonoma State University is a member of CASE District VII, which represents higher education institutions in the western region of the United States.

In the photo above: Jenny Braun, Amber Keig, Matt Hunt, Francisco Alonzo, Ben
Ikola, Crystal Hudson, Kurt Kemp, Paul Draper and Sandy Destiny. Not pictured: Jason Perry and Ryan Butler. Photo by Jean Wasp, University Affairs.

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