Posting Date: December 4, 2009
KSU students win visual arts competition
Design website for arts center in Turkey
By Jarmea L. Boone
(From left) Prof. Lin Hightower, Catalina Montaña,
Anna Aguiar and Prof. Carole Maugé-Lewis
Photo by Melissa Withers
When the Golcuk Art and Cultural Center in Golcuk, Turkey, needed a new website, it turned to new friend KSU Professor of Art Lin Hightower, who shared the opportunity with Professor of Art Carole Maugé-Lewis and her Art 4022: Advanced Digital Design students. As a class project, pairs of students submitted designs into a competition judged by Dilek Pecin, director of the center, and the mayor of Golcuk, among others.
“They were pleasantly surprised and admitted that it was difficult to decide,” said Maugé-Lewis, but they ultimately selected the design by seniors Catalina Montaña and Anna Aguiar.
Montaña, originally from Colombia, and Aguiar, a native of Brazil, brought an international feel to the design and concept of their site. The students are happy that their hard work has been recognized. “It is great to have the international recognition,” said Aguiar. “We didn’t have a lot to go on when we began working on the website. We had to do our own research about Turkey, such as the significance of the colors turquoise blue and red.”
One of their goals was to make the site refreshing and modern. The students designed the logo on the home page panel and a template for the site. The graphic designer for the Golcuk Center will now take over the everyday designing and updating from the students’ template. “The website is designed for the artisans who teach at the center,” said Hightower. “It is a huge site. The students only created a piece of it.” The overall site will also include courses offered at the center, a summary of the direction the center is taking, and will introduce each artisan, their backgrounds, and show images of their artworks.
The students talked about the challenges in working with real clients who live overseas. “We never had direct contact with the client,” said Montaña. “It was difficult to communicate through our professor, who communicated with the clients what they wanted the site to look like.” Aguiar added, “The language barrier was also one of the biggest challenges.” The students used Skype technology as the prominent means to connect with the clients in Turkey.
Maugé-Lewis is proud of her students’ success. “I enjoy looking for opportunities for our students to apply their skills. The excitement of it all was so apparent. The students were working for a real client. It was quite competitive.”
Hightower had previously traveled to Turkey to curate an art exhibition by KSU students and alumni at the center for KSU’s 2008-2009 “Year of Turkey” country study series. “Golcuk is a city in a rebuilding phase from a devastating earthquake in 1999. Working with them is like a step to help rebuild the area. We’re making so many positive international connections for our students.”
Hightower continues to develop her relationship with the Golcuk Center as part of the QEP grant that she received for 2009-2010. “I am taking a trip to Turkey this month to meet with the artisans from the center and show them how to blog and use their new site,” says Hightower. “I am also planning a study abroad trip to Turkey—I would like for our students to be able to interact with the Golcuk Center’s artisans and work with the artists in their studios.”