Call and Response
Among many things, Aaron Bland is a 4th generation Washingtonian, a graphic artist, and a 2nd-grade assistant teacher at Oyster-Adams Bilingual Elementary School. “Call and Response” reflects the interconnected voices that create the identity of Washington DC. The voices of Washingtonians are reflected both in their art (i.e. the Go-Go drums) and their need to be heard socially and politically (i.e. the protests). Those voices communicate with each other and inform one another. Aaron chose the layout, like a playing card, to suggest that both aspects of DC create a whole and can’t live without the other. And like a single playing card, this one aspect of DC’s identity is itself a part of an even greater identity.
Zar Dela Cruz
Home Away From Home
Zar is a Filipina graphic designer who grew up in Turkey, Hong Kong and the Philippines and currently resides in Northern Virginia. It wasn’t until after getting her undergraduate degree that she discovered graphic design and from there she knew it was what she wanted to be.
Zar enjoys designing logo identities, posters, layouts, and other designs for both print and digital. She is a big fan of typography and tries to incorporate it in her works when possible. The concept for Zar’s poster was to try to put elements of the DMV from her perspective, a Home Away from Home, also inspired by AIGA DC’s description of DC as “a sprawling, transient city”. And with how everything feels interconnected she tried to visualize it with the use of the intersecting lines in the background. The font and color choices are based on the mix of fun and all-serious vibes of the DMV.
A Walk Through the Park
Alexander Fusté is a designer and artist residing in Washington DC. His designs offer meaningful, humanistic solutions to audiences and aim to build trust within communities through respect and understanding. His art takes an introspective approach as he depicts emotion through organic form.
For this poster, Fusté created three sumi-e drawings and digitized each to create unique appearances. There are four layers featured: a map of the district’s unique grid layout, a painting of Malcolm X park, a painting of a tree that he watches throughout the changing seasons, and a painting of the cherry blossoms that draw the neighborhood out of their homes each spring. Each layer is woven together to invite the viewer to look deeper at the interaction of shape and color. He wishes to honor the community he is a part of. Alex encourages viewers of the poster to reflect on their respective places within their own communities.
Peace with Martin
Amuri is a contemporary realist, inspired by the classical realism of still life and portraiture. The craftsmanship of painting is important to her. The paintings she creates are a result of years spent honing her artistic skills, and studying techniques of past artists, as well as contemporary artists. To create this poster, she wanted to focus on one symbol that can be easily associated with DC, which was the MLK statue. His value system, beliefs, and persona capture the idea of diversity and the theme. This is further emphasized by the range of figures at the bottom of the poster. She spent a lot of time engaging with photos of the statue so she could accurately represent the texture and capture the essence of the statue. In her everyday practice, Amuri is concerned with the history of aristocratic representation associated with portraiture. In response to this, she often elevates her figures to a level of high power that has been classically unavailable in fine art due to race, sex, etc.
Women of DC
Ania Siniuk is an illustrator from Maryland whose art focuses on feminism, mental health, fashion, and beauty. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors in Illustration and an extended study in Fashion. Her work primarily consists of bright colors, strong patterns, and graphic figures. She chooses to mostly draw women because she wants to showcase the beauty and strength of her own gender. When reading the theme for DC Design Week, the first thing that came to her mind was community, especially women in the arts. She wanted to create a piece that could show a group of strong and creative women grouped together with DC as the backdrop. While walking the streets of DC, she loves looking at the confident women walking beside her, whether it’s because their outfits are super dope or they’re having a good time with their friends. She also wanted to highlight the diversity of the women in DC and their different styles. Her main goal in creating this illustration was to focus on the community of women artists and entrepreneurs coming up in DC.
Emerging Artist Commission Sponsors
We’re grateful to have the support of organizations who share our values and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Their support has helped to make this week more inclusive and accessible, and has helped to make this poster commission possible — providing a platform to elevate new voices from DC’s creative community. You rock!
DC Design Week: Maker Directory
We’re all about celebrating the DMV’s creative voices — so what better way to do that than showcasing their work? We may not be able to do our IRL Pop-Up Shop this year, but we’ve got the next best thing. Check out our virtual directory for all your fall shopping needs.