The Marietta College Art Department is pleased to present “Refraction: An Illustrated Journey. An Exhibition of Illustrations and Infographics by Christina (Biedenbach) Ullman ’93,” on display in Gallery 310 through November 30th. An opening reception and brief gallery talk will be held on Saturday, October 13th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., during Marietta College’s Homecoming weekend.

“Analyze first. Then create.” Christina Ullman’s process originated at an early age as she explored everything from art and writing to photography and video editing. This exploration taught her the value of a 360-degree approach to effective visual storytelling. A graphic designer and illustrator for over 25 years, she has developed an award-winning national reputation, including for editorial design and conceptual and scientific illustration.

Christina Ullman, Principal and Creative Director of Ullman Design, graduated summa cum laude from Marietta College in 1993. After working as an in-house communications and development designer, she completed graduate work at Ohio University, earning a master of science in journalism with a focus in visual communication. It was there that Christina developed a real passion for visual storytelling while collaborating with top photographers on social reform topics. Christina remained at Ohio University, teaching publication design and informational illustration in the School of Visual Communication. In 2001, she returned to Marietta College, where she taught graphic design and digital illustration, in addition to serving as department chair. In 2007, she left academia to return to the industry and opened her design and illustration studio, Ullman Design, in Marietta, Ohio.

Ullman Design is a graphic design, illustration and interactive media studio with national and international non-profit, medical and institu­tional clients. Christina’s work has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (23 awards, including 10 gold awards); Adobe International; American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA); American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine; League of American Communications Professionals; the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen; and LogoLounge.

She has received commissions to produce medical informational graphics and illustrations from such prestigious institutions including Harvard University, the Whitehead Institute at MIT, Johns Hopkins University, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. In addition, her illustrations have been featured in national exhibitions as well as appearing in Graphis Design Annual; Print Regional Design Annual; Hightone Books; and 3×3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration.

Refraction, by definition, implies a split—to go in different directions. This was an appropriate term to define this exhibition which features illustrations that originate from both sides of the brain—the creative and conceptual, balanced with the technical and scientific.

“The work in this exhibition features two varied directions my career as a graphic designer and an illustrator has taken thus far,” said Ullman. “On one side, I find inspiration from scientific and medical advances to visualize techniques and treatments. On the other side, I look to masters such as Salvador Dali, Réne Magritte, and Max Ernst as well as contemporary illustrators such as Mariko Ando, Michael Waraksa, and Neal Williams.”

Regardless of the subject matter, illustration involves shedding light on a subject, a concept, or a storyline in order to bring it to life with shape, line, and color. These are universal characteristics of art that can be applied in fantastical fashion in childrens book illustration and poster design, yet must be reigned in—controlled and precise—in informational graphics.

“Both types of illustration serve the same purposes: To visualize the intangible; to bring text to life,” said Ullman. “The ongoing challenge of visualizing cells or book characters is what has constantly fueled my creative passion throughout my illustrated journey.”

Gallery 310 is located on the third floor of Hermann Fine Art Center on the campus of Marietta College. Gallery 310 is open Monday through Thursday and Saturday noon to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment at Gallery 310 observes all Marietta College holidays and breaks. All exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.

Text provided by Christina Ullman and Jolene Powell of Gallery 310.