Nine-to-Five Design

by Sofia Tokar

In winter 2013, the Colacino Art Gallery in the Arts Center hosted Design in the Working World: The Nazareth College Alumni Graphic Design Exhibit. The exhibition presented a reflective look at the professional works of alumni who graduated from or participated in the College of Arts and Sciences’ graphics and illustration program.

Launched 30 years ago by Associate Professor in Art Kathy Calderwood and joined later by Professor in Art Catherine Kirby, the graphics and illustration program at Nazareth has evolved into the visual communication design major, which retains the strong foundations of illustration and graphic design. Many of the program’s graduates—both recent and seasoned—now work for nationally recognized companies or organizations, hold advanced degrees, and have produced award-winning projects. More than a dozen alumni (including Sherri Baker Hamilton ’97, now an assistant professor in art at Nazareth) submitted projects that showcase their professional life after graduation. Amelia Hugill-Fontanel ’97 went on to earn her master’s in graphic arts publishing/typography design from the RIT School of Print Media. “I submitted pieces that I created in my work as curator at the RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection, such as posters for events or exhibitions, hand-set and letterpress-printed invitations, and an exhibition catalog booklet,” she says. “I thought the exhibit would be a great way to reconnect with some of my Nazareth friends, both faculty and fellow alums, and the art department community.”

Those connections between the art faculty and program graduates remain strong ... and they produce results.

“Through the help of Cathy Kirby, after graduating I immediately found work at a local, well-established graphic design studio,” shares Nick Woyciesjes ’97. Within a few years, he and a few partners founded Mirus Group, a Rochester, N.Y.-based marketing communications and design agency, whose clients have included Wegmans, Eastman Kodak Company, High Falls Brewing Company, and others. “The time I spent at Nazareth as a student was and is invaluable. Not only did I meet lifelong colleagues and become part of an ongoing community, I also became aware of the possibilities of pursuing my passion.”

The visual communication design program at Nazareth continues to grow its enrollment and now incorporates more advertising design, visual design for web-based media, and professional preparation. Technologies change, but the future iteration of Design in the Working World will undoubtedly showcase even more great work produced by Nazareth alumni.

Sofia Tokar is the assistant editor in Nazareth’s marketing department.

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel ’97, curator at the RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection