Lander graphic design students stand behind one of their creations, a message repeated at several locations on campus. From left: Brandy Cessarich, of Simpsonville; Colleen McGhee, of Greenwood; Katie Carver, of Starr; Erin Ferguson, of Greer; Sean Thrasher, of Anderson, and Emily Brogan, of Greenwood. Tylan Stroud, of Blacksburg, not pictured, also participated in the project.
Messages declaring “You Are Beautiful” have appeared at more than a dozen locations on the Lander University campus in recent weeks, but it is not the work of some unknown graffiti artist.
The messaging, also known as YAB, is an endeavor by seven senior graphic design students taught by Jim Slagle, associate professor of Art and Lander’s Art Department chair.
Slagle said students chose the locations to post messages and some are in places where they could be least expected. For example, Sean Thrasher, of Anderson, installed his signs in several women’s and men’s rooms. They are posted in reverse so people are able to read them when they look at themselves in a mirror.
Brandy Cessarich, of Simpsonville, put signs in the laundry rooms at Bearcat Village and Centennial Hall. She labeled her project, “No Sock Left Behind.”
Other You Are Beautiful signs are posted on the ceiling in a common area in the
Student Center; on a wall in the Moran Plaza between the Cultural Center and the Jackson Library; on a third floor window of the Carnell Learning Center, facing the library; and in the Art Annex. Colleen McGhee, of Greenwood, projected images of the message after dark on exterior walls on campus.
Slagle said students, faculty and staff have approached him to say him how much they enjoy seeing the signs. He added, “Some have shared some touching moments that have happened as a result of the messaging.” One person, he said, was moved to tears.
His students recently had a video conference with Matt Hoffman, of Chicago, who created the YAB movement in 2003. Hoffman said thousands of artists have placed more than a half million “You Are Beautiful” stickers in any number of locations in the U.S. and across the globe, including places as far away as China and Anarctica. He encouraged others, “Share this incredible message with your world.”