New gallery displays art works by 10 alumni, 10 years in the making

SF State School of Design seniors Gratas Sparnauskas (left) and Lorirae Francisco (right) look at some of the artwork in the Alumni Exhibition in the Design Gallery at SF State on Thursday Sept. 15, 2016.

The polished work of alumni from the Department of Design and Industry debuted in the new Design Gallery’s inaugural exhibition on Thursday.

The vast, open space of the gallery gave observers ample room to admire the designs from 10 University graduates whose disciplines ranged from product design, interior, apparel and graphic design.

“I like seeing work from alumni. It shows that students have something to look forward to when we graduate. We are learning all these skills,” said visual communications major Megan Chen.

The diversity of designs in the exhibition gave each section of the room a different character. In one corner, outstretched arms with hands made to grasp a long chandelier intrigued viewers to learn more about their handy function. On the other side of the room, two guitars and a ukulele hung side by side producing a different note altogether. Next to each design was commentary about the alumni artists that created the piece, the creative process behind the work and the inspiration the alumni received from their schooling at SF State.

SF State design and industry associate professor Joshua Singer poses for a portrait in the Design Gallery at SF State on Thursday Sept. 15, 2016. Singer’s class created the new installed gallery. Connor Hunt/Xpress

SF State design and industry associate professor Joshua Singer poses for a portrait in the Design Gallery at SF State on Thursday Sept. 15, 2016. Singer’s class created the new installed gallery.

The gallery’s curator, Professor Joshua Singer, said organizers contacted the alumni through faculty who recommended their work. The show featured work by: Renee Anderson, Peter Antonelli, Rosemary Brensen, Lizette Bruckstein, Noah Guy, Mark Kelly, Joe Luttwak, Eli Myers, David Rager and Laura Urquiaga.

“We thought that having an alumni exhibition was the nicest way to open the gallery — showing work from SF State graduates,” Singer said.

Nearly 10 years in the making, efforts to open a gallery with the capacity to show numerous design exhibits throughout the semester have been led by Professor Jane Vedeer. Vedeer said faculty realized they needed an interface with the outside world more sizable than just the three-day apparel design show held every spring.

“We are delighted,” Vedeer said. “We want to share what we do with the community and we hope to end each year with shows from students.”

The Design Gallery already has plans for other exhibitions throughout the semester. Its next exhibition, “Revolution Times,” will feature radical newspapers from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The exhibit will include a large collection from the Black Panther Party and its opening coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party.

The alumni exhibition will remain running and open to the public until Oct. 11.