I have been involved with Mennofolk Manitoba for nearly 10 years, exhibiting as an artist for the first time in 2010. Since then, I have been a part of the planning comittee three times - in 2014 (left) , 2017 (center), and 2018 (right). My involvement was primarily as a graphic designer, working on poster, tshirt, and merchandise design.
I am also responsible for the only Mennofolk logo that has consistently been used.
In some respects, my work on this poster is what began to convince me I stood a chance of making a living doing multimedia design work professionally. To this day, people still tell me how much they enjoyed this piece.
This graphic was created using an illustration by then fellow Mennofolk committee member Clare Schellenberg. The hands you see are actually highly saturated images of Clare's hand posed into the same position as her illustrated hands. The final piece is thus a powerful combination of physical hands appearing to create an illustrated object. It really worked.
The final poster was plastered around town! The first time a piece by myself was distributed so widely.
This Mennofolk event took place a few months after the inauguration of Donald Trump, and the general sense going into the selection process for the name was that Fear was a theme in need of addressing.
In western culture, Godzilla holds a reputation of a generic threat or superlative descriptor of a large monster, but the original character was actually created as an allegory for the threat of the cold war and the terrifying prospect of potential nuclear fallout - a massive monster mutated by radioactive waste appearing without warning to tear apart civilization.
The ideas was that the threat of fear is so hard to name today in exact terms, and thus even godzilla is nervous.
Visually, I also wanted to invoke some of the art style from Brad Bird's film "The Iron Giant."
Of course, you have to have buttons.
This occasion marked the 20th anniversary of Mennofolk, and the idea this year was to communicate the notion of putting the trend of having yearly themes on hold and just partying for partying's sake.
This image of revellers setting out a table in the middle of an intersection really happened - it wasn't photoshopped, though many people thought that it was.
The whole image had to be choreographed and executed with a certain degree of precision and timing to get it to the point where there was enough time between green lights to set it up completely.
Some of the merchandise we created.
"That Kind of Mennonite" Mini-Doc
This year also saw the release of a documentary that I shot and produced with the committee. "That Kind of Mennonite" talks to five past artists and committee members for stories of Mennofolk in Manitoba from the past 20 years - discussing its origins, how it has shaped and been shaped by artists, and where the ongoing question of what it means to be Mennonite and to make art is heading.