When Bethel Woods Center for the Arts wanted a new look for its 2012 Harvest Festival, the organization reached out to SUNY Sullivan professors Tom Ambrosino and Mark Lawrence. Ambrosino and Lawrence, in turn, took the opportunity to present this project to their students not only as an excellent classroom exercise, but as a real-world job that most established marketing agencies would jump at the chance to pitch. Thirty students joined in the process of conceptualizing and creating materials for the client's consideration.
Operating as a creative team, SUNY Sullivan faculty and students held an intake meeting with executives from Bethel Woods in order to define the project. Bethel presented its needs and goals, sharing with the SUNY Sullivan team the mission and vision of the center. Taking the knowledge gained in this meeting, the students began the creative process with Ambrosino and Lawrence functioning as much as Art Directors than as teachers.
"This was very much an 'agency style' approach," explains Tom Ambrosino, Professor of Graphic Design & Computer Graphics at the college. "The students worked on this project just as advertising professionals would. And, by handling Bethel Woods as a 'client,' the students got the kind of invaluable experience that some industry professionals wait years to get."
This collaboration between the SUNY Sullivan creative team and Bethel Woods culminated in a final meeting during which select students presented their concepts and designs to representatives from Bethel Woods, including Denise Frangiapne and Channyn Culligan, and members of the SUNY Sullivan Board of Trustees, including chairman Nick Speranza. The final designs up for consideration were taken back to Bethel Woods corporate offices for further consideration. At the end of the process, Bethel Woods decided on two designs to promote the 2012 Harvest Festival – one which will be used on print materials such as posters and rack cards, and another which will be used on tee shirts.
The 2012 Bethel Woods Harvest Festival Posters & Rack Cards will feature the creative design of Alex Peretin, a SUNY Sullivan graphic design student from Cooperstown. Stephanie Bailey, from Liberty, created the design that will be featured on the tee shirts.
"We're very proud of Alex and Stephanie for having the top designs," said Tom Ambrosino. "Both women succeeded in meeting the needs of their client, and both designs reflect Bethel Woods and the Harvest Festival well. We couldn't be happier with the creativity and professionalism that each of our students exhibited in this endeavor, and we look forward to working closely with Bethel Woods with future classes."
Indeed, Bethel Woods has expressed its interest in continuing this project as an ongoing collaboration between their organization and the college. All members of the creative team involved with the 2012 campaign have received letters of gratitude from Bethel Woods CEO Darlene Fedun.
The two designs by Alex and Stephanie will make their debuts soon, as Bethel Woods reveals its promotional campaign for the upcoming 2012 Harvest Festival season, which will be its 14th year.
The Harvest Festival reflects Bethel Woods' commitment to community, and this partnership with SUNY Sullivan is further evidence of that. Community is, as Bethel Woods has stated, "central to the core values and mission of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts." The Harvest Festival is supported by the Gerry Foundation as well as other sponsors (including SUNY Sullivan) who share a commitment to community and regional economic development.
This year's Harvest Festival at Bethel Woods occurs Sundays, Labor Day to Columbus Day from 11am - 4pm. This year's events include:
September 2 - Alpaca Festival
September 9 - Sullivan County Heritage Faire
September 16 - One World Culture Festival
September 23 - Earth Day in Autumn & Live Well Be Well
September 30 - Annual Chili Cook Off
October 7 - Rustic Craft Show