Event Dates and New Speakers Announced for Graffiti to Graphics: 50 Years of Hip Hop and Design

Join us on December 7th and December 14th as we honor the 50th anniversary of both Hip Hop culture and SEGD.  We will trace the transformative journey of Hip Hop from its humble beginnings to its widespread impact on design worldwide. Through this virtual event, experience a curated convergence of historical insights and future-forward dialogue with Hip Hop pioneers, EGD innovators, place-makers, and creative minds from museum and graphic design sectors. 

Engage with powerful presentations and panel discussions that capture the synergy between Hip Hop’s vibrant culture and the evolution of design. This virtual event promises a celebration of the past, a reflection on the present, and a visionary look into the future of how Hip Hop continues to shape the fabric of design. 

Learn more about five of our incredible speakers below, and register now to secure your spot for this FREE webinar series.

Andréa Purnell

Andréa Purnell, audience development manager and co-curator of “The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century,” joined the Saint Louis Art Museum in 2017. As the audience development manager, Purnell works to spearhead cross-departmental initiatives and engagement strategies designed to increase and expand the museum’s audience profile. Her major contributions at SLAM include the development of the award-winning Staff Programming Opportunity Team, a program that encourages staff input and promotes diverse thinking using institutional collaboration with fresh perspectives.

In addition to her public relations duties, Purnell has maintained a successful artistic career as an actor, writer, director, and stage manager. Her acting credits include theater, commercials, industrial films, and movies. She has appeared in numerous local broadcasts and continues to be actively involved in media relations. For these accomplishments, she has received the DELUX Magazine Power 100 Award, Grand Center Visionary Award, North County Incorporated 30 Leaders Award, Ferguson-Florissant School District Outstanding Alumni Award, and ALIVE Magazine Buzz Listing.

Purnell holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies from Fontbonne University, a master of fine arts in arts management and leadership from Webster University, and a diversity, equity, and inclusion certificate from Cornell University. Purnell serves as the appointed 2023 board chair for the Regional Arts Commission of Saint Louis and on the Florissant Disability Awareness Commission.

Christian Acker

Christian Acker is a brand strategist, creative director and designer from Brooklyn. He has taught design and typography at Parsons School of Design and lectured at SVA, The Type Directors Club, Pacific Northwest College of Art and Stanford University. He is the founder of the Handselecta project, which started in 2003. In 2013, he released his first book Flip The Script, which gave greater context to tagging as the most overlooked, but possibly most culturally significant part of the graffiti subculture by placing individual practitioners and examples in geographic and historical context that showed both the individuation and participatory aspects of their letterforms and writing practices.

Kel Troughton

Kel Troughton is a type designer, lettering artist, graffiti writer, and educator, living in Oakland CA. He works with Letterform Archive to collect graffiti magazines, drawings, and books. Kel is a co-curator of the exhibition “Subscription to Mischief” at Letterform Archive, showcasing the 1990s graffiti community and the independent publishing that documented it. He started writing graffiti in 2000 and has continued to add letter-based interests ever since. He studied Type design through Cooper Union, worked at Monotype, and currently works on freelance type and lettering projects. His company Overlap Type focuses on type design that utilizes ideas from his graffiti experience. In short, Kel is a letter person.

Kaleena Sales

Kaleena Sales is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Tennessee State University, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in Nashville, TN. Her research and writing are rooted in racial justice and equity, with a specific focus on the ways culture informs aesthetics. Kaleena is co-author of the book, Extra-Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Non-Binary Field Guild for Graphic Designers, alongside Ellen Lupton, Farah Kafei, Jennifer Tobias, Josh A. Halstead, Leslie Xia, and Valentina Vergara. Through her service on AIGA’s Design Educators Community Steering Committee, Kaleena advocated for a more inclusive view of design history through her Beyond the Bauhaus writing series, which served as inspiration for her new book, Centered: People and Ideas Diversifying Design, published by Princeton Architectural Press. Kaleena is an active illustrator, with award-winning work featured in the 2021 Communication Arts Illustration Annual and is currently researching the intersection of Black culture and design as a doctoral student at North Carolina State University.

Greg Lamarche

Born in 1969 and raised in Queens, NY, Greg Lamarche started writing graffiti and making collages in 1981. After graduating from college in 1991, he published the seminal graffiti magazine Skills while living outside Boston. In 1995 Greg moved back to New York and worked at an art gallery in Soho for a few years before starting his own business.  Since 1999 he has been working full-time as an artist and illustrator. Later in the 2000s he grew his business to include wall and mural painting.  Greg’s art work has been shown in galleries all over the world and he has created site specific wall paintings in such cities as New York, Philadelphia, Venice, London, Montreal and Boston to name a few. Greg’s art work has also graced the pages of The New York Times, New York Magazine, Mass Appeal and he created the cover art for The ABCs of Style book.  Greg has been profiled in numerous books and magazines such as The History of American Graffiti, World Piecebook, Juxtapoz, Modern Painters and Print Magazine and many more. His commercial business has thrived over the last several years and has worked for such prestigious clients as Nike, Shake Shack, Facebook, J Crew, IBM, Converse, Bloomingdales, Wilson Sports and most recently Warner Records.

About SEGD  

We are designers of experiences connecting people to place. SEGD is a multidisciplinary community collectively shaping the future of experience design. We are a thought leader and an amplifier in the practice of experience design.

SEGD is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit education organization.