Clarke University’s graphic design program is 15 years old and that milestone will be marked with a special exhibit in the Quigley Gallery. The Graphic Design Alumni Exhibition: Celebrating 15 Years of the Graphic Design Program at Clarke will be on display from Oct. 7-24. Admission is free. The Quigley Gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A reception is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11, from 3-4:30 p.m. The exhibition will feature work of Clarke graphic design alumni from across the United States. Design work will range from printed campaigns, book design, posters, television, web, animation, magazine and newspaper, catalogs, way-finding signage, information graphics, vehicle wraps, exhibition installation design, logos, stationery and packaging design, to screen printed t-shirts. More than 20 designers will be represented. Clarke looks at its art department as a comprehensive program that really is a sum of its parts. Graphic design, sculpture, painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking students– regardless of their interests – take classes in each discipline within the first two years of their studies. There is no doubt that what a student learns in one area will help them in another. That’s one reason why the new 2,000-square-foot graphic design lab is good news for students in each discipline. “There are 20 state-of-the-art work areas,” said Eric Wold, assistant professor of graphic design. “We’re still working on some of the toys – a laser engraver, 3D printer, contour cutter. We’re figuring out all the logistical ways of working in this area. It opens the door for sculpture, 4D, motion lighting.” “It plays into what our strength is,” said Louise Kames, professor and chair of the art department. “Our design program is rooted in the belief that studio art/fine arts are not separate disciplines.” That belief is reflected in the fact that students can chose to pursue a bachelor of fine arts degree – a professional degree which requires 60 credits in art. “As a graphic designer, having a fine arts background has helped me beyond measure,” said Clarke alumna Erin Sell, marketing communications specialist at Medical Associates, who was among the first class of graphic design majors to graduate in 2000. “At my first job out of college, it was a huge bonus to the company that I knew how to sketch/draw/concept ideas. Most design agencies want their designers to be able to do that. I think there’s a misconception that designers will just sit in front of a computer all day, when in fact most of them do a lot of drawing, sketching, utilizing knowledge from color theory classes, or applying techniques they used in classes such as printmaking.” For more information, contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318.