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July 25, 2018

Bobby Joe Smith III, Graphic Design MFA 2020 – Part 2: Rome

by Bobby Joe Smith

Part 2: Rome — Artistic Practice in Space
July 19th, 2018
Bobby Joe Smith III
Graphic Design MFA 2020

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My Maharam Fellowship is divided into two parts. The first part took place in Standing Rock, North Dakota, away from the SaveMoneySaveLife foundation in Chicago, but deeply embedded in one of the communities SMSL looks to serve. I spent my time there conducting research and gathering visual information for my main project, which is to develop a brand that can speak to both Black and Native communities, all while handling various day to day design tasks. The second part of my fellowship takes place in Chicago, a city with which I am almost completely unfamiliar. Between those two segments of my fellowship, I took part in an artist residency in Rome concerned with creating work in public space. The summer residency in Rome isn’t officially a part of my Maharam fellowship, but the practice of navigating a public space, processing that experience, and creating something new from it is entirely related to my fellowship project and to the act of branding an organization in general. Experiencing the culture of SaveMoneySaveLife, how it operates, its history and its hopes for the future, as well as its people, then processing that experience to create a visual identity that authentically reflects the organization is what I hope to do over the remainder of the summer. There’s probably no one way to do this, but the three weeks I spent in Rome will at least give me a framework for unpacking Chicago and the SaveMoneySaveLife organization.

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