Krista Guenther Illustration Thesis Spring 2019

I am creating a new visual dialogue for the U.S. national Park System through the creation of a series of 5 posters depicting 5 Northwestern U.S. National Parks. The posters will be made for each of the following parks that I have most recently spent time in, Olympic, and  Mount Rainier in Washington state, Glacier Bay in Alaska, Glacier in Montana, and Redwoods in California. My vision is to create work that speaks to the demographic of people that are lacking the parks, such as POC, LGBTQ, non-able bodied people and overall anyone under the age of 60, while still appealing to the parks current visitor demographic, by introducing a fresh new inclusive aesthetic.

The work that I am creating is a mashup of multi media. Using 140lb hot press arches paper I have applied watercolor, ink, and alcohol and then let it dry. Over the top of the wet media I go back in and paint with oil and acrylic paints. Cut paper, and cut silhouettes are also implemented. The art is then scanned and manipulated digitally, this is also where I add the text and then print. The five posters will be displayed in frames, and printed at 24, by 36 in.

 Promotional work that was originally created for the parks by the WPA in the 1930s and 40s has now become iconic of the parks with its vintage travel poster aesthetic. the compositions show epic vistas and famous landmarks of the parks paired side by side with text stating unique facts regarding the parks such as “Americas largest sitka spruce tree.” or “Deepest lake.” The posters for the Parks being produced today, are by artist Rob Decker who is digitally enhancing the original posters and adding more text. As nostalgic and iconic as this work is, I believe that the connection and nostalgia is lost to the generations of people that are lacking in the parks such as those under the age of 60. 

The work I am creating speaks upon the everyday magic that is in the parks here and now. My work will be displayed as fine art but can be printed on almost anything. I would love to distill some of the images and make sticker packs, mugs, shirts, and other promotional images formatted for social media and fine art gallery walls.

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