Loyola University Chicago

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Rick Valicenti


Rick Valicenti is the founder and design director of Thirst, a communication design practice devoted to art, function, play, and real human presence. He has been influencing the design discourse internationally since 1988 and is a leading presence in design as a practitioner, educator, and mentor. In the spirit of fusing design, research, and art, a decade ago, Valicenti created a new model for expanding design within culture called Moving Design. This new model of passionate practice resides at the intersection of experimentation, experience, and education. At the center of this model of practice are large-scale research initiatives designed to shapea community’s point of view.

The White House honored Valicenti in 2011 with the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Award for Communication Design. In 2006 he received the AIGA Medal, the highest honor of the graphic design profession, for his sustained contribution to design excellence and the development of the profession. Valicenti is a former president of the Society of Typographic Arts (STA) and is a member of the AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) since being invited in 1998. In 2004, he was recognized as a Fellow of the AIGA Chicago.

Rick Valicenti worked with interdisciplinary fine art seniors at Loyola University and lead them through research and designed responses to the topic of Gun Violence in Chicago. This research culminated in an exhibition titled Heartbreak-A Processing Space at the Ralph Arnold Gallery on the Loyola Lakeshore campus during the spring semester.



Exhibition Statement:

In January 2017 a studio of designers and fine artists began a collaborative research and making initiative in response to 762 homicides in Chicago during 2016.

Our work has been dedicated to those around us impacted by gun violence - loved ones and their families, friends, neighbors, the first responders, clerics, policy makers, and the many thousand members of the local public.

Our time was not devoted to debating the Second Amendment, or trying to find solutions to the economic issues that promote Chicago gun violence.


Our focus remains in response to gun violence and how we, as empathetic creative individuals, can awaken civility, public awareness, policy discourse, and all the while renew respect for life.


Participating Students

Lizette Aparicio
Violet Brusnahan 
Rebecca Dahlin 
Lee Anne Davis 
Catherine Dizon 
Caira Frohman 
Timberlene Gilliam 
Andrew Hawkins 
Drew Haynes 
Langtian He 
Constance Heuer 
Chelsea Hoy 
Joseph Lemaniak 
Caroline Keeley 
John McCusker 
Allison Merkle 
Jessica Minnis 
Marisa Orlow 
Jordan Sutton 
Kavya Tiwari 
Olivia Tsotsos 
Maria Zierk 

Participating Faculty
Nicole Ferentz 
Matthew Groves 
Betsy Odom 
Rick Valicenti 
Amy Wilkinson

Summer Coleman 
Tyler Deal 
Emory Douglas
Matthew Hoffman
Geoff Kaplan 
Art Lurigio 
Joe Moore 
Harry Osterman 
Tom Regan 
Thomas Vanden Berk 
Amanda Williams 
Camiella Williams 
Anon ER Doctor