CCE exhibition pays tribute to the connection between visual art and music

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

If you’re learning Photoshop fundamentals, few things would be more boring than a dry recitation of “how tos” when it comes to adjustment layers, cropping, lighting effects, and other basic skills.

But if you’re imaging an album cover? And shooting photos using a green screen? And looking up musicians you love to see how they present their music visually? And using what you’ve learned to make your own album cover, getting as crazy as you like? Then you’ve hit that sweet spot of learning plus creativity that can spark something lasting.

PCA&D Records, Volume One

A Day in the Life Records, 24A W. Walnut St., Lancaster

April 2-17

Students in the Center for Creative Exploration‘s Creating Art in Adobe Photoshop class, all of them in grades 7-9, will exhibit their final projects this month at A Day in the Life Records. Dan Flynn, who co-owns A Day in the Life with his wife, Ashley Spotts, says the shop is the perfect place to exhibit art that draws from a rich history of the ways visual art has helped to identify and expand the reach of music.

Music today is often a download, he notes, and “album” is just a word: “There’s not an analog, or a visual component to it.” Think of how much you learn about a musician or a band, though, by poring over cover art, by interpreting the images and liner notes. Think about the flavor added — before you even drop the needle or press play — by the interaction of images and typeface.

That’s what got instructor Adam Serrano excited about the possibilities. “When kids are in control and allowed to be clever,” Serrano says, “it’s exciting to them to apply these skills any way they want to.”

EXPERIENCE THE CLASS THIS SUMMER: Creating Art in Adobe Photoshop, Grades 7-9

So Serrano designed the curriculum around this final project, giving students Dillon Ernst, Zoe Gaston, and Caroline Schuler the building blocks they’d need. They progressed from taking photos in front of a green screen, to looking up album covers of musicians they like, to learning digital editing, manipulating the structure of a face, discussing how to find art and typefaces that are available to use … it was “like a boot camp” of design, Serrano says.

“It’s important for youth to consider the influence of art behind the music,” he says, “even how things come and go on social media: that media literacy.” And that’s not simply to keep them interested he adds. That knowledge can build a viable career.

Gallery: Get a sneak peek at some of the art

“This was a real-world application of what a graphic design job could be,” Serrano says. “It pays the bills — I work with bands all the time. But there’s an expected level of discipline, and you need to learn the ‘muscles’ of it all … The older (album) covers influence to a ‘T’ what people listen to now.

“The involvement (of Flynn and A Day in the Life Records) helped me solidify the real-world application of this class for the students.”

logo for exhibition by Adam Serrano

First Friday’s “Record Release Event,” with art by Center for Creative Exploration students. Exhibition graphic by instructor Adam Serrano.



Day in the Life Records:

Monday: 11 am to 6 pm

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: Closed

Thursday: 11 am to 6 pm

Friday: 11 am to 7 pm

Saturday:11 am to 6 pm

Sunday: noon to 5 pm