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Ohio Northern University Advertising Design Major accepted to speak at international scholarly conference

ImageJanuary—Carmen Cano, an advertising design major at Ohio Northern University, used what she studied in the classroom to present at an international scholarly conference devoted to the life, work, influence, and artistry of the Beatles.

Organized by Penn State University, It Was 50 Years Ago Today!: An International Beatles Celebration will be held at Penn State’s Altoona College on February 6–9, 2014, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ legendary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. In addition to panels and presentations, the conference will include film screenings, musical performances, art and photography exhibits, and keynote addresses by leading Beatles critics and musicologists. The conference will conclude with a commemorative screening of The Ed Sullivan Show as it was originally broadcast on February 9, 1964.

“I found out about this conference when I was working at the ONU radio station,” explained Carmen. “I needed a story to talk about on the radio and I found something about a Beatles conference. After I read it on the air, I looked into the conference at Penn State. They were looking for artwork and papers to be submitted. So, I sent an e-mail inquiring about it, along with information about a project I did in a class. Then a few weeks later, they said they would include me.”

Carmen’s presentation, entitled A Day in the Life: A Beatles Graphic Itinerary, shares information about her research and project from a graphic design course at Ohio Northern. In the course, called narrative structures and taught by Prof. Brit Rowe, the students studied visual communication as a storytelling and framing activity in design.

ImageThe project centered around a graphic itinerary and supporting information for a travel program through Europe to significant sites based on a major time period. Carmen was studying ways in which a complex range of information can be unified through a narrative structure that was memorable, meaningful and coherent.

“I chose the subject of the Beatles’ major performances in Europe before they arrived in the United States,” explained Carmen. “I grew up with their music. But, it wasn’t until I was older that I truly appreciated the Beatles. I took that love of their music and learned about what their lives were like.

“In a way, that helped shape my life. The Beatles not only inspired me musically and artistically, but were able to somewhat lead me into the world of service. They were well-known for certain humanitarianism. But, it was after I had learned that a number of musicians had covered John Lennon’s songs, like Instant Karma: Amnesty for Darfur, to help those in need, I had learned about the conflict in Darfur. I was driven to help people. It helped me choose organizations in college that did the same, like Artists Against Hunger.”

Carmen is a junior advertising design major, with a minor in exercise physiology, from Haskins, Ohio. On campus, she is the student coordinator for Artists Against Hunger, president of the Fencing Club, an attendant for the Elzay Gallery of Art, and a DJ for WONB, the ONU radio station. She is also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, Northern Chimes, Marching and Pep Bands, and the Softball Club.

The mission of the Ohio Northern graphic design program is to prepare undergraduate students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in the field of visual communication. Focusing on development and mastery of conceptual and technical skills in graphic design, illustration, and advertising as well as studio electives, cross disciplinary courses and collaborative experiences prepare students for the convergence of the design fields and for positions as creative directors across a broad spectrum of increasingly media-based careers. Graduates from the program have gone on to work at companies such as Wunderman Design, Foothold Design, Smithsonian Institution, Milan Historical Museum, NiSource, Bubbles Academy, and Recess Creative.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, 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 with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. 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, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions 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 or the University’s 2013–14 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.