Northcentral Technical College graphics students deliver a sign to 319 Gallery, Inc. in downtown Wausau. Photo courtesy NTC.

WAUSAU – When Meghan Weber and Melissa Decker began studying graphics at Northcentral Technical College, they didn’t know they would lead a project that would positively impact a nonprofit organization in downtown Wausau.

The project was a collaboration between the students and June Zentner from 319 Gallery, Inc., an art gallery that is operated by local artist volunteers.

“We noticed the need for some directional signage for visitors to know what was in each of our five gallery rooms and navigate through them, as well as the 319 Bistro,” Zentner said.

The request was brought to the attention of students completing the Graphic Communication Technologies Associate Degree at NTC. After hearing about the need, Weber and Decker volunteered to lead the project from start to finish. The students worked with Zentner to understand the gallery and then researched the layout of the area. Ideas became sketches that were created into large-format signs for the Sun Gallery and a color-coded map of the gallery that will aid future exhibit goers.

“It was the best experience that we could have had — to start from scratch and find the best way to create and deliver the products,” Weber said.

Not only will the students be able to showcase the project publicly at the gallery, but they will also be able to highlight the experience in a professional portfolio that is needed for the last semester of their program.

“This is a win-win experience for our students and the community,” said Andy Somers, graphics instructor at NTC. “Meghan and Melissa will have the customer relations skills needed to earn their degrees and be successful in their field upon graduation.”

The students say that the experience opened their eyes to the entire process needed to design and produce a product for a client. “We are so thankful that June welcomed us into the gallery and allowed us to have this opportunity as college students,” Decker said.

“In the end, we couldn’t be more pleased with (Weber and Decker’s) skill and professionalism and the product of their work,” Zentner said.

To learn more about NTC’s Graphic Communication Technologies Associate Degree, visit ntc.edu/academics-training/programs/all/associate-degree/graphic-communication-technologies

Published with permission from NTC. Photo courtesy NTC.