Half the fun of looking at Marian Bantjes's graphic art, whether it's the cover of a magazine or promotion art for Saks Fifth Avenue, is simply absorbing its ornate beauty. The other half is figuring out what it means and how it works together as a unit. For this, it's often best to just relax your eyes and look for vague patterns. Soon those patterns will start looking like letters, and eventually, you'll piece the letters into full words and phrases. A former book designer, the Vancouver-based Bantjes's new career as a graphic artist has her creating elegant and beautiful art in mediums ranging from ballpoint pen drawings to writing phrases out in sugar. Her work is often swoopy and curvy and thoroughly modern. In a stunning example of content-driven magazine design, she illustrated a mouse for the science magazine Seed by arranging small images of mutated and normal mouse genes. She has also contributed high profile work for Fader, Print, The Guardian, and Texas Monthly. Other speakers for Insight 2008 include socially and environmentally conscious duo Work Worth Doing, New York-based designers Project Projects, and Ed Fella, winner of the 2007 American Institute of Graphic Artists Medal.
Tue., March 4, 7 p.m., 2008