Washburn students who took Graphic Design with Azyz Sharafy, associate professor of art, had a chance to have the public view their artwork at the First Friday Art Walk June 3, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Washburn University President Jerry Farley opened the evening with some remarks. He talked about how this assignment helped promote downtown Topeka as well as provide students with experience in the “real world”.
“This is just another way that we can get students engaged in downtown Topeka and the businesses, and relate with them,” said Farley. “This is a great opportunity to get something from it, and use some of this in their advertising.”
Sharafy explained that the project is in its first year and how he hopes to continue it in the future. Sharafy also felt it was an important project because it allowed students to become involved with local businesses and gave them experience in graphic design as well as advertising. Some of the students had never participated in a graphic design class before, so they didn’t need to have prior experience to enroll in the course.
“I think we should continue this and promoting downtown as well as all of Topeka,” said Sharafy. “We really appreciate the help from the businesses downtown and them cooperating with us.”
The class picked their business out of a drawing hat, so it was completely random. Some of the businesses included popular businesses located along Kansas Avenue such as; Marion Lane Candles, Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant, Kansan Grill, Hazel Hill Chocolate, and Buttercups and Daisies. Those were just a few among many other local businesses located downtown that participated in the project.
Erik Boeselager, sophomore art major, was assigned The Break Room, a popular restaurant along Kansas Avenue. Having had artwork previously on display there, Boeselager already had a feel for the local business.
“[The project] turned out well, I was able to communicate successfully with the business,” said Boeselager. “It’s important to get business experience like this before you get out in the market.”