Wayland Secures Two Spots for USA in Iraq 100 International Poster Exhibition

PLAINVIEW--The talented work from Wayland’s Graphic Design Program has made an impression on the international stage this past month. Justin Porter, a Junior from McKinney, Texas, and Plainview’s Graphic Design Professor, Dejan Mraović, submitted their poster concepts to the Iraq 100 International Poster Exhibition competition organized by the Tamayouz Excellence Award, noted as “an independent initiative with no political affiliation” that “tackles local and global challenges.” They strive to advance and celebrate architecture and art in and around the surrounding areas of the Iraqi State.

Justin Porter originally produced his piece as an assignment in the ART 2330 Graphic Design 1 course. The design is based on a grid with elemental ideas of shape drawn from the Qur’an and Islamic geometric art. His colors were drawn from Muslim artistic history.

“It began as something very small from an assignment we did,” Porter said. “I didn’t think much of it, but my professor encouraged me to add things and change some elements. I started seeing it come together.”

Professor Mraović aided Porter in bringing his piece together, urging him to expand and take his original concept further.

“He is not here by happy accident, it is hard work,” Mraović said. “He is a very hardworking man, and he has a natural sense for coloristic style.”

Mraović encouraged Porter to submit his piece to the competition when it was ready. Two weeks later, It was announced that his graphic design poster had been accepted.

“I had no expectations,” Porter said. “I was honestly surprised. I hadn’t even told my parents yet [at the time of his acceptance], that I had entered.”

Professor Mraović’s piece, titled One Hundred Years of Modern Iraq, is simpler in its stylistic approach, but no less bold. His piece is comprised of three main elements: The word Iraq written in Arabic, the words IRAQ 100 in English Latin, and a stylized bronze profile attributed to Naram-Sin, a ruler of the Akkadian Empire who reigned c. 2254 – 2218 BC. The composition of the piece is dynamic and draws the viewer’s eye in three different directions.

Mraović has had his work published internationally before. Recently, his work was featured in Russia as part of the Red Zone (Красная Зона) is a competition designed to show gratitude to all medical workers around the world who have been caught up in the fight against COVID. The students in the Graphic Design Program have stood out before as well.

“[Justin Poster] is the fifth student in two years to be published on the national or international level,” Mraović said.

Iraq 100 is a show set to celebrate 100 years of the modern Iraqi State. All over the globe, artists from designers to photographers were invited to create and submit posters that explored the modern history of Iraq. Thousands of applicants sent in their work. A panel of judges from the Tamayouz Excellence Award committee consisting of brilliant minds from around the world in the field of architecture selected the top 100 posters for the exhibition.

Posters were produced by artists from many 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, Turkey, Uganda, USA, and Venezuela.

Porter and Mraović were the only two Americans to have their work accepted in the top 100 posters now displayed at the Iraqi Plastic Artists Association in the center of Baghdad. This show will have exhibitions in several cities worldwide before a book publication of the collection will be available to the public for purchase. To read more about Iraq 100 and view the list of selected 100 posters for the show, or learn more about the Tamayouz Excellence Award, click on the links.

circular grid design                     face and lettering

Above: Justin Porter's graphic design for a Qur'an cover page                                           Above: Dejan Mraović's One Hundred Years of Modern Iraq