The third in a series of interviews with faculty, this week’s post is a conversation with Assistant Professor Justen Renyer. Professor Renyer teaches graphic design, including motion design, video editing, and interactive design, in the Art Department. His students’ work is currently on view in the Gardiner Gallery as part of the Graphic Design senior exhibition, entitled “Refined.” A photo of students installing that exhibition, as well as examples of Professor Renyer’s own work, illustrate this post.
Professor Renyer also serves on the Gardiner Permanent Art Collection Committee, which oversees acquisitions for the Art Department and OSU Museum of Art. I asked him some of the same questions I asked Professors Piehl and Titus about how he envisions students interacting with the Postal Plaza, and how he’d like to see the university’s art collection grow in the future.
Louise Siddons: How do you look forward to using the art collection in the future?
Justen Renyer: As a Graphic Design faculty member with curriculum focusing on all areas of graphic design, including motion design and interactive design, I see great potential for the OSUMA to not only house significant works of design created in a variety of media (print, industrial design, video, etc.), but also provide a venue for visiting designers to lecture and exhibit their work.
[JR, cont.:] Given the ongoing dialogue in design theory concerning authorship and individual expression, I feel that there are useful corollaries between contemporary conceptual art and concept-driven graphic design, so I am an enthusiastic proponent of bringing in work that bridges and blurs what I see as unnecessary boundaries between the two disciplines. It would also be great if the OSUMA could serve as a venue for screening some of the many documentaries that are being produced that focus on various areas of graphic design.
LS: How would you like to see the collection grow in the future? Are there particular areas you’d like the OSUMA to collect in?
JR: I would love to see multi-disciplinary design work that would allow students to see significant achievements in design that have served to advance the discipline. Personally, I think it would be great to enter a space that had examples of Deiter Rams’ industrial design, Charles and Ray Eames‘ furniture, posters by James Victore, Herb Lubalin, Massimo Vignelli (and many others), Paul Rand illustrations and monitors showing everything from Saul Bass‘ early work for film to avant garde contemporary work by Zeitguised. These are just examples (and the list could go on and on), but the prospect of people being able to see this work in person (rather than exclusively on websites) is very exciting.
LS: How do you see your role on the Collection Committee?
JR: I represent our Graphic Design faculty as a voice for the inclusion of design work, as well as all work that we feel would expand our students’ knowledge of contemporary practices, and provide diverse perspectives.
LS: How would you like the OSUMA Downtown (at the Postal Plaza) to change the way you and your students experience art in Stillwater?
JR: I am optimistic about the potential for the OSUMA to become a cultural hub for our students, the Stillwater community and beyond.
LS: What do you find most rewarding about being on the OSU Art Dept faculty?
JR: It’s great to be around creative, intelligent people everyday.