Sarah Spurgeon Gallery

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Central Washington University’s Sarah Spurgeon Gallery reopened October 1 with a graphic design exhibit called ITISWHATITIS, according to a news release from CWU.

The typographical art exhibition is primarily geared toward graphic design majors, but gallery manager Heather Johnson believes the artwork from the renowned design studio Shultzschultz offers plenty of crossover interest.

“One of our intentions was to appeal to our 80 to 100 graphic design students on campus,” Johnson said. “But we also have some vinyl records, bomber jackets, and other commercial and experimental designs — things that would appeal to a broader audience.”

Digital and silkscreen prints, videos, vinyl album covers, and more from the Frankfurt, Germany-based company are on display now through November 20 at the gallery, located inside Randall Hall on the CWU campus.

“They do a lot of work with experimental type and create designs that incorporate interesting sayings in them,” Johnson said. “They have a pretty broad array.”

The exhibit was curated by Justin Beckman, assistant professor of Art + Design at CWU, in collaboration with professor Marc Schütz, a founding partner at Schultzschultz.

Schütz has taught typography at the Hessen State University of Art and Design in Offenbach, Germany, since 2012 and has been the director of the Klingspor Institute for Type Design for the past three years.

Johnson said she and her staff have been learning a lot this fall from the Schultzschultz representatives, who worked remotely to help stage the exhibit. Regarding the title of the exhibit, she said ITISWHATITIS does not reference any recent political events.

“That’s one interpretation, but it wasn’t the intention,” Johnson said. “But it does seem apt for the predicament we’re all in right now. This feels like a way for us to cope.”

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and admission is free. Please note that all CWU safety protocols will be in place, including the use of face coverings. Visit the Art + Design department website to learn more.

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