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Joe Nicholson '62 is 'Designing an Icon'

Joe Nicholson '62 is 'Designing an Icon'

April 4, 2008

Joe C Nicholson 1962.jpgApril 4, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - "His business focuses on public art, environmental design, graphic design and branding and identity development," writes the Louisville Courier & Press of Joe Nicholson. The owner of Nicholson Design and a 1962 graduate of DePauw University, Nicholson has been commissioned to design "an icon" -- a 28-foot-tall, LED-illuminated piece of art for the main entryway of the New Indianapolis Airport, which opens later this year.

Nicholson's $550,000 design, which displays "IND" in a a variety of programmed color displays, "was selected over 84 other proposals in a national design competition late last year," notes Roger McBain. "He's won scores of awards for designs in California, ranging from corporate projects to major municipal commissions for public sculpture, architectural and landscape designs and for signage. He's also taught at Yale, Carnegie Mellon and San Diego State universities, as well as Chatham College and, since 1984, the New School of Architecture and Design."

McBain adds, "It's the largest project yet for Nicholson, a 1958 Bosse High School graduate whose local ties 'either on my mother's or my father's sides, go back to the beginnings of Airport Entry Art Nicholson.jpgEvansville, practically,' he says. His family mainly made its money in retail, selling groceries, clothing and, in his father's case, sporting goods. Nicholson opted for art, leaving Evansville to study easel painting. He got a bachelor's degree from DePauw University before moving on to Yale University, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees. Nicholson apprenticed with Charles and Ray Eames, a married designing duo who earned a national reputation for industrial, furniture, graphic and architectural work. Nicholson went on to found Nicholson Design in 1976, in Carlsbad, Calif., near San Diego."

Read the complete text, "Designing an icon," at the newspaper's Web site. The original announcement of the public art project was made December 18, 2007.