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ONU Students Attend Small Press Expo

Jeff GibbonsThe 15th annual Small Press Exposition was held the weekend of September 26–27, 2009 at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, MD, just one mile outside of the nation’s capital. The Expo brought together over 400 artists and publishers—including three Ohio Northern University students—to meet their readers, booksellers, distributors, and each other.

“I had an awesome experience,” said Jeff Gibbons, a junior studio arts major from Toledo. “It was great to have met all of these artists. I thought I would flip-out, but I kept my cool. I talked to a lot of people!”

The Small Press Expo was opened to the public late Saturday morning and ran through Sunday evening. All weekend long, the students expected to attend great programming.

“Everybody should go to this conference,” explained Fred Frances, a studio arts major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was an incredibly nourishing day. It was like a gallery with hundreds and hundreds of artist. I want to come back next year.”

The Small Press Expo now serves as the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books and the discovery of new creative talent.

According to Mike Madsen, a junior graphic design major from Cochocton, Ohio, “The SPX isn’t what you’d expect when you think comic book convention. The subject matter of the books range from historical, horror to literary and comedy.”

During the Small Press Expo, there were several panels about the politics, economics, and the art of comics. Most of these sessions were arranged and frequently moderated by writers, artists, teachers, and comic-book scholars.

“I had a good time,” said Jeff. “I got a lot of things that will be great for my book class. There were so many different styles and artists; I was overwhelmed.”

Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design, contact the department at 419.772.2160.