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Poster Child

I sat down with IMA Designer Matt Kelm to talk about his recent work on the title treatment for Andy Warhol Enterprises, and the innovative and popular sign he designed to welcome visitors to the exhibition. You can see the sign in the Pulliam Family Great Hall and visit the exhibit until January 2, 2011.

What is the project?

This is the title graphic for Andy Warhol Enterprises, an exhibition curated by Sarah Green and Allison Unruh, exploring the commercial component of Andy Warhol’s work. For the title graphic, we wanted to explore a design that referenced formal aspects of Warhol’s art including repetition, vibrant colors, and a tight grid. The solution we created, made up of 4000 posters and combined into 20 pads, also provided a unique opportunity for visitors to take a part of the experience home with them.

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Filed under: Design, Exhibitions


My Own Museum

Well, nothing says “Time to write your first blog,” like being home sick from work on a rainy day. Staring at my walls, which are covered by works of all types, waiting for Ellen DeGeneres to come on, I’m uber-inspired to tell you about my very own museum I live in.

A lot of times when people find out I work at the IMA they assume I have an art background or have at least taken one Art History class. This is, in fact, not true. I do remember making a paper mache’ fish when at the IMA in the summer when I was about 7, at some of our Summer Art classes.

I began collecting art about 6 years ago when I got out of college and didn’t know what to do with all my free time now that I was in the “real world.” I started going to Goodwill, garage sales, thrift stores, and other places I could actually afford and started picking up art that makes me smile. It doesn’t mean I’m not a great art collector, it means I’m a treasure hunter. After all, how great is it that you can find treasures anywhere, like IMA’s new collection of Weegee photos that a couple of ladies found in a trunk at a Kentucky yard sale?

People also ask what my favorite kind of art is and if you walked into my house you’d realize it’s an eclectic mix, similar to my movie collection, my taste in music – heck, even my friends. Right inside the front door, before you head up the stairs, is a canvas reproduction on “American Gothic.”

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Filed under: Art, Musings



“Signage” is a popular term around museum marketing offices. It gets a work order, designed, produced, and lives out its purpose. But what happens to the dozens of exhibition and museum signs when the show is over, the program done or the sign is just passed its prime?

Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile,  Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, $415A company called BetterWall allows you to buy those exhibition banners from around the world to become timeless works of art for your home or business. Started by a husband-wife team of environmental consultant and art historian, BetterWall works with museums through its “Recycle and Reuse Program” to help museums remain green by taking tons of vinyl banners off their hands and selling them, giving a portion of the profits back to the museums. I have a National Portrait Gallery, George Washington “Lansdowne” sign that used to be displayed on the Mall in Washington, D.C. framed in my living room, but this article by a Washington Post reporter was the first time I had heard of a company who made authentic museum advertising available to the public.

As unique objects produced in limited editions, the banners embody great art, great museums, and contemporary advertising trends. — BetterWall

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Filed under: Design, Marketing


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