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EAC Graphic Design students to hold art show at Safeway

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EAC Graphic Design students to hold art show at Safeway

By Jeanné Clark

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s Graphic Design students will be displaying artwork and photography at Safeway, located in Thatcher, starting this week as part of the grand opening of its Starbucks store. The free exhibit will open on Friday, February 27, 2009 from 4 to 8 p.m., and will be available for viewing through the following week.

These students, many of which are Graphic Design majors, are excited to showcase their work. Students whose art will be on display include Ryan Maher, Shantay Sueoka, David Dunn, James Montierth, Anthony Sas, Misty Tea, Grant Willis, Emily Martin, Freddie Sanchez, Connor Davis, and Victoria Lukens.

Tom Cicchelli, Graphic Design instructor, is quick to speak the merits of a community college graphic design program like EAC’s. “For much less than you’d pay at an art institute or similar school, my students get an education that’s just as good. I taught at the Art Institute of Portland for seven years, and I know what I need to teach my students here to make them just as qualified as the graduates there,” says Cicchelli. “Another perk of attending a college like EAC is that the class sizes are usually smaller, and thus each student gets more personalized instruction.”

The Graphic Design program at EAC is fully modern, with a full Mac lab featuring current iMacs. “We use the latest software programs and tools,” says Cicchelli. “The lab also contains new scanners and printers that we use on a daily basis with student projects.”

Prior to coming to EAC, Cicchelli was the assistant department director for graphic design at the Art Institute of Portland, where his responsibilities included assisting the department director in all aspects of departmental management, advising students, and coordinating the professional advisory committee as well as teaching classes in computer graphic design, digital layout, typography, advanced design, corporate branding, portfolio development, and the history of graphic design.

Before Portland, Cicchelli taught as the assistant professor of art at Missouri Western State College, where he updated their Commercial Art program to Computer Graphic Design, developed new curriculum, and designed and implemented a Mac lab. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ceramics and Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1973 and his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Arizona in 1990.

In 2004, he received a sabbatical to teach and travel to Dharamsala, India, home to the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government. The photographs he took during this time were exhibited at the Art Institute Gallery and the Artifact Gallery in Portland. At EAC, Cicchelli shares these images with his photography students so that they can study his techniques and style. He enthusiastically shares his artistic vision: “My aesthetic interest is not in replicating the external world, but in creating images of my own based on psychologically and emotionally charged conditions. Exploring how the meaning of an image can be resolved into a unified whole is the creative process I follow, always hedging chance with relative certainties, hoping the results will be what I had strived for.”

For more information about the art show or the EAC Graphic Design program, contact Cicchelli at (928) 428-8470.