Note: Another version of this story appeared in the Florida Times-Union on Wednesday, April 21. Go here to see the story online.
In a time when the world sometimes seems short of good role models for kids, Jacksonville’s artists have stepped up.
AIGA Jacksonville’s Discover Design is a mentorship program that matches graphic artists with artistic high school students who might be considering a career in the field. AIGA is a professional association for design.
They recently completed their third session, the designs from which will be on display tonight during the First Wednesday May Downtown Art Walk in the old library at Adams and Ocean streets from 5 to 9 p.m.
Discover Design’s co-founder, Karen Kurycki, points to the individual as well as the social aspects of the program. “We want students to find their voices, to understand the power of design and how it can change the quality of life,” she said, “We want them to know they can make a difference in their community through their message.”
The most recent group designed a billboard based on the theme of tolerance for a campaign called “Create! Don’t Hate,” which was started by the national Design Ignites Change program.
The winning design, by Bishop Kenny High School junior Kiara Sanchez and her graphic arts mentor, Jen McClelland, is called, “Look Beyond the Mask.”
“I wanted to show that while we may be different on the outside, on the inside we’re the same,” said Sanchez.
Her design will be used on a locally displayed billboard as soon as funding can be found. “While ClearChannel Outdoor has agreed to sponsor the location, the production cost of $800 has yet to be procured,” said Kurycki. “We’re hoping for a donor soon.”
“I would love to see her work up on a billboard,” said McClelland, “How amazing to have that happen for a young artist like Kiara!”
Here’s a list of all of the recent Discover Design teams, with students listed first:
Emily Coppedge and Casie Simpson
Rebecca Crosby and Eric Blair
Kevin Palmer and Katy Garrison
Paris Parker and Vikki O’Steen
Ena Saint-Gilles and Rob Knox
Brandon Edwards and Karen Kurycki
Kiara Sanchez and Jen McClelland
Alessandra DiMare and Deborah Lamir
Note: Discover Design is seeking donors to sponsor the Create! Don’t Hate billboard. If you would like to support them for this or future projects, or if you know of a school that would like to participate in the program, please contact Amber-Lynn Gusa at [email protected]
Go here to read more about the program.
Go here for the Discover Design website.