"It's almost a political piece because it is titled 'LeBron for President.' It is about his global reach and how he is able to really convince people to be politically active even more so than our president right now," art and design senior Matt Hansen said. Cassandra Garibay | Mustang News

Students gathered in the Walter F. Dexter Building (building 34) Friday to appreciate the hard work and dedication put in to the student-run Push Pin Exhibit. The one-day exhibit showcases student art and brings together members of Cal Poly’s artistic community once a quarter.

Students of any major can submit their work, and all submitted artwork is displayed. This allows for individuality and diversity in work, which ranges from studio art to graphic artwork. According to art and design senior and Cal Poly American Institute of Graphic Art (AIGA) chapter co-President Mariahlyn Okuna, “Push Pin” refers to the design process which often involves pinning drafts of work to a wall and gathering feedback from peers.  The name of the exhibit is representative of students’ work in progress.  

“It’s cool to see what the students are talking about and what they want to be heard and what they want to be showing,” art and design junior Riley Chapman said.

American Institute of Graphic Arts mixer

The Push Pin Exhibit, put on by the Cal Poly Student AIGA chapter, partnered with the Santa Barbara professional chapter to host a mixer at Libertine Brewery after the exhibit. In the past, Club 34, Cal Poly’s social art club, partnered with AIGA to host the event, and will resume doing so Spring 2018.

According to Rachell Newburn, the liaison between Santa Barbara’s professional chapter and Cal Poly’s student chapter, AIGA is recognized as the professional association for design. AIGA connects designers across the nation via 72 professional chapters and 200 student-run chapters.

“Really what we are trying to create [is] the opportunity for students and professionals to get together to foster creative relationships that hopefully will benefit them,” Newburn said.

The mixer served as a way for students to introduce themselves to professionals in their field in a casual setting, according to Okuna. Students also had the opportunity to meet Santa Barbara’s AIGA chapter President and design entrepreneur Keir DuBois who offered advice to young artists.

“In our major, especially [concentrating] in graphic design or just in the creative field, you have to be able to articulate the concepts and the ideas behind your work and have to be comfortable showing work that you’re proud of,” Okuna said.

By combining the exhibit with the mixer afterward, students developed their practical skills by displaying their work and speaking with professionals about their ideas.

“[It is great] for a student coming to an AIGA event and to connect already with the kind of community that exists, to know that there are 72 other chapters. Anywhere they go in the country, they will find their people for the price of ten cups of coffee a year,” DuBois said. “That is a goldmine in terms of professional confidence, in terms of connections with people.”

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