VCD students smashing stereotypes


Senior Tiara Siek’s work is composed of poster sized digital illustrations. Sick picked a concept that would be worth her while | Dayana Morales for The Easterner

By Tania Nùñez, Contributor

The theme for this year’s VCD showcase, “Smash,” is a concept that focuses on “smashing” prevalent stereotypes. This is exactly what the six graduating VCD students showcasing their work aimed to accomplish.  

“I’m trying to smash the stereotype that being an introvert is strange or a bad thing,” Emily Lyonnais, a VCD senior showcasing her work, said. “Being an introvert is not a bad thing; it’s not what some people who aren’t introverts may think.”

Lyonnais’s project, which uses printmaking as a medium, consists of five speech bubbles that contain a specific type of imagery. Her project also has an interactive feature in which she hopes people feel they can express themselves.

“I’m going to have this piece [where] people can use a dry erase marker to write their own thing so they can […] write something that they want people to know about them or who they are,” Lyonnais said.

The theme for this years VCD showcase is “Smash.” It took students the whole school year to cumulate their work for the showcase | Dayana Morales for The Easterner

The BFA program is a yearlong project for selected senior VCD students in which they concentrate on culminating work for the showcase. Students get to apply skills that they’ve learned throughout their time in the VCD program.

“I definitely improved throughout my design career here at Eastern,” senior Eduardo Duran-Salinas said. “I’ve been open minded and learned [not] to take criticism too hard.”

Duran-Salinas spent his senior year working on a satirical project in which people can purchase a fictionalized monthly subscription to receive air from different countries.  

“Every month is a different kind of air and basically, it’d be providing a different kind of cultural experience,” Duran-Salinas said.

The goal of the BFA program is to give students hands-on experience and professional preparation for life after graduation.

Senior Tiara Siek talked about kicking off the yearlong process by choosing a concept that would be a worthwhile pursuit.

“It’s very much a passion project,” Siek said, “so [you have to] kind of settle on something that you know you’re going to want to work on and put your heart into for a year.”

Siek’s work is composed of poster sized digital illustrations that emphasize self-love.

“For me, it was kind of about smashing this idea that you have to be loved by other people, you have to be approved of by other people to be a whole person,” Siek said.

Siek’s work also has an element to it that she anticipates will enhance the viewer’s perception of self-love.

“I hope that people will interact with it and walk away kind of thinking about this idea of self-love and […] seeing that it is possible to really love yourself and be there for yourself,” Siek said.

“Smash” is currently showing from noon-5 p.m. at the EWU downtown student gallery located in Brewster Hall until June 14.

The artist reception, where people will have an opportunity to speak to the artists themselves, will take place Thursday, May 24 from 4:30-6 p.m.