Senior Thesis Graphic Design and Studio Art Exhibition


In the gallery, the people stared in wonder. One corner of the room was covered in military-themed graphic art on camouflage. Another was bedecked with various sheets of handwritten calligraphy. In between lay a stunning array of artwork. It was a feast for the imagination.

Family, friends and students converged at the Oakland University Art Gallery Friday evening April 11 to attend the opening of MIX: Senior Thesis in Graphic Design and Studio Art Exhibition. The artists were also there to explain their works.

“People often have fixed perspectives of what is graphic design and what is fine art,” Director of Studio Art Cody VanderKaay said of this year’s exhibition, which is the first to show the two side by side. “I think it works very well.”

One of the highlights of the exhibit was the work of PRIIIME, a Detroit-based graphic design business founded by students Frank Lepkowski, Kaylee McWhinnie and Amanda Grzadziel. They presented aspects of their social media presence, photography and merchandise that they designed themselves. Lepkowski received the Graphic Design Exhibition Award for his work.

They were even selling their designed clothing at the exhibit.

“We just sold out!” Grzadziel said of their t-shirt labeled “THA YAC,” which references the city of Pontiac, Mich. Their shirts paid homage to other Metro Area locales as well.

McWhinnie said that PRIIIME would not end at graduation. “We’re going to do another line of shirts,” she said, detailing their post-OU business plans. “It’s not stopping today.”

Caryn Rochfort was also represented at the exhibit. She showcased two paintings titled You Are Never Truly Alone and No Means No!, both of which, she said, were modeled off of more famous works. She described them as conveying how women feel in vulnerable situations.

So is she happy to be graduating?

“I honestly wish that I wasn’t,” said Rochfort, who said that her time at OU had been meaningful and that she would miss the community.

“I’m still trying to decide on a lot of things [for the future], like graduate school,” she said. “I definitely want to continue painting.”

Lexy Gaduski won the Studio Art Exhibition Award for her installation Clearly Unclear, a series of stencils of a head propped up in the middle of the room. She said that Graphic Design is her minor, and she still has to work on earning a teaching certificate at OU.

“The journey here continues,” she said.

The exhibition is being shown until May 18.