Although I've lived in the Winston-Salem area my whole childhood, I had never been to the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA). I knew I would have to check it out when a colleague told me of the graphic design exhibition. So my husband and I got in the car with our GPS and headed out for my birthday adventure. I had a lot of fun and recommend anyone interested in graphic design to go! The last day of the exhibit is February 23, 2014. SECCA is open Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm, Thursday: 10am – 8pm, Sunday: 1 – 5pm, but Closed on Mondays and Major Holidays. The website recommends calling at 336-725-1904 to avoid visiting when the museum is closed during gallery installations.
SECCA is located at 750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Getting to the museum was not very hard. I was surprised how close it was to the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Visiting both museums would be a fun day trip, but I would split up all of the gallery viewing with a picnic lunch and walk around Reynolda Gardens shops and trails if the weather permits.
SECCA is a decent sized museum with shades of green paint and modern architecture connected to the James Gordon Hanes House, an early 1900's stone house that is open to tours as well. (James Gordon Hanes is the son of the Hanes Hosiery Co. founder, a prominent family of Winston-Salem's history.)
I did not go through the house tour because to the left of the front desk was an eye catching poster display. It was refreshing to see a collection of new graphic design work, since the whole exhibit had pieces created from 2000 forward. I did recognize a few designers that I had studied in school. Marian Bantjes had an intricate die cut typography poster. I almost went down the stairs and missed the piece completely - it is a white poster hung on a white wall. I wonder what it would have looked like displayed with colored background, but it was a beautiful piece that I am glad I took closer look at. If you would like to read more about Marian Bantjes, read my article 10 Awesome Female Designers or check out my Design Articles board on Pinterest. Downstairs I recognized another name from my college studies. A grid of Ed Fella typography posters and doodles from Fella's personal collection was displayed below the stairs.
The museum had several interactive installations. The first include a display of recognizable logos past and present with clear plastic tubes below each design. Visitors were encouraged to put yellow poker chips in the tubes of which logo they preferred. Free marketing data for big brands like Starbucks - I was surprised that the newest logo had more chips than the old Starbucks logo (but that could have changed since my visit). In addition to exploring the marketing aspects of graphic design, the digital component was heavily displayed. Several computer stations were set up to allow visitors to interact with new forms of technology. One of these stations had paper trimmings on the floor because a high tech printer would print a cut out of what you put into the computer. A nice little souvenir from your visit.
In addition to the gallery space SECCA has a large auditorium for music concerts, movies, and family fun activity days. Have you been to any events at SECCA? Share your experience in the comments.
This is coming up so go see the exhibit and the hear the lecture.
Design Talk Series @ SECCA: Paula Scher
Thursday, January 29, 2014 @ 7pm
Graphic Design: Now in Production
October 26, 2013 - February 23, 2014
Co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York; Curated by Andrew Blauvelt, Curator of Architecture and Design, Walker Art Center and Ellen Lupton, Curator of Contemporary Design, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.