Artist uses ‘visual puns’ to communicate societal choices

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September 06, 2017

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VINCENNES, Ind. - Artist and teacher Pravin Sevak has received recognition and awards around the globe for his use of visual puns - an image with two or more meanings that yield a single yet layered message - to communicate powerful moral and ethical choices common in contemporary society.

Sevak is an associate professor at Vincennes University and teaches graphic design, computer graphics, and related courses.

Through his artistic endeavors, Sevak attempts to enlighten or inform using very few words. Good and bad consequences are presented, often ingeniously, through symbols. “One example shows the difference between war and peace,” Sevak explains. “Peace is represented by rows of simple, silhouetted house shapes and war is represented by rows of similarly shaped silhouettes of tombstones. The question becomes which house would one prefer one’s self or others to occupy?”

Sevak recently learned that three of his poster designs were selected for the Triennial Ekoplagat '17 International Design Exhibition in the topic of Nature and the Environment. The posters - Conserve Water, Love Thy Nature, and preSERVE - were exhibited at the Museum of Art in Selina, Slovak Republic. He was one of five U.S. artists selected by the international jury.

Expanding on the topic “Form Follows Function,” Sevak will speak about design for social good at VU’s Shircliff Auditorium on September 14, 11 a.m. (EDT). His presentation accompanies a retrospective of his design work that is on exhibition at the Gallery until September 22. A reception for the artist will take place following the presentation.

Shircliff Gallery of Art is in the Shircliff Humanities Center, Room A103, located at the corner of First and Harrison streets on the VU campus. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays; 12-4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free.

For information about Shircliff Gallery, contact Arthur Fields, 812-888-4316,