I had the privilege of accepting a freelance design job toward the end of 2018 from none other than one of my favorite professors, Nancy DeJoy. She needed a postcard invitation to her poetry sculpture installation, Illuminating Survivor Voices, with a quick turnaround.
Nancy’s poetry sculpture addresses the negative impact of silence on sexual assault cases. The installation hadn’t been seen by the public, and wouldn’t until the opening night. That aspect made designing the postcard itself challenging at first; I wanted to accurately reflect Nancy’s aesthetic mindset behind the project to prospective attendees.
Thankfully, she had a realistic vision in terms of ideal aesthetics and messaging. She (thankfully) used an accessible font and gave away a few other details, like the fact that the room would have teal aspects (the official color of sexual violence awareness). Nancy’s title goal of “illuminating” sexual assault survivors’ stories—within a society that generally ignores them—inspired the use of the single light photo surrounded by darkness. The back of the postcard requires white space on the right side in order to properly use stamps and list addresses.
I’m extremely honored that Nancy allowed me to exercise my creativity and help her spread the news about her poetry sculpture installation. She was an amazing mentor to me during my time as an undergrad at Michigan State. Not only that, but her talents in this initiative are also being recognized on a global scale. Taking on this project allowed me to be a part of something bigger than myself, in a small yet meaningful way.
If the postcard wasn’t an indication, the first installation of Nancy’s project was at MSU’s new Broad Art Lab located on Grand River in East Lansing, MI. As of right now, Nancy is preparing to give a TEDxMSU talk about her creative process through research she did with sexual assault survivors. Then, she plans to showcase her work again in London, UK in the summer of 2019.
Media about Nancy DeJoy’s “Illuminating Survivor Voices” poetry sculpture and media installation:
‘Illuminating Survivor Voices’ Through the Arts, Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters