Gallery of Art | University of Northern Iowa

Structure, Invention and Surprise / Explorations of Pattern by Secondary Students: The Elena Diane Curris Biennial Design Exhibition

February 27, 2021 to March 29, 2021

Curated by Assistant Professor of Art Education Samantha Goss and conceptualized with Emeritus Professor of Graphic Design Phil Fass, this exhibition is composed of accepted work from secondary students (sixth through twelfth grade) in Iowa. Art teachers were given a standard artists’ “call for entry” and some supporting materials to think about patterns, how they can be used, and how they are inspired. Based on an idea first proposed by Constantine (Deno) Curris and Jo Hern Curris, the idea as developed by Ms. Goss and Mr. Fass also takes into account the current pandemic response during which it is not possible to mount an on-site exhibition for public viewing. From these challenges "Structure, Invention and Surprise" emerged as both a student competition and an online exhibition. The design series itself, which began in the fall of 2018, is named in memory of Elena Diane Curris (1977-2015), the daughter of Deno and Jo Curris. Elena lived in Cedar Falls and attended the UNI Price Laboratory School during the years that her father was president of the university. Throughout her life, she was deeply interested in design. The long-term support for this series is made possible by a generous endowment from Elena’s family to promote the excellence of graphic design education at UNI.