Give-and-Take: Poster Design by Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell

bike collage poster
Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell, Public Bike, 2012; poster, 60 x 40 inches; courtesy of the artists

Exhibition runs April 19, 2018 through July 22, 2018

Give-and-Take: Poster Design by Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell presents the work of this graphic design twosome, who pioneered the medium from a traditional analog approach to its contemporary inclusion of digital technology, beginning in 1989. Working collaboratively for over 30 years, Skolos and Wedell have consistently pushed the boundaries of art, design, and technology by moving fluidly between graphic design and photography, analog and digital, 2D and 3D forms. With a passion for process, the artists build elaborate models that are photographed and digitally combined, blending graphic elements and typography as foundational aspects for their graphic design.

Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell, belong to what Wedell calls the “bridge generation,” those transitional years when designers skilled in traditional analog techniques shifted towards digital technology. “We understand both worlds and easily move between them,” says Wedell. “The poster format is like a threshold into another world. It frames an idea. It lets you play with amazing scale shifts,” says Skolos.

The results are deep illusory spaces populated by shape and texture, color and form, which draw viewers in through the flat surface of the poster. Give-and-Take showcases, for the first time in southern California, a seminal selection of posters, 3D models, and related ephemera that share the creative journey of this world-renowned husband and wife duo.

Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell have been widely published and exhibited, with posters included in the graphic design collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Library of Congress, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Israel Museum, and the Museum für Gestaltung, Skolos is an elected member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and a Boston AIGA Fellow. In 2017 they were awarded the AIGA Medal for their outstanding contributions to the field of design and visual communication.

Give-and-Take is curated by Professor Susan Merritt and organized by the SDSU Downtown Gallery. The exhibition and events are sponsored by the Visiting Artists and Lecturers Committee, the SDSU Common Experience, the School of Art + Design, the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, and Arts Alive SDSU. Additional support is provided by the San Diego State University Art Council Ambassadors.


Thursday, April 19, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Opening Reception with the Artists
SDSU Downtown Gallery

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Gallery Tour with the Artists

Friday, April 20, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Lecture by Nancy Skolos and Tom Wedell
School of Art + Design
Art North, Room A-412

Thursday, May 17, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 21, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 19, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Downtown at Sundown
SDSU Downtown Gallery

All events are free and open to the public.
Thursday through Monday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(closed Tuesday and Wednesday)