Landmark for a legend: 20th international poster exhibition opens at CSU this month

The 20th biennial Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition – the only exhibition of its kind in North America featuring the world’s top poster artists and designers – returns to Colorado State University this fall.

CIIPE posterThe 20th CIIPE begins Sept. 20 with a lecture at the University Center for the Arts by Honor Laureates Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding, whose work will be shown in the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art. The main opening for CIIPE, hosted by the Department of Art and Art History, will be held Sept. 22 in the Lory Student Center’s Curfman Gallery and the Visual Arts Building, where posters will be on display until early November.

“Since 1979, the goal of this show has been to expose CSU and the surrounding community to these leading international designers,” said CIIPE Co-Director and Coordinator Jason Frazier, assistant professor of graphic design. “The 20th exhibition is sure to have continued impact.”

CIIPE will feature nearly 150 posters by more than 70 artists from over 40 countries. In addition to the two opening events, a CIIPE panel on “Picturing Human Rights” will be held Sept. 21 at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art. And earlier that day, art and art history students will have the opportunity to talk with Scorsone and Drueding at a brown-bag session.

Schedule and locations

CIIPE Honor Laureates: Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding

Exhibition: Sept. 20 – Dec. 15, Works on Paper Gallery, Gregory Allicar Museum of Art

UCA Visiting Artist Lecture: 5-6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 20, Organ Recital Hall, UCA

CIIPE Human Rights Panel: “Picturing Human Rights”

5:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 21, Robert W. Hoffert Learning Center, Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, UCA

Speakers: Silvia Canetto of the Department of Psychology and Caridad Souza, director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at CSU, join Alice Drueding and Joe Scorsone

Greed by Scorsone and Drueding
“Greed,” by Scorsone and Drueding

CIIPE Main Exhibition Opening Night

6-9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22

Social Hour: 6 p.m., Lory Student Center Theatre

Comments and Ribbon-Cutting: 7 p.m., Lory Student Center Theatre and Curfman Gallery, LSC

Exhibition Hours: 7-9 p.m., Curfman Gallery, Lory Student Center and Hatton Gallery, Visual Arts Building

Posters and an exhibition catalog will be available for sale at the opening.

CIIPE Main Exhibition

Sept. 22 – Nov. 3

Curfman Gallery in the Lory Student Center and Hatton Gallery in the Visual Arts Building

About the CIIPE

CIIPE remains the only international poster exhibition of its kind in the United States and one of a growing number of similar exhibitions in the world. First organized in 1979 by the Department of Art and Art History’s highly regarded graphic design unit, the exhibition brings outstanding examples of international poster design to an American audience by inviting entries from distinguished poster artists around the world.

It was founded by Phil Risbeck, professor emeritus in the Department of Art and Art History; Bob Coonts, CSU retired affiliate faculty; and John Sorbie, former art professor at CSU, now deceased.

Drueding's Child Marriage
Drueding’s “Child Marriage”

In the CIIPE, each artist submits two copies of up to two posters, resulting in exhibitions that can approach 200 posters. One copy of the poster is exhibited and sold, while the other copy becomes part of the International Poster Collection in the CSU Libraries. With the variety of subjects, viewpoints and techniques that the posters represent, both the exhibition and the collection serve as sources of education, enlightenment and enjoyment.

CIIPE Honor Laureates

The 2017 CIIPE Honor Laureates, Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding, have been designing posters together since 1986.

Scorsone received his B.F.A. from The University of Buffalo and M.F.A. from The University of Illinois, both in graphic design. Drueding has a degree in art history and in graphic design from Brown University, and a degree in graphic design from Temple University. They are both professors emeriti at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. They are recipients of numerous awards, and their work has been included in more than a dozen publications and exhibited around the world.

They are best known for their advocacy and support of pressing issues of the day. Typical subjects of their work include public health, environmental protection, human rights and free speech. With a clarity of ideas presented through compelling designs, and often using humor to provide access to difficult issues, Scorsone and Drueding draw attention to their causes while frequently raising funds for them as well.

"Coexistence" by Mehment Ali Türkmen
“Coexistence” by Mehment Ali Türkmen

‘Picturing Human Rights’ panel

The panel discussion will examine how the visual arts can help bring attention to human rights, informing people’s thoughts on these critical issues and enacting positive change.

Moderated by Lindsey Nielsen of the ACT Human Rights Film Festival, panel members include artists Alice Drueding and Joe Scorsone as well as Silvia Canetto, CSU professor of psychology, and Caridad Souza, director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at CSU.

For information about awards given during the last CIIPE in 2015, visit

The Department of Art and Art History is in CSU’s College of Liberal Arts.

CIIPE logo

Q&A with Jason Frazier

CIIPE co-director and coordinator (Courtesy of Julia Trowbridge/Rocky Mountain Collegian)

How do you choose which graphic design artists to invite to the poster exhibition?

The CIIPE was begun as a way to expose students at CSU, as well as the CSU campus as a whole and surrounding communities, to a showcase of the best poster designers and artists from around the world. They are selected by the directors of the exhibition — John Gravdahl, Jason Frazier, Phil Risbeck, and Bob Coonts — as examples of the very best designers working on posters currently. Designers selected to be in the exhibition have shown extensively in juried competitions, exhibitions, and galleries around the world, often being the award winners of the shows. The invited designers are chosen from this group of accomplished individuals, many of whom have been invited to exhibit in many editions of the CIIPE.

What does the CIIPE bring to CSU students? What makes this poster competition unique for viewers? 

The exhibition is a chance for CSU students in the arts, along with the entire CSU community, to celebrate the varied and vast world of the poster. It was begun in 1979 for this very purpose. It is also a chance for them to own a bit of that world as well, as most of the posters in the exhibition are for sale at the opening and while the exhibition is open, on a first-come basis. In fact, the public is invited to purchase and collect these posters at prices that are often well below the normal cost of the works in other venues. The CIIPE is one of a very few invitational showcases that exist, so the unique nature of the exhibition itself is an event to celebrate the work of talented and exceptional poster artists from around the world.

Are you excited to showcase the work of any specific artists, and if so, who and why?

Each edition of the CIIPE celebrates a designer or designers as our judge and honor laureate. This year, we are proud to have Alice Drueding and Joe Scorsone, longtime participants of the CIIPE, as these honored guests. Their work, spanning decades, will be presented in a special exhibition in the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art at the University Center for the Arts. In addition, they will be providing a public lecture on their works on Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. and participating in a separate panel, “Picturing Human Rights,” at the UCA on Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. It is exciting to have not only their excellent works here at CSU to show, but also to have them as part of the larger discussion on the role of art and the liberal arts in the discussion of human rights. More information on these events can be found online.

What can someone expect to see at this competition? What kind of posters and what kind of content?

The posters presented at the CIIPE can vary quite extensively, from posters promoting theatre and cultural events to political, environmental and human concerns. Many of the designers feature work exclusively to begin awareness and discussions on the issues that face our planet today — the environment, climate, oppression, health and well-being, war, domestic violence and so on, while many will contribute to the cultural landscapes of their countries and beyond, working with theaters and cultural entities and governments to promote the arts, music, dance and theatre. Cultural motifs play a huge role in the posters, as the CIIPE attempts to showcase as much of the world as we can. In this 20th edition, we will have nearly 150 posters by more than 70 artists from over 40 countries from all six inhabited continents. It is a great privilege to be able to help with this kind of event that adds so much to the culture of CSU and the communities around us.