Derek Eley is a seasoned visual arts educator with over 15 years of experience teaching graphic design, photography, and computer application courses at the university level. Experience includes teaching on ground, online, and hybrid courses for undergraduate and graduate students.
Derek is currently an Assistant Professor at Norfolk State University, teaching Computer Applications in the Arts and Senior Workshop 3. Design-oriented courses range from introductory to advanced-level lessons and include competencies that provide students with a strong foundation with Adobe applications and creating portfolios for the workforce.
Eley is also an Adjunct Professor at Rasmussen University, teaching Visual Communication in the Media and Typography area to students seeking a BA in graphic design. Methods of instruction include Adobe software demonstrations, lectures on beginning and advanced typography, and discussions on ethics in media. Eley is also an Adjunct Professor at Old Dominion University teaching Adobe applications including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. His main objective is to provide a solid foundation for graphic design majors in their first year of study. Eley also teaches digital and darkroom photography.
Eley states, “After returning to school to study graphic design, I understood that the way that typography is used is very similar to that of photography. Words are often viewed as sources of objectivity when in fact they are often used as harbingers of deceit. I refer to my current work as contemporary memes. I combine photography and typography to convey obvious and subversive messages. Currently, I am using a combination of popular slang and references from pop culture to make statements about today’s society. I love investigating how subjects become popular in our society and the role that photography and design play. This investigation also includes how different generations react to media. Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z have glaring differences that drive each group. My work touches on all these generations all while using imagery and text to drive conversations about topics spanning from crucial to light-hearted.”
Enjoy this interview with Derek about his exhibition on view through 10/06/23 at our Offsite Gallery at MacArthur Center.