Lewes-Rehoboth based artist Michael Sprouse has curated exhibits for his own galleries in addition to those of foreign embassies, but when he was contacted recently to submit his works for a curated collection of designer iPhone covers, the creative professional said the experience was a first.
That's not to say his own (typically wall) art hasn't been the focus of solo and group exhibitions previously, however, Sprouse, a mixed-media artist said he had never created art for more utilitarian purposes, like the iPhone covers.
Since the designer iPhone covers were curated and released by Griffin Technology and made available on the tech-company’s website, the artist said he is thrilled to breathe new life into the art he creates by re-working vintage photos and ephemera.
"I like to be very based in the now, still using these visual products from the past," he said. "Art - even something that is put on an iPhone cover - that is validation to me."
The designer series, available for iPhones 4 and 5, was created by nine graphic artists from throughout the country who were selected by Griffin Technology Company, an established and expanding technology company in Nashville, Tenn., said Jackie Ballinger-Anderson, public relations director for the company.
Cases are printed and shipped from the offices in Tennessee, Ballinger-Anderson said, and the company expects to grow its collection of contracted designers through 2013.
“It is the first time we’ve ever done this,” Ballinger-Anderson said of the release in early November. “We’ve been really surprised by the turnout. A lot of the artists have been really proud of it so they’ve been promoting it themselves. It’s really spread out organically,” Ballinger-Anderson said.
Sprouse’s original designs added a new element to the collection, she said, and selecting his pieces for the collection was easy.
“We found Michaels’ artwork to be really unique. It’s not just straightforward graphic design, it’s got a lot of multimedia combining of photographs and other artwork,” Ballinger-Anderson said. “He’s really unique and we thought people would identify with him”
Devoting his life to a career in the creative arts, owning galleries in Delaware and Washington D.C. and promoting other artists as well as himself has been a tireless task, Sprouse said, but the exhilaration and responsibility he feels as a member of the arts community keeps him coming back for more.
“As an artist, it was an honor to be chosen,” he said. “I chose a life of working in the arts and it is has a lot of peaks and valleys, but I am very excited about these covers.”