As John Brown University students pour into the Cathedral, they buzz with excitement. They are gathering for Next Big Thing to hear their favorite bands perform. The stage glitters with neon lights.
The AVL team has only one short week to prepare for the event, and can only take a second to enjoy their creation before they grab their cameras to work the event.
Kevin Gabbert, video director and camera operator for the AVL team, is one of the main designers behind the big events on campus. Gabbert is a senior graphic design major, but enjoys stepping outside of the box to create layouts and structures for shows.
“My favorite experience has been applying my art to things outside of class, like student events,” Gabbert said. “Having complete creative liberty and making
art for events that everyone will be interested in and looking at. Set design is taking a different approach to my art, making it bright and ashy.” Bear Klenda, director of AVL services, has worked directly with Gabbert throughout his time at JBU. Klenda speaks highly of the work that the artist has done in his time on the crew.
“Kevin has a very imaginative mind and he is very ambitious. He always brings a creative are each time that he brings an idea to the table,” Klenda said. “He has transformed the stage to make the shows unique, so it isn’t just another Mock Rock or Talent Show.”
In addition to AVL, Gabbert is also a member of Student Events and Activities (SEA), so he creates a lot of art to promote other events on campus as well. Many posters, announcements and chalk drawings around campus can be traced back to his creative hand.
“I love how good design makes things look better. People can bene t from having something that is aesthetically pleasing as well as something that works to communicate a speci c message,” Gabbert said.
On top of his other activities, Gabbert works at Pure Joy, a local ice cream shop in Siloam Springs, where he creates chalk drawings for advertisements. One day he hopes to use the business aspect of his degree to establish his own business and incorporate his art into the company.
As a student double-majoring in graphic design and business, Gabbert enjoys using his art to help businesses and organizations. Whether it’s on campus or throughout the community, he works to help groups communicate and advertise clearly and effectively.