Layers: A Powerhouse Retrospective at Northern Kentucky University’s Fine Arts Center had its closing reception Nov. 3. The art exhibit featured screen-printed concert posters by design company Powerhouse Factories, which is based out of Newport, Ky.
In their statement, the company said, “Our intent was to create an overwhelming wall of imagery.”
The theme of the show was “continued evolution,” with the first piece installed Oct. 7. New pieces were added until the Nov. 3 closing. Gallery director David Knight wanted it so that the show each week would seem newer than the last.
“The closing is the first time you can see the whole show. It’s kind of different, but I like it,” one of the Powerhouse creators, Pat Jones said.
Over 35 people attended the closing reception, including students, faculty and their families. Guests were offered snacks and refreshments and the chance to get to know the artists.
Powerhouse Factories was created by college friends Pat Jones and Ben Nunery in 2004. Jones said the two were “just friends making posters for their favorite bands. “
Some pieces included posters featuring Death Cab for Cutie, Kanye West, Bruce Springsteen and Public Enemy.
The newest piece was a large collage installation of test prints that imitated the screen printing process. The piece spanned the length of the wall and depicted an arm pulling a squeegee across a canvas, with multi-color test prints that create the colors used in the screen printing process. It was specially made for the event so that the team could introduce something new in addition to work they’d already done.
“We kind of pushed ourselves to actually do something for this show,” one Powerhouse graphic designer, Brian Bergen said.
Posters were arranged on the walls in a collage-like manner. Framed posters highlighted the back wall and stood apart from the other pieces. Knight said he arranged the framed posters more simply to give the audience a break from the overwhelming aspect of the collage.
A silent compilation video projected on a screen in the middle of the room helped highlight the theme of the show. Clips of fans holding posters were graphically imposed on top of personal clips from the group’s parties, similar to graphics on a poster.
The exhibit was a last-minute replacement in the gallery after a cancellation. Knight thought Powerhouse would be the perfect fill-in, because he felt they would be able to really connect with the students.
“It’s wild to walk in here and see all of this. It’s humbling,” said Austin Dunbar, another Powerhouse graphic designer and NKU alumnus.
Students who are interested in seeing more pieces by Powerhouse visit their website, http://www.phfdesign.com/