Constitution Day Poster Contest
Chantana Charoenpanitkul, Government Documents librarian and SU Constitution Day committee chair, coordinated this poster contest with Dr. Mark Moilanen, SU professor in the Art Department.
Dr. Mark Moilanen incorporated the Constitution Day Poster Contest into
his class, ART 400: Contemporary Methods in Art Education. Each Art Education major was challenged to create a poster communicating the importance of democracy - namely, the rights and responsibilities connected with voting. Posters were judged by Dr. Moilanen and Ms. Charoenpanitkul on the basis of aesthetic value and creativity. Featured in this exhibit are the top three winning entries and four honorable mention posters.
This November 4th, Americans will vote to elect a new President of the United States. It is hoped that these posters inform -- and inspire one to vote. Let each voice be heard.
First Place: Put Your Hands Together
Artist: Will Winters
This poster communicates a non-traditional aspect of promoting citizens to vote. The use of sign language expresses an appeal to the hearing impaired and to foreign language. The text, although minimal, imposes a strong and lasting impression on the viewer. The statements, "hand in your opinion," and "each is heard," are both not only a play-on-words that adheres well to sign language - deeper meanings are also offered.
An addition of circles around the hands creates an aesthetic appeal and a strategic structure. The circles separate the hands, but their unity allows for hands to join together - a nation together. A color scheme of black, grey and white was utilized to stray away from the sugar-coated colors of the flag (as many portrayals are overdone). These spare colors create a striking appearance, helping to bring attention to the cause: Who will you vote for?
Second Place: Presidential Contenders
Artist: David Jacobs
The 2008 Presidential Race has displayed some intense rivalry between Democrats and Republicans - a rivalry that inspired this comical "Fight Night" poster style. Although the campaign issues presently being debated are far from comical, the illustrative style reflects the artist’s favorite genre for expressing intensity. This illustration was drawn by hand with a black Sharpie marker then scanned into Photoshop CS2 (where color was added). With Nov 4th quickly approaching, one can only speculate the outcome of perhaps the most important election in decades. Recent polls show that the contenders - Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain - are evenly marked. But one must ask, "Will we see a Knockout?" The question is timely and valid. Much can change between now and Election Day. The difference between a KO and a fifteen round decision will depend on YOUR VOTE!
Third Place: Stuck
Artist: Erin Gillespie
This poster was created with the intent of producing a big impact through the use of simplistic imagery and a succinct & engaging slogan.The phrase, "Get Stuck," pertains to two things in particular: (1) the "I Voted" sticker depicted in the poster’s graphic; and (2) subliminal references allowing this poster’s impact to remain "stuck" in the viewer’s mind.
The image is bold & vibrant - designed to catch and retain the attention of the viewer. Hopefully, this will motivate the viewer to vote in the forthcoming presidential election.
Honorable Mention:The World is Waiting
Artist: Pamela Speaker
The design of this poster may seem simple, but the message it holds is strong and dynamic. The visual focuses not only on the importance that the upcoming 2008 Presidential Election will have on the United States of America, but reminds us that the election will impact the entire world. With the date of the election - 11.04.08 - on the center image of the globe, observers will be reminded that a most monumental day for being an American - Election Day - is fast approaching. The words, "The World is Waiting," will hopefully prompt Americans as to the importance of this election - and how much our votes actually count and affect our nation & world. As Americans, we are blessed with the ability to voice our opinions and help decide the Commander-in-Chief of our country. We may sometimes
take this privilege for granted - and even forget the significance of it. The President of the United States of America not only leads our
government, but also has many duties that lead outside of our country. The President stands as a spokesperson while traveling to other
countries, provides aid for those countries, creates environmental policies that influence the world and enforces trade policies with the
world’s economy. Therefore, the president holds great responsibilities that go beyond running our country. As Americans, we need to recognize how the forthcoming election is both pivotal and crucial. By using an image of the entire world (instead of only showing America), I am trying to convey the reach of every person’s vote. You may think your vote only determines the president of our country: on the contrary, your vote, your voice, and your opinion could very well help change the world.
Honorable mention: Many Votes
Artist: Jocelyn Carpenter
This poster delicately hints at the common notion that the United States of America is a "melting pot" of different cultures. The reiteration of the word "vote" in many languages conveys the coming together of many people from around the world.
The use of different languages signifying diverse cultures is also intended to provoke the viewer into reading into the presidential candidates. This historical election on November 4, 2008 is one of the first to include candidates of dissimilar cultures and backgrounds. Including the Election Day date on this poster also remind the viewer to remember it is his/her right - as an American citizen - to vote this November. It does not matter what age, race, background or sex a person may be: All that matters is that the individual honors his/her right to vote.
Honorable Mention: Sexualities
Artist: Ciji Urban
This poster is intended to inspire Americans to be actively involved in this country’s politics - and vote! Voting is a right that shows no discrimination towards sexual orientation. The voter registration card holds no such information. Consequently, as an American and as a citizen in desire of change, I wanted my poster to express the importance for those of all sexual orientations to exercise their given right to vote. Voting welcomes new leaders and new leaders invite new ideas. I believe it is not only important to consider how you feel about each candidate but also how each candidate feels about you.
Honorable Mention: Identity
Artist: Lauren Pfeiffenberger
This poster addresses the issues of identity. The use of a stencil and spray paint as a medium is an homage to graffiti artists. Graffiti is usually "tagged" with a first name or secret identity. The artist is usually unknown and viewers of the graffiti can either look at it with feelings of admiration or disgust.
Voting for a candidate is surprisingly similar in concept. We look, evaluate and develop feelings toward the "identities" offered us. What is left for us to decide is whether we, individually, feel admiration or disgust - and how that plays out is our willingness to commit a vote.
Dr. Mark Moilanen and Chantana Charoenpanitkul with student poster artists.