The art of graduation


Our family has been happily preoccupied for the last month with a college graduation, and the travel it involved.  I’ve been reflecting on the fun – and the sanctity – of graduation, which brought to mind best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s viral commencement address at the University of the Arts . He told graduates to “go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules.” Most of all, he told them, “make good art.”  I’m for that. (Above: Sonia Villiers, Cambridge Graduation Day)


Home now, and our graduate launched (from University of Southern California, above), I went searching for graduation art – not from the portfolios of graduating art students  (which are always stunning) but for random works that interpret  commencement in creative ways.  Here are a few, plus a selection of covers from the New Yorker through the years. (Click on each image to see the original, including detailed credits)

Tis GraduationTis Graduation – Peadar Sheerin, Dublin

Happiest DaysGraduation Photo (Happiest Days of Our Lives) – Linli Ma, Beijing China

FINALThe Final (graduation ball) – Ekaterina Dmitrieva, Russia

The Graduate - Entering Real LifeThe Graduate (entering real life) – Ali Haghani, California

Graduation PartyGraduation Party – Shreya Soni, Virginia

Graduation Party - RussiaGraduation Party – Yuri Smirnov, Russia

Harvard GraduateHarvard Graduate (from the False Perceptions series) – Christie Snelson, Missouri

* * *

The New Yorker has stayed on top of graduation for decades, most recently serving up examples of the Boomerang generation still living at home with parents and grads adrift – in the 2012 ice floe cover by Mark Ulriksen. Go to this link for a full slide show on the New Yorker blog with information on each artist and cover title.



8 replies »

  1. Reblogged this on Resale Evangelista and commented:
    Like many parents this month, I was the proud observer at my child’s graduation from college. (Using the word “child” sounds weird all of a sudden.) So I thought reblogging this post from Global Art Junkie would not only be appropriate, but would also give me an excuse to post a photograph of my own graduate.


  2. I love the different compositions and styles. What good fun to see this range on a theme.


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