CVPA graphic design class partners with DATMA

Students gain real-world experience promoting non-profit artwork

Lara Henderson's fall 2022 motion graphics class pictured outside the amphitheater at UMass Dartmouth.
Lara Henderson's fall 2022 motion graphics class pictured outside the amphitheater at UMass Dartmouth

Last fall, College of Visual and Performing Arts students partnered with the Massachusetts Design Art & Technology Institute (DATMA), a non-profit art institute that presents free & public art from around the world, to promote their work over the past four years and create exciting previews of what’s to come in 2023.

As part of Teaching Professor Lara Henderson’s Motion Graphics course, 15 graphic design and other Art & Design majors helped to build a social media and email marketing campaign for DATMA, including graphics and animations for Instagram posts and stories, and MailChimp email headers for fundraising campaigns that represent some of the public art projects and events DATMA has produced.

“Students got to interact with professional designers at mediumstudio, and a real-world client in DATMA,” said Henderson. “Gathering feedback from professionals, showcasing their skills in a gallery, and working with a real-life client provides students valuable experience and designs they can include in their portfolios.”

In total, the class produced nine Instagram posts and reels covering events, exhibitions, logo and branding, and celebrating DATMA’s five-year anniversary. They can be viewed on DATMA’s Instagram (@_DATMA), as well as the Graphic Design program’s Instagram (@GD_CVPA_UMassD).

“Applying my major to gain experience with a real company was a privilege,” said graphic design major Monika Kristjánsdóttir. “It gave us a real vision into the joys and challenges of the back-and-forth process. It not only made me a stronger designer, but also enhanced my confidence and opened a door to design for organization in my home country of Iceland.”

Henderson’s Motion Graphics courses will continue to partner with DATMA going forward, and Henderson has signed on to assist DATMA’s programming for the upcoming year.

“The collaborative work between DATMA and UMassD Motion Graphics students was such a valuable experience,” said DATMA Program Manager Amanda Hawkins. “We wanted to give students the chance to have their own creative freedom, while building on the consistency and playfulness of our branding. This project was all about gaining client experience and collaborative learning. From design critiques to social media strategy, these students really delivered, and provided us with some fantastic design content.”

The Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute (DATMA) was founded to enhance the evolving dynamic cultural and economic life of Southcoast Massachusetts. DATMA is committed to bringing world-renowned art, design, and technology exhibitions, programs, and initiatives to the visitors and citizens of New Bedford and the region, identified as one of the Commonwealth’s most creative economies by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

As an exhibitor of public art, DATMA collaborates with the business and education sectors of the region to expand public awareness, bringing new cultural assets into the mix. DATMA has previously partnered with UMass Dartmouth’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, as well as the School of Marine Sciences and Technology for a variety of projects. 



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