Thursday, February 18, art and design students at SNU were inspired by guest speaker Bob Calvano. Mr. Calvano is currently the Vice President of Design for the A+E Networks which include A+E, The History Channel, The Lifetime Network, Bio, and The Lifetime Movie Network. He also serves on the board of AIGA the professional organization for design, which is the largest professional membership organization for graphic artists. Calvano formerly worked for Merck Pharmaceuticals, Oxygen Media, and the R/GA Design Firm and has been a featured speaker at numerous design conferences.
Mr. Calvano was in Oklahoma as a keynote speaker for the local AIGA chapter event and Professor Whitney Porch-Van Heuvelen was able to get him to spend the day on campus. He began by speaking to a group consisting of art and design majors with other attendees from the CCS division, as well as, community members interested in design. The Art & Design department then hosted a luncheon attended by faculty and students. Calvano rounded up his time at SNU by holding individual portfolio review sessions with five of our Art & Design majors.
The theme of Calvano’s morning presentation was “using design to move business forward”. Calvano used his own experiences in the world of design to demonstrate how important designers are to the success of businesses and organizations. Another theme he addressed is not choosing a job or assignment for money, but finding work where you can do what you are passionate about. He also talked about the need to be committed to your designs. At one point he said, “You’ll never sell anyone on anything if you don’t believe in it.”
Professor Porch-Van Heuvelen had this to say about the event, “It was a valuable opportunity for our students to see work that is produced on a national level and to have their portfolios reviewed by someone of such stature.” She also mentioned that it was great exposure for SNU’s Art & Design department as we were mentioned as sponsors at the AIGA evening event.
Sophomore Art & Design major, Morgan Mosshart shared, “I really enjoyed his colorful presence. He brought a lot of unique insight regarding the design world”. Jess Bowie, a senior Art & Design major who had her portfolio evaluated by Calvano said, “I really love how he combines his fine art background with the field of design.”
All the feedback received was very positive. Giving students the opportunity to interface with real-world practitioners is one of the things distinguishing the art & design program and SNU as a university.