REDCAT celebrates 50 years of CalArts graphic design in Inside Out & Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1970-2019, organized by Program in Graphic Design faculty Michael Worthington, CalArts alums Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton (Art MFA 07) and Silas Munro (Art MFA 08), and REDCAT Exhibitions Manager Carmen Amengual.
The exhibition—which is accompanied by two new publications, a virtual tour, and a series of conversations—offers a critical look at CalArts’ role in the history of contemporary graphic design as it also reckons with issues of representation and race in the field. Inside Out & Upside Down runs from Tuesday, Aug. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 29 at REDCAT.
Featuring more than 300 student- and faculty-designed posters from the CalArts Poster Archive (many of which were long unavailable to the public), Inside Out & Upside Down features the work of influential figures in Southern California graphic design from the last half century. Among these are numerous CalArts alumni, including Denise Gonzales Crisp (Art MFA 96), Geoff McFetridge (Art MFA 95), Silas Munro (Art MFA 08), Brian Roettinger (Art BFA 04), Andrea Tinnes (Art MFA 98), Tim Belonax (Art MFA 11), Barbara Glauber (Art MFA 90), and Zak Kyes (Art BFA 05). Works by former School of Art faculty, including April Greiman and faculty emeritus Ed Fella, are also included in the exhibition.
In addition to the accompanying poster book Inside Out & Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1980–2019, designed by Worthington, Arceneaux-Sutton and Munro will critically engage the archive through new writings (some of which makes up the exhibition’s wall text), speculative posters, and conversations. This upcoming collection will serve as a “critical companion” to Worthington’s book, created by the exhibition organizers in collaboration with graphic design students, designers, and artists. Currently slated for release near the exhibition’s end, this as-yet untitled work functions as an intervention within Inside Out & Upside Down as it reflects on themes of inclusion, omission, equality, and race in the archive and the overall graphic design canon.
As part of the organizers’ upcoming texts, a series of public programs and salons kick off with “Unseen in the Archives: Inclusion and Omission in Inside Out & Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1970-2019,” a virtual conversation about inclusion and representation in graphic design on Wednesday, Sept. 9. The talk features Arceneaux-Sutton, Munro, and Worthington, and will be moderated by Amengual. RSVP for the Zoom webinar here.
Arceneaux-Sutton is the principal designer of Blacvoice Graphic Design Studio, and graphic design faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University and Vermont College of Fine Art. Her research focuses on work produced by Black artists often omitted from the graphic design historical canon. Arceneaux-Sutton was also a guest on the CalArts Graphic Design Program’s Radical Practice podcast.
Munro is the founder of bicoastal design studio Polymode, which produces research-informed design for cultural institutions including MoMa, The New Museum, and The Phillips Collection. He serves as graphic design faculty at Otis College of Art and Design, and Chair Emeritus at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
REDCAT also teamed up with global engineering and consulting firm Arup, led by Paul Chavez, to bring the gallery experience online while the physical gallery space is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Check out the 360-degree virtual tour here.
Inside Out & Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1970-2019
Tuesday, Aug. 25-Sunday, Nov. 29
631 W 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
“Unseen in the Archives: Inclusion and Omission in Inside Out & Upside Down” Virtual Conversation
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 7 pm