In our continuing coverage of the Friends Of campaign and Rio's leading art and technology school, Spectaculu, we take our attention away from the established talents of Vik Muniz, Mark Bradford, Carlos Saldanha, and Campana Designs and focus on the up-and-coming talents of student Juliana Xavier Rusino. The students from "Friends of..." program designed T-shirts, and Juliana's standout design features an Afro-Brazilian version of Marilyn Monroe.
Juliana Xavier Rusino is a 20-year old student at Rio's art and technology school, Spectaculu. She lives with her mother in the municipality of Duque de Caxias just outside of the city. Her journey to class is long, consisting of a bus and a train. It's a two-hour trip in each direction, but Juliana doesn't bristle at the trek. She relishes it.
She started at Spectaculu last year, taking a stage direction class. For the past five months, she's been enrolled in a photo-imaging course. Juliana was in the spotlight last Tuesday, as one of the ten Spectaculu students chosen to participate in "Friends of Vik Muniz for Spectaculu," a unique collaboration between the Intel and Levi's. Vik and his friends—artist Mark Bradford, furniture designers the Campana brothers, and director Carlos Saldanha—also designed T-shirts. Those shirts will be sold at Levi's stores in North and South America to raise funds and awareness for Spectaculu. Intel donated ultra sleek and responsive Ultrabook systems to Spectaculu to help integrate the latest technological tools into the curriculum and allow students to further their creative learning and skills sharing.
The students from "Friends of..." program designed T-shirts too. Juliana's standout design features an Afro-Brazilian version of Marilyn Monroe, impeccably Photoshopped and reminiscent of both Pop art styling and 19th century portraiture. Juliana's was chosen by Levi's top creatives as the best of the bunch.
Her design represents so much of what the "Friends of Vik Muniz for Spectaculu" has sought to inspire. After taking Photoshop classes and art history classes, Juliana used her new technical skills to put her ideas into practice.
Translated from the Portuguese, Juliana had this to say: "I liked the image of Marilyn itself—I thought I could do a good job with it. It is a template of beauty, but there are other templates of beauty that are beautiful in the same way. So I used her image as a base."
Having the Ultrabook at hand helped Juliana translate the expertise of her teachers and Vik into a piece of great design and, hopefully, a career.
According to Juliana, "Spectaculu lets students express their ideas and develop professionally—they put you in the job market knowing what you want to do. It's a base to develop your ideas through projects. Participating in the projects adds to my professional life, because I already know how to build a project by myself using different forms of media."
It's not only the skills and expertise that she benefits from at Spectaculu. It's "the school's cool vibe," the new ideas and space for students to grow that excite Juliana. She continues, "We have freedom to use many means of communication and trade ideas with one another."
The ease of communication extends to Vik Muniz as well. "Once I got to know him, he was really down to Earth. If I ever had a question, I could just grab him." To learn more about Spectaculu, visit spectaculu.org.br. Many of the site's articles are available in English.
More LevisxIntel Friends Of stories here.