WBU Graphic Artists Selected for International Display

Iraq PostersPLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University graphic artists are once again making an impression on the international community. Justin Porter, a junior from McKinney, and graphic design instructor Dejan Mraovic each had posters selected for the top 100 compositions in the Iraq 100 International Poster Exhibition competition.

The exhibition commemorates 100 years of the modern Iraqi State and is taking place in the Iraqi Plastic Artists Association in the center of Baghdad, a city of more than 7 million people. The contest was organized by the Tamayouz Excellence Award, heralded as an “independent initiative with no political affiliation.” Its goal is to support “aspirational and transformative projects” that address global challenges. They are particularly interested in the advancement of architecture and art in the Near East, North Africa and Islamic world.

Porter’s poster is a pattern designed on a grid. The inspiration comes from the Qur’an and from Islamic geometric art. The colors used are based on the Muslim color palette found throughout history. Mraovic said he encouraged Porter to expand his design in order to enter it into competition.

“We did a thorough visual investigation of the cover pages of the Islamic holy book,” Mraovic said. “I encouraged him to expand on one of his intricate designs that I thought could be taken exponentially further.”

Mraovic said it’s important to understand the relationships between faiths and the collaboration and coexistence of faiths on the international stage.

For his design, Mraovic combined ancient and modern language with a stylized image of the bronze bust attributed to Naram-Sin, ruler of the Akkadian Empire from 2254-2218 BC. The bust is housed in the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. Mraovic combined the word Iraq written in Arabic, along with Iraq 100 in English to complete his composition.

Mraovic and Porter were the only artists from the United States whose artwork was selected for display. The competition accepted entries from a number of international countries, including Algeria, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela.