The organization is Nebraska’s chapter of AIGA. The event is called SHOW. The purpose is to celebrate the best design the state has to offer. And in 2017, it all went down at KANEKO. It was pretty neat. The judges were particularly good this year. The talks they gave before opening the winners exhibition were well-timed for the moment. Way better than the standard fare of I’m a designer and this is my design work.
Jessica Arana recently launched Across Borders: A Look at the Work of Latinx Designers. She has a background in cultural studies, art, social justice, education, and activism. Her talk was on the importance of storytelling and pulling together the pieces of your particular story. In her case, being both Mexican and American and being able to to re-imagine and rewrite the personal and the cultural. From the pink kitchen walls of her grandmother’s home in Mexico to the way her father dreamed with a chicken on his head. More on Reveling Borderland Identities.
Robyn Kanner had the best punk rock intro to an AIGA talk ever. She co-founded MyTransHealth, said bathroom signs are not enough, and asked designers to show the fuck up. (Posters are also not enough.) Yes, the election made us all want to cry and flying into Omaha means being on flights with people who are definitely not bored with trans people. Are you ready to get to work and give money to black trans women? Read more in TGD.
Timothy Hykes co-founded the Design + Diversity conference in St. Louis and created 28 Days of Black Designers. If you’re black and you want to be a designer you have to want it as much as you want to breathe. Yes, black people make up only 3% of the design community so you have to be better than good, you have to be great. When Charlottesville happened, with all the tiki torches and the chanting, he wanted to know why people hated him and what he ever did to them. But we’re designers, we stand together, and we can ultimately create a more beautiful world for everyone living in it.
Also, JKDC won a few awards:
GOLD + Judge’s Choice: Heath Mello for Mayor
GOLD + Judge’s Choice: Film Streams at 10
GOLD: Bring Back The Dundee
Silver: Love v. Fear
Bronze: Power to the Poster
Bronze: Lincoln Calling 2017
Bronze: Nebraska AIDS Project Brochure
I’m very proud of all this design work. But I’m particularly proud of the clients it was created for: do-gooders and changemakers in our community working hard to make things better.