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Each year, Gallery 360 hosts the Art + Design Senior Show, highlighting the broad array of projects and mediums that the department’s graduating class works in. 

This year’s show presents work that originated in the classroom, on co-op, or in the freelance marketplace––a stunning example of CAMD students’ interdisciplinary creativity. 

Photo shows Azra Schorr, posing for a photo in the studio.
Photo by Kira Briggs.

Decal Magazine by Azra Schorr

Brand Management major Azra Schorr is showing a photography project she produced during her Fall 2023 co-op at Interview Magazine. She took advantage of the down time in her position and over the course of the 6-month program brought Decal Magazine to life. The visually-driven publication explores tattoos as an emblem of youth culture, reframing them as mediums of art and self-expression. 

“A lot of media around tattoos right now don’t really represent the younger waves of it,” Schorr said, “It’s really grown and changed so much as an industry, so I just felt like it could be a fun project to represent that.”

While Schorr primarily considers herself a photographer, Decal Magazine was her first exploration into her interest in publication design. It allowed her to hone her skills as an editor, developing a collaborative network of industry creatives. 

For months, Schorr cold-messaged dozens of New York-based photographers to get submissions for the magazine. While some never responded to her messages, over 20 contributors came from those efforts. She admitted that “There was no reason to join it unless you had some sort of blind faith in me. And that’s how I was able to get people: they just had this, like, faith in me for some reason.” 

The completed magazine has 13 unique, youth-centered stories and has given “other artists a platform [that] I didn’t even have for myself,” said Schorr. 

The photo shows spreads of Azra Schorr's magazine installed in Gallery360. The photos show youth with tattoos and fashionable, trendy outfits. Eight spreads of the magazine hang on a wall in the front of the gallery; this is Azra’s first time presenting in an exhibition of this scale. “It feels really good to see your work on a wall like that,” she said. 

“Nothing else I’ve ever done has been such a huge piece of me,” she shared.

“It’s because I designed the whole thing and was fully in charge of the creative direction. So it’s 100% a reflection of my tastes and my style and my interest. Honestly, it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done.”

Headshot of student Taylie Kawakami '24.
Photo by Adam Glanzman for Northeastern.

Minkan Denshō by Taylie Kawakami

Azra isn’t the only student whose work tackles cultural stigma. Communications Studies and Graphic and Information Design student Taylie Kawakami’s project was created for a capstone in response to a professor’s instruction to “solve a problem in the world.”

Her collection of folk tales, Minkan Denshō, is a 90-page children’s anthology that looks at 18 different Japanese myths and their cultural impacts in Japan and Hawai’i. 

Kawakami is Japanese-Hawai’ian herself, and she shared that inspiration for this project came out of the anti-Japanese rhetoric that arose in post-Pearl Harbor Hawaiian culture. 

“My grandparents were so scared of being shipped off to California to the internment camps,” Kawakami said, “that they physically burned every single artifact we had of home and of Japan, and like, stopped speaking the language and pretty much doing anything like that. And that’s a rhetoric I heard a lot growing up. Like, we’re very proud of our heritage, but we just don’t necessarily have the same ties.”

The book breaks down this rhetoric, encouraging both young and old Hawai’ians to re-engage with their Japanese heritage through the retelling of folk tales, all eight of which Kawakami rewrote through a unified voice. 

For Kawakami, selecting this piece for exhibition was a no brainer. “It was just such a big part of my life for those four months,” she said. “If I had to encapsulate my time at Northeastern into one experience, it would be this project, because this truly felt like the coalescence of my education and my personal interests coming together into one big thing I could be proud of.”

While she leaves Northeastern campus for good after graduation, Kawakami shared that the classes and professors offered through Northeastern’s art and design curriculum have given her confidence as a designer, showing her that a creative life is possible and achievable with a good support network.

“I think when I came into college, I viewed the world as an artist. [Northeastern] totally shifted my world perspective. I view the world as a designer now. I view things in grids and types and I’m able to understand why a design works and how a design functions,” she said.

In the future, Kawakami wants to break into the food packaging industry and get Minkan Denshō into the hands of a publisher, but for now, she’s just excited to celebrate the current accomplishments of her classmates. “It’s cool to see everyone coming together and being like, wow, we did this. We’re not even graduated and look what we did. Imagine what we’re going to do in one year, two years, five years.”

The cover of Kawakami’s “Minkan Denshō.”

A Creative Future

As a hub for contemporary art and community engagement on campus, Gallery 360 is proud to host the Art + Design Senior Show year after year. With over 135 pieces on view, we’ve only scratched the surface of this year’s student talent. To this year’s alumni: congratulations! We can’t wait to see where your talents take you. 

“Nothing else I’ve ever done has been such a huge piece of me."

Azra Schorr

Class of 2024