DesignHaus highlights seniors


Daniel Mendez, Web Editor

As part of earning a graphic design degree at UTEP, one must complete the portfolio class. It’s a class that usually is the first to be filled once registration starts and overflows with students. Each semester these students must curate a student-led exhibition to showcase the work they have done throughout their years at UTEP and present it at the Glass Gallery in the Fox Fine Arts building.

This semester’s exhibit will showcase a total of 16 students as they present DesignHaus 2019.

“Each student in the class presents their work in the showcase, so we put forward our best work,” said Laura Chaidez, double major in graphic design and media advertising. “And we present it to the community, it can be either to our family members or friends and, preferably, to professionals.”

Clive Cochran, senior lecturer for the UTEP graphic design department, states that this is the department’s 10-year anniversary of hosting the event. The department has hosted 20 shows (two per academic year).

The event was born when six students took it upon themselves to create an exhibition to present their work. They did it off campus at an art studio and that event evolved to what the class is today.

Cochran orchestrated his senior portfolio class to emphasize the word “teamwork.” Teamwork is necessary to the students’ success as they control everything—from the theme, to the organization and scheduling. The students handle the catering, scheduling the Glass Gallery for use, arranging and cleaning the gallery, marketing, the graphics of posters and more.

In the first week of class, the students usually hold a meeting and discuss the plan for the exhibition, thus creating leaders in the group to help make sure everything goes as planned, Cochran said. For him, a goal for this class that came to fruition over time were the teachable moments for the students when they seek employment in the real world because they are working with others to make sure the graphics present the message relayed.

Brooke Crisp, senior graphic design major, created a poster for the event, but later gave the task to another student whom she felt would execute it better. So, she gave herself the task of making sure everybody was on schedule and not falling behind.

One of the group’s biggest obstacles is that students have varied schedules, causing several occasions when not everybody was present to hash out all the details to ensure plans were executed on time. So communication through texts and meeting in person have been the key to making it all possible.

“Since it is student-led, and we are all doing other things, (it’s) sometimes very hectic to get everybody together,” Crisp said. “There hasn’t been an instance where we could all get together,” Crisp said.

This year’s inspiration for the exhibition is from the Staatliches Bauhaus, commonly known as the Bauhaus in Germany. It was a short-lived German art school that was made famous for the approach to design it publicized and taught. This year the school turns 100 years old, so the class felt that they should honor the school that is ubiquitous in today’s work.

An opening reception will be held 6 to 9 p.m. May 9 at the Glass Gallery and will run through May 17.