Designs by UAB professor in demand around the world

From imagining peace to cancer awareness, posters designed by Professor Erin Wright are on exhibition from Colorado and México to Bolivia, China and Iran.
Video by: UAB Visual Content

Works by artist Erin Wright, MFA, which touch on topics from democracy to organ donation, are making a global impact.

Wright is a professor of graphic design at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History. Wright has been invited to exhibit his poster designs from México City to Tehran.

Wright is one of 100 international designers invited to participate in “Umberto Eco and the Pendulum: Homage to Umberto Eco” poster exhibition at the National Museum of Art in La Paz as part of the Bienal del Cartel Bolivia. In November, Wright will travel to La Paz for the exhibition, where he will also have work featured in the Bienal del Cartel juried exhibition, and will present the most recent edition of the “Posters Without Borders” exhibition, which he co-organized and curated. Wright is a co-founder of PWB, a biennial international invitational poster exhibition. He and his PWB colleagues are scheduled to give a presentation on their works during the Bienal.

His poster “50 Years: Civil Rights Movement” was one of 100 selected to be exhibited at the Vanke Bund Art Museum in Wuxi, China, as part of the traveling exhibition of the Ecuador Poster Biennale.

Wright says posters, especially social political posters, are visual statements that transcend verbal language and allow ideas to be presented and discussed across cultures.

“My work in poster design has taught me that people are more similar than they are different,” he said. “When ideas are given visual form, it allows the viewer to see this commonality — even with a point of view in which they disagree.”

erin wright web“My work in poster design has taught me that people are more similar than they are different. When ideas are given visual form, it allows the viewer to see this commonality — even with a point of view in which they disagree.”Wright is one of 50 international designers from around the world who were invited to produce a new poster for the Speak Up Poster! Invitational Poster Exhibition at the “Abierto Méxicano de Diseño 2017” international design festival in downtown México City in October. He also participated in a poster exhibition in Cyprus for World Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

Wright was asked to produce a new poster for the “20x20 Posters for Peace” exhibition, featuring 20 posters from prominent Iranian graphic designers presented side by side with 20 posters by international graphic designers, as an expression of solidarity through design and a united voice for peace. “20x20 Posters for Peace” will be on view concurrently at The Palace Prison “Qasr” Gallery in Tehran and at the Gardiner Gallery at Oklahoma State University.

In September, Wright was invited to participate in another exhibition in Iran during the fifth Art for Peace Festival at Iranian Artist Forum in Tehran. The theme for the festival was “Imagine Peace.”

South Korea-based United Designs invited Wright to participate in the ninth United Designs exhibition, held in Liechtenstein in September. The show featured the work of 102 participants from 30 countries.  

Noted Venezuelan designer Santiago Pol invited Wright to participate in a digital poster campaign to support democracy in Venezuela. Presented shortly before the recent vote to change the Venezuelan constitution, the posters were designed in accessible formats so that they could be easily printed by Venezuelan protesters.

Wright recently designed the poster for “Alabama Bound,” a documentary film produced by director of the UAB Media Studies Program, Michele Forman. The film has been screened nationally, including San Francisco’s “Frameline,” the oldest and largest LGBT film festival in the world, and at Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Best Alabama Film. It won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at NewFest in New York.

Wright traveled to Colorado for the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition, the oldest and most significant poster exhibition in the United States, featuring artists from more than two dozen countries. It is Wright’s sixth appearance in the biennial exhibition, which is celebrating its 20th biennial through Nov. 3. The CIIPE is the only exhibition of its kind in North America, featuring the world’s top poster artists and designers, and its purpose is to bring outstanding examples of international poster design to an American audience. Each biennial exhibition features posters created by nearly 100 artists from about 30 countries.