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Foster Gallery exhibit to feature John Rieben's award-winning graphic designs

January 10, 2013
John Rieben's Chicago Library poster, which was part of a series created in the 1960s for Chicago's Mayor Daley to promote the positive attributes of the city.
Rieben's poster for a stage production of Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps," created for a preparatory school in England.
Rieben's poster for Wagner's "Der Ring de Nebelungen," one of a series created for a summer youth opera company in Switzerland.

EAU CLAIRE — An exhibit titled "Design with Intent: Five Decades of Design for Communication," a retrospective of award-winning designs by graphic designer John Rieben, will be on display from Jan. 24-Feb. 14 in the Foster Gallery of the Haas Fine Arts Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. An opening reception will be held from 7:30-9 p.m. Jan. 24 in the gallery.

The exhibition will feature more than 50 posters as well as 70 trademarks and logos that were created for national and international companies and institutions, many of which will be instantly recognizable to the viewer.

"There are a number of people, like myself, who are born with a desire to create and a need to draw," Rieben said. "Quite often they are not terribly gifted nor have the aptitude for making bridges, pharmaceuticals or suing on the behalf of clients. Design communication is often their route to a fulfilling and useful professional career, and quite often, the only route. My hope is that a few students and young people will look at my work and say, 'Hey, I could do that,' and then go and do it."

Rieben, a Wisconsin native and professor emeritus of design at UW-Madison, was a professional designer for many years before joining the university faculty. He served as manager of design at Container Corporation of America, design director at Unimark International, director of communications at Raychem Corp. and vice president and creative director at Mobium/RR Donnelley.

Rieben's works have been featured at the American Institute for Graphic Design, Library of Congress, Denver Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Institute, among many others. View Rieben's Designer's Statement for his perspective on his work and on a design career.

Rieben holds a bachelor of science degree in information design from the University of Michigan as well as a master of science in communication theory and a master of fine arts in graphic design from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Foster Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, 6-8 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4:30 p.m. weekends.

For more information, visit the Foster Gallery website or contact Tom Wagener at



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