The Galleries at CSU

Graphic Advocacy

Thursday, May 15 – Saturday, June 21

Graphic Advocacy: International Poster for a Digital Age 2001–2012

Opening Reception Thursday May 15 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm

North and Center Galleries: An exhibition of socially responsible poster art curated by Elizabeth Resnick, Professor, Chair, Graphic Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Co-Sponsored by AIGA Cleveland:

Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001–2012
curator’s statement

“Now, instead of a mass audience consuming media from a single source, we have multiple sources, multiple channels and multiple audiences. Every participant is potentially a sender as well as a receiver of information, and the barrier to entry is no longer the fortune required to set up a TV station or a newspaper, but the price of a PC and an Internet connection. Much of contemporary political graphics in particular is designed with the internet in mind…with the steady growth of broadband connection, a full-color poster can be created as a digital file small enough either to send by email or to download from a website set up for the purpose, and printed by the recipient in as many copies as necessary or simply passed on digitally.”

—Colin Moore, Propaganda Prints: A History of Art in the Service of Social and Political Change, A+C Books, London, 2011

As a medium for social change, posters record our struggles for peace, social justice, environmental defense, and liberation from oppression. From the confrontational and political, to the promotional, persuasive and educational, the poster in all its forms has persisted as a vehicle for the public dissemination of ideas, information and opinion. Posters are dissent made visible—they communicate, advocate, instruct, celebrate, and warn, while jarring us to action with their bold messages and striking iconography. Posters also serve as a potent visual manifestation of a designer’s commitment to society when non-commissioned posters are created as vehicles to raise money to support political and humanitarian causes.

Ready access to broadband and mobile communications and to digital production technologies has expanded the poster’s role well beyond the limitations of the printed surface, and in its wake has created a modern tool for support and protest. These new technologies promote truly global conversations coupled with unprecedented opportunities for changing attitudes or showing defiance or solidarity. With its mix of both low-tech and high-tech, of old and new, the poster,
in all its forms, is still a core component of 21st century advocacy.

Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001–2012 showcases 122 empathetic and visually compelling messages for our time.

Elizabeth Resnick
Professor, Chair, Graphic Design
Massachusetts College of Art and Design



In this innovative program, Cleveland Clinic medical professionals speak to K-8 art classes about health and wellness. The students then bring their newfound knowledge to life through creative interpretations. In addition to helping students achieve optimal health, the program promotes critical thinking, innovation, communication and self-esteem. It also gives teachers the opportunity to earn graduate-level college credits.