Jarred Elrod | School of Art + Art History 53rd Studio Faculty Art Exhibition

Jarred Elrod | School of Art + Art History 53rd Studio Faculty Art Exhibition


I was lucky enough to get an internship
that turned into a job in undergrad. I ended up working at this advertising
agency. After four years, I kind of had the realization that I’d, kind of, maybe
hit a ceiling with using my design skills to create advertisements for
things. I wanted to explore what else design could do in the world, so I decided to apply for graduate school and as part of my graduate education I had
the opportunity to teach, and I didn’t really expect to be excited about teaching, but I really fell in love with it early, and learned that it could
really supplement my creative career and and, like, it was a privilege to be around
motivated people that want to be better all the time. Also something I really
like about UF is teaching in a studio environment as opposed to a
classroom. So I get to actually go into the students space that they spend a lot
of time in and teach in there and it really kind of creates a sense of
community that I’ve never experienced at any other University. I don’t see my
teaching and my artistic practice as being totally separate. My area of
interest in terms of research here at UF actually involves teaching and
working with students in areas of mental resiliency and what I call creative
performance. And I see my professional practice being, you know, something that I
can show the students that I’m actually practicing as a graphic designer as well.
And I think that, you know, that relationship creates stronger bonds in
the classroom, to see that a teacher is excited about doing the work that
they’re teaching about. And that’s really important to me. I’ve been making theater
posters for a little over a decade now, it’s kind of become like a dream, kind of,
niche of mine. And every graphic designer would say, “Oh, I just want to make
theater posters,” and I’ve actually been able to do that in conjunction with my
research and creative performance and teaching as a way to kind of bolster my
creative practice. One of my favorite things about designing theater posters is when the play or the script, that I of course read from the very beginning, is
really exciting, because for me it makes it a lot easier to actually get engaged in creating something that that tells
that story in a provocative way that would invite other people to want to
actually come see this performance. The piece I have in this year’s faculty
showcase is a theater poster. The shortened title for it is “We are Proud
to Present a Presentation.” I feel the play is really important for contemporary
audiences. The play talks about racism and genocide and colonialism,
particularly in Africa in this instance, in a way that’s very accessible for
young people in the United States. I think it’s really important for people
to hear conversations like this, to maybe think about how they may have
conversations with their friends or family in their own lives outside the
theater. That’s one of my most pleasant experiences as a designer is to be able to work on things that are really engaging, something that I feel really
good about putting out in the public and inviting other people to come see.

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