Hailing from rural Tennessee, Professor Natalie Tyree will spend her summer
examination of a subject deeply rooted in his personal identity: rural culture and
generational studies. Tyree is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at
the Potter College of Arts & Letters Department of Art and Design which was recently
received a university-wide Research and Creative Activities Program (RCAP) grant that
will allow him to deepen his current research for a new creative project entitled
“Point of origin.” This new corpus explores the meaning of place, heritage and culture
while examining and demystifying common stereotypes related to indigenous people in rural areas
south.

Tyree’s exploration of this subject will begin with a series of hand-printed posters
created using a Challenge 15 MA typography (acquired through RCAP grant) and
will then integrate the technology as a second layer printed and digitally rendered through
the use of Augmented Reality (AR). The AR layer will allow viewers to interact with and
discover new layers in the artwork. This series will be the sequel to Professor
Tyree’s interest in combining analog and digital media. His work will use both types
and imagery to deepen his creative research rooted in generational and popular studies
cultural.

Tyree’s interest in research on the themes of generational studies in relation to
popular culture began in 2014. She recalls that it “started when the students I was
teaching were mostly millennials. As an “old millennial” myself, I wanted to learn
more about this band that I’ve been so often categorized with, when on the surface we
seemed so different.

This curiosity has sparked an interest in comparing and contrasting Generation X, Generation Y and
Generation Z, which eventually evolved into exploring a sense of culture as well.
Tyree said: “Like many of my friends and peers, as an old progressive
millennial, I am constantly in battle with my own beliefs contrary to what I have been told
growing up and how I was raised. From this observation, the “Point of origin” project
was born.

Originally, Tyree’s creative works began as digital collages and later morphed into
letterpress typographic prints. “As a member of a hybrid generation who remembers life
both with and without the internet and computers in literally everything, I find a sense of
humor and irony in the work of a super old technology which is typography and movable type”,
she explained.

Tyree looks forward to the arrival of the new typography at the Department of
Art and design. She says, “Expanding the scope of my current research through
introducing new digital means while combining this with my current analog
production, mainly augmented reality and motion design, also allows me to expand
how I teach these skills to students. Above all, the arrival of this new typography
will allow the support and creation of a course of special subjects on typography, giving
department the infrastructure to support this type of student-led creative activity.