Defining place in Dinkytown

June 29, 2017
  • Poster by Adriana Belinski
  • Poster by Josie Adkins
  • Poster by Willis Batz-Kamby
  • Poster by Mary Ehrlicher
  • Poster by Tessa Portuese
  • Poster by Ellen Puls
  • Poster by Nick Tietz

Posters, in order of appearance, are by students Adriana Belinski, Josie Adkins, Willis Batz-Kamby, Mary Ehrlicher, Tessa Portuese, Ellen Puls, and Nick Tietz.

Located on the north side of the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus, Dinkytown is a neighborhood with a rich history and close ties to the University community.

This spring, students in Associate Professor James Boyd Brent’s Color and Form in Surface Design class were challenged to explore the sense of place in this unique neighborhood by designing a series of handmade screen prints.

Each student was tasked with creating a visual response to Dinkytown after exploring the history, culture, social, and commercial life that ingrain a place with its unique identity.

As a group from across design majors, the students toured the neighborhood, taking photos, talking to local business owners, and learning about its rich history.

Brent says the project was an opportunity to expose students to a practice they might not otherwise experience.

Graphic design major Adriana Belinski (Maple Grove, MN) says that she chose graphic design not only as a promising career path, but as a path to express herself.

“It’s my desire to artistically express myself in a happy, positive way about something important and meaningful to me,” says Belinski.

The arrows in her project*, she says, indicate both where one’s eyes should travel as well as the exciting “rushing” feeling that can come from all there is to see and do.

“I tried in my own poster to capture a corner of Dinkytown that had these small businesses, to put emphasis on what is authentically Dinkytown. And I included downtown Minneapolis in the background to emphasize that this is what it is ... [the University] in this urban community.”

To celebrate their work, the students’ final prints were curated by local artist and retired art educator Bernie Marks for an exhibit at Dinkytown’s Alpha Print, now through July 14.

This story appeared in its original form on the U of M College of Design blog >

*The view Adriana Belinski chose ultimately came from exploring Google Earth. See what inspired her at 44º58’50.33”N - 93º14’04.87”S