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Art in the City: NYC in the Modern Age

Art in the City: NYC in the Modern Age was a mock art exhibition developed and curated by Art History students at the University of Toledo.


The exhibition explored the themes of the city and the representation of urban life in modern art. It focused specifically on how modern artists may either represent society as a utopia, or veer more into a dystopian vision. Some art falls into a clear category, while other works seek to subvert that tension between light and dark.


I centered the exhibition design concepts around that same theme of utopia versus dystopia, and that dividing line between darkness and light. The core illustration features a mirrored city skyline divided down its center. The concept is that the perception of the prevailing concept (utopia or dystopia) could change at any time, depending on the orientation of the illustration—and how each individual viewer chooses to perceive the work.


Other design elements include the up/down symbols, which designate the works in the exhibition as utopian (up) or dystopian (down). These symbols, as well as the overall typography, were modeled after the signage found throughout the NYC subway system.

Services provided:

  • Art direction
  • Logo design
  • Graphic design
  • Exhibition catalog design/mockup