The Godwin-Ternbach museum held an opening reception for the Design Faculty exhibition on September 13th. The exhibition showcased the work of over 20 Queens College faculty members, and the diverse artwork on display included sculptures, interactive displays, flipbooks, envelopes, film posters and more.
Matthew Thurber is an adjunct professor in the design department and teaches classes on graphic novels and traditional animation. His contribution to the collection was several flipbooks, which visitors to the museum can pick up and engage with themselves.
“I could have made this an animation on a screen, but I thought it was more interesting to make it anti the spectacle of the screen,” Thurber said. “I wanted it to be a tactile experience, one you could change the speed of or stop, all the positive things that I see in a medium like comic books…so my piece is kind of anti-spectacular, pro-social interaction.”
Andrew DeRosa, another professor of design at Queens College, also contributed to the exhibition. DeRosa said that the inspiration for his piece, a green and white neon sign with the words “I’m not a robot” and a check mark, came to him while he was thinking about CAPTCHA, the test on websites to ensure users are human, and “wanted to interpret it in a different environment.”
“I had this idea about a dystopian near future where technological singularity happened and you can’t distinguish people from robots, and there’s an old fashioned store with this sign in the window,” DeRosa said, though he noted viewers would likely have their own interpretation. He was interested in rendering the digital into something physical because “there’s a slippage of meaning that happens when you take something from one context into another.”
Brita Helgesen, acting co-director of the Godwin-Ternbach museum, said that the exhibition has been in the making since 2014, with calls for submissions taking place last year. “We wanted to keep it as open as possible, so that the faculty could submit work that they felt represented their creativity, and we were thrilled with the response,“ she said.
“My Museum colleagues, Elizabeth Hoy and Setare Arashloo, and myself are so happy with the way the exhibition came out and with the response we’ve been getting from the Queens College community,” Helgesen said. “I think it’s really great for students to be able to see another side of their professors, outside of classroom lectures and critiques… We are so happy to be able to showcase the talent of our amazing faculty and look forward to ways we will be able to continue to do this in the future.”
The artwork is currently on display in the Godwin-Ternbach museum. The exhibition ends December 16th.