UTEP graphic design shows the beauty of Texas State Parks


Jose Ivan Favela

Professor Anne M. Giangiulio stands proudly with her students at the Texas State Parks “A Fresh Take on Classic Views” exhibit after months of planning and hard work.

Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter

From caverns to water springs to the Franklin Mountains, UTEP’s graphic design students were tasked with creating posters showcasing state parks in West Texas last year. Now the results of their hard work were revealed to the public. In collaboration between the Franklin Mountains State Park and UTEP, the event was initially meant to be just a regular project but transformed into a way to honor the 100th anniversary of Texas State Parks. 

This is not the first time UTEP students have completed graphic design projects using the Franklin Mountains for their class, but it is the first time UTEP and the Franklin Mountains State Park have collaborated to celebrate a 100-year anniversary. Although the collaboration for the anniversary was in perfect timing, it was not always planned. Anne M. Giangiulio, an associate professor of art at UTEP, described how the project came to be. 

I’m also a Girl Scout co-leader to a troop that is now at El Paso High, along with Professor Jonna Perrillo in the English department,” Giangiulio said. “One of the activities we had done was visiting, like doing a hike at Franklin Mountain State Park. While there, we went to the gift shop, and that’s where I came in contact with the ranger, Diana Moy. I had encountered her on other occasions as well, and I told her that students of mine had done posters for Franklin Mountains State Park in the past. I kind of didn’t think anything of it, but then I received an email from her in (the summer of) 2022, stating that she’d love to collaborate with my students, that the 100th anniversary of Texas State Parks was coming up this year in 2023.” 

With the arrival of such a milestone in state history, UTEP graphic design did not hesitate to hop onto the collaboration, especially since work on the posters lasted a month. 

From November to December of 2022, students from UTEP’s graphic design typography class worked on their posters, all directly inspired by Texas State Parks. Featured parks include Hueco Tanks and Kickapoo Cavern State Park, which were displayed in the art.  

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  • Abigail Lopez shows her artwork at the exhibit.

  • The rangers of the Franklin Mountains State Park commemorate the 100th anniversary of the park at the exhibit.

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“Well, at the beginning, I wasn’t even sure what was going to be the outcome until I (spent) day and night designing it. I kind of feel proud (of my posters) because of how the colors (came out) and how the scenes (were) set up.” said Abigail Lopez, an art history major and graphic design minor at UTEP. 

There were six students who participated in the collaboration, each of whichhad to submit two posters, including Professor Giangiulio. All the posters took inspiration from a program in 1930s America named “The Works Progress Administration,” which employed millions of jobseekers to do public work projects, such as making posters to publicize public events. 

“The theme was West Texas State Parks, and kind of (a) style a lot of people were familiar (with) a few years back for the anniversary of national parks,” said Diana Moy, a park interpreter and volunteer coordinator for the Franklin Mountains State Park. “They started doing a lot of kind of vintage style posters, and it’s a style that came up during the ‘Work Progress Administration Era,’ and that’s when a lot of our parks got kind of built and established as well. So, we thought it would be pretty cool (for the posters) to have kind of like a vintage style.” 

The posters will be open for public viewing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Feb. 24 and may be printed in mass to be sold to the public in the near future. Until then, you can enjoy them at the Franklin Mountains Visitor Center, while taking in the sights of the surrounding mountains. 

Elisha Nunez may be reached through [email protected]