Building a Toolkit for Collaboration: Denzel Boyd

Graphic Design senior Denzel Boyd isn’t afraid of the unknown; he’s hungry for it. He arrived at VCUarts as an art student looking to build a diverse and flexible toolkit to take wherever he goes.

“When I saw the potential for design to function across many applications—physical, digital, and spatial—I knew it was for someone who is indecisive like me,” says Boyd. “I wanted to leave this department knowing I could adapt in such a rich and multifaceted field that could foster unexpected fruitful relationships and to sharpen my visual literacy.”

While in the Graphic Design program, Boyd has created and contributed to bold collaborative projects. Last spring, he assisted with branding and print design for “FRED (Free Reusable Everything Desirable),” a partnership between middle Of broad and the international design studio Aberrant Architecture. Participants traveled around Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood with a mobile cart collecting donations from community organizations and vendors, and bartered the objects in exchange for their names and skills. Boyd calls it “one of the most intense but refreshing weeks to design with such limited time and resources. I learned so much about building relationships and the power of collaboration.”

Boyd has recently lent his talents to the silver screen. This past April, his co-directed and art directed short film “Hell You Talmbout” premiered during the closing night of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle. The powerful short, a response to the deaths of unarmed African-Americans during confrontations with police, features tap-dancers from Seattle’s Northwest Tap Connection moving to the rhythms of the Wondaland protest song “Hell You Talmbout.” It was the only film in the festival to receive a standing ovation, earning Boyd and his team the Audience Award.

Promotional images created for the screening of “Hell You Talmbout” at Grace Street Theater. Courtesy of Denzel Boyd.

Looking forward to graduation, Boyd says that he plans to continue his work freelancing and hopes to soon discover his next exciting opportunity.

Feature image courtesy of VCUarts. 

Date:

May 5, 2017