A young department that is already making us proud
A young department that is already making us proud: we are proud to announce that in the posters competition held by the Israeli Knesset in preparation for its birthday, celebrated on Tu Bishvat, Nir Messika and Shahar Ogalbo, students from the College Visual Communications Department, won first and third prize, accordingly.
The multiple opinions on subjects of society and culture in Israel is bigger than ever, and the strength of Israel’s democracy is stemmed in the appropriate representation of all its sectors. Last September the Knesset issued a call, distributed among design and art students. The students were asked to submit offers for a posters competition, that would express the extensive arc of significances that characterize Israel’s democracy. The winning poster would be distributed in honor of the Knesset birthday, to educational institutions, government organizations and the Knesset itself.
In the height of the summer vacation, student graduates of first year studies in Visual Communication, overran the department’s studio (which was empty due to the holidays) and dived into work, reviewing imagery, planning compositions and creating sketch upon sketch, adding color and typography.
The poster by Shahar Ogalbo, which won third prize, shows the idea of “Variety of Opinions, One Knesset” using the Seven Species (fruit and grains typical to Israel according to the Bible), which Shahar chose to grow from a single central stem to emphasize their strong connection. Nir Messika’s poster, which won first price, was inspired by the stone frieze “Carry Peace Jerusalem” designed by artist Danny Caravan in 1964. The frieze is installed on the south wall of the Knesset plenum and is an important and well-known work. Nir compares the parts of the frieze to the cultural variety characteristic of Israeli society and to the myriad of opinions in the country, as represented in the Knesset.
Shahar and Nir, currently second-year students, are members of the first course in Visual Communications opened at SCE in scholastic year 2021-2022. The posters submitted for the competition were designed following a year of intensive studies in typography, form development, design thinking and message conveyance, alongside theoretical courses in art and design history. Both received monetary rewards for their works, which are on display in the Knesset building.
Nir Messika, originally from Rishon Lezion, was first introduced to Danny Caravan’s work during a school trip to the Knesset building. He tells: “Caravan’s creation has many graphic forms. I painted them in different colors representing the idea of variety. The colors I chose are a reflection of Israel’s beautiful panoramas and represent its diversity: the greens of the north contrasted by the earthy hues of the south where I have made my home. I added the blues that represent the water sources and endless sunlit skies, and the yellow and oranges that reflect the desert”.
Shahar Ogalbo, a resident of Ashdod, presented the idea through the seven species. Tu Bishvat, which is the Knesset’s birthdate, is also the festival celebrating “the fruits that bless this country”, and Shahar chose to use them as a metaphor of Israeli society’s multicultural aspects, where the branch bearing them symbolizes the unity, the one place where all these opinions are heard. At the bottom of the poster Shahar placed the Knesset symbol and alongside it the words “Variety of Opinions – One Knesset” in Hebrew, Arabic and English to make the message accessible in three languages.
Both students were excited about winning. Shahar said: “I knew that my poster conveyed the message and I felt proud of it, but I did not want to have any expectations. When I received the announcement, I was totally astounded. Nir: “Shahar was the first to open the announcement and she sent me to look and see if I had also received one. At first glance I did not see the email, and she convinced me to check my spam mail… and then I saw the title ‘congratulations on winning first place’, and I was of course very surprised. The recognition of our abilities is motivation to continue”.
We will add that all the staff members, management and students in the Visual Communications department are thrilled and proud of the impressive achievements – and are looking forward to many more successes by everyone in the futu