Serbian Consuls Take Notice of Vinson’s Artwork

vinson-web.jpgPLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University sophomore Allyson Vinson is once again gaining international recognition for her work in the arts. A graphic design major from Lubbock, Vinson’s latest project has piqued the interest of the Consul General of the Republic of Serbia in Chicago and the acting Consul General of the Republic of Serbia in New York.

This is Vinson’s second project to gain international interest. Last year, she submitted a piece to the Iraqi Consulate that garnered praise and gratitude from the Iraqi Consulate for her interest in the history of the nation.

With her latest poster, Vinson focused on the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb. The assassination is generally regarded as the act that started World War I.

“Our project was to take a historical moment and create an infographic about it,” Vinson explained. “An infographic is a very quick way of relaying information about a complicated subject, such as the assassination of Ferdinand.”

Vinson’s infographic is a stylized depiction of Princip extending a handgun. Princip was a member of the Mlada Bosna, a society that sought the liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Austro-Hungarian rule. On June 28, 1914, Princip fired two shots, killing Ferdinand and his wife, Sofie, plunging Europe into what would become World War I. He is still regarded as a hero by many Serbians and an assassin by many Austrians.

Vinson said the bleak style of her piece is meant to reflect the somber nature of the event while retaining the feel of an old photograph through the sepia tone coloring. Vinson said she developed an interest in Serbian and Yugoslavian history after first hearing the story of the assassination when she was a child. She said her dad, also a history buff, suggested the event as a focus for her project.

“I wanted to create a poster to find the true man, devoid of the one-dimensional portrait of him painted by history,” Vinson said.

Prompted by her graphic design professor, Dejan Mraovic, who is also Serbian, Vinson sent the poster to both Serbian consulates.

“I was hesitant to do that, but he told me it would be a good idea to get my work out there,” she said. “Realistically, I don’t think I would have gotten a reply if he hadn’t stepped in and helped with that.”

Both consulates responded to her email, thanking her for taking an active interested in Serbian history.

“I can conclude from your work, art and words that you are a talented young person who is looking for a truth beyond conventional knowledge,” said His Excellency Damjan Jović from Chicago. “Academic curiosity is very important for academic and intellectual advancement of any society, and it is indeed the strongest characteristics of young individuals who potentially have capacity to change this world to the better.”

Her Excellency Olgica Vlačić, Acting Consul of the Republic of Serbia in New York, echoed those sentiments and thanked Vinson for letting them use the poster.

“We’ll be happy to share it with our community on the occasion of the anniversary of the Sarajevo assassination in June,” Vlačić said.

Vinson said hearing from both Consuls means a lot to her and validates her work as an artist.

“They aren’t required to go out and give some random teenager the time of day,” she said. “The fact that they replied to me at all is not only a really big honor, but it is also really cool.”



Above: Allyson Vinson created this infographic about Gavrilo Princip who assassinated the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, leading to World War I.