Students’ ‘out of this world’ and retro designs impress CMAC

Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center has again partnered with Finger Lakes Community College to give graphic design students experience creating images for a prospective client.

The partnership has students in Prof. Liz Brownell’s Graphic Design II class creating poster and T-shirt images for the neighboring venue’s summer concert series. For the past two years, the students have presented their proposals to CMAC’s board of directors and venue supporters during an end-of-semester reception.

An in-person gathering wasn’t possible this year, so Brownell and her students came up with a way to share the designs virtually using the program Mindmeister. CMAC’s judging panel received an email link that allowed them to view and weigh in on the projects from the comfort and safety of their homes.

They were impressed with all of the submissions, but two proposals stood out, said Tracy Williams, community and guest services manager at CMAC. The first, created by Quinn Howell of Palmyra, features an astronaut playing the guitar.

CMAC poster design by Quinn Howell
Summer concert series poster and T-shirt design by student Quinn Howell.

Howell said the design is inspired by the concert venue’s name, Constellation Brands, with an “out of this world and interstellar mockup.”

“It’s creative, jazzy, the color scheme was right up CMAC’s alley and we may be able to play off of the ‘protective’ nod in some clever way, depending on the path our 2020 season takes,” said Williams.

The second design has a retro appeal with a cassette tape taking center stage. Its designer, Adriana Tingue of Williamson, said she hoped to conjure the summer vibe many are longing for these days –  “when a group of kids or adults would hang out and enjoy some food and music on their stereo.”

An appreciative Brownell said the partnership gives her students important real-life experience.

“Our students get to harness their creativity and are challenged with creating a design that appeals to the venue and its patrons” she said. “They then get to make a pitch in a competitive – albeit friendly – environment.This kind of experiential learning gives them an edge as they prepare to embark on their careers.”

The partnership was inspired by alumna Katrina Temple ’17, who interned for CMAC while a student. That internship continued after she earned her associate degree. Temple gained valuable experience in another graphic design project in which students create labels for wine produced and bottled by their counterparts in the college’s viticulture and wine technology program.

Williams and Brownell hope to see the concert series design project continue for years to come.

“We loved being a part of the entire ‘contest’; albeit a bit virtual given the current pandemic restrictions,” said Williams, who added, “A huge thank-you to each of the students who created a design for us to consider! Our judges were not unanimous in their choices, as you can imagine, which absolutely speaks to the high level of artistic ability among the class.”

In addition to Howell and Tingue, participating students included Sebastian Chavez of Victor, Nicholas DePorter of Stanley, Adele Fishbaugh of Dundee, Rachel Graf of Fairport, Amber Mason of Penn Yan, Michaela Miller of Geneva, Alexa Nicotina of Rochester and Taylor Reese of Farmington.

Author: Lenore Friend

Lenore Friend is the community affairs director at FLCC and the college's liaison with Finger Lakes TV. Contact her at (585) 785-1623 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *