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Venture Students Create Atmosphere for Mane Event

Digital Design is one of the strand offerings in Linn-Mar High School’s project-based learning program, Venture Academics. For the first few weeks of class, students familiarized themselves with design principles and learned how to use Adobe’s Illustrator and Photoshop programs. After students build foundational knowledge in these areas they had an opportunity to apply what they had learned to projects.

Shelley Schroeder, LM Foundation Executive Director, has previously worked with Chris Thilges who is the instructor for Digital Design to create design items for Foundation events. This year Schroeder decided that she wanted the Digital Design students to tackle the majority of the design elements for the Foundation’s primary fundraiser, Mane Event. Students had the opportunity to create a photo backdrop, directional signage, table centerpieces, and pop-up banners for the Mane Event. Students were given the theme (Going Hollywood) and a palette of colors. Students then split into project groups with team leaders and were responsible for various aspects of the project. On the day of the Mane Event students were able to visit the venue and install their designs.

Reflecting on her work on the project, Tara Livermore, LM Senior said, “I had never taken a graphics arts class before this. I love art so this was fun to explore a new media. I like that we were creating something for a school event. All of my other art projects have been individual and I liked working with other students and having an opportunity to branch out with my art. I learned a lot through this project and am proud of what we created” Tara’s favorite part of the project was creating the large marquee sign for the photo backdrop. She said, “It was fun to research a variety of signs and create something from scratch that was new but recognizable. It was a fun challenge to figure out.”

Chris Thilges appreciated the opportunity for his students to have a real-world project to complete. He said, “The “Going Hollywood” project provided my students with real-world graphics experiences using newfound design knowledge. I witnessed a class energized and motivated throughout the entire creative challenge from concept to installation. Students setting the bar high in addition to the growth of multiple soft skills made this collaboration a huge success!”