The Community College of Baltimore County is currently hosting their exhibition “FrankenShow” online. The Galleries at CCBC and curator Erik Miller collaborated with the Theatre of CCBC to create this interdisciplinary virtual exhibition. “FrankenShow” was inspired by students in the Fall 2019 “Writing for Stage” class, who scripted an original theatrical production of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”
The Galleries at CCBC released their first “Call for Artwork” back in August 2020, “calling all [CCBC] Students and Alumni” to create a work “inspired by photos of production and the script of Frankenstein.” All of the submissions can be seen on the online gallery and visitors can vote for their favorite piece. It is possible for the accepted works to win in five categories: Act I, Act II, Act III, Character and People’s Choice. The winners will be announced on Dec. 10th, 2020.
“FrankenShow” is the first exhibition for CCBC alumnus and University of Maryland, Baltimore County senior print media and computer science double major, Kyle Meyer. He found out about this opportunity from a former professor of his who sent him the flyer. They had originally discussed Meyer creating a poster for the student-scripted “Frankenstein,” but due to COVID restrictions, the show no longer had an in-person audience and therefore did not need a theatrical poster. Luckily, Meyer “figured [he] might as well kill two birds with one stone and submit something for the contest and make poster art” in one work.
Meyer’s “FrankenShow Poster” was inspired by old movie posters. He studied “a few comic book artists like Alan Moore … an Australian-based Hollywood artist Ken Taylor … [and] Frank Miller’s work, specifically his line weights.” While Meyer’s art style is adaptable to project requirements, he felt that the “FrankenShow” complements his natural interests.
“’Frankenstein’ in of itself is one of the first horror pieces of media and [horror] is something I love to do a whole bunch of. It did only seem natural, and of course, the prompt was pitched to me on Halloween,” Meyer said.
Not only is CCBC’s “Frankenstein” a tribute to the classic horror story, but the students brilliantly revised their version to be more inclusive to modern sensibilities. After reading the 1818 novel, they came together to find which of Shelley’s older themes resonate during current times. In their script, the students emphasized the theme of otherness or feeling like an outsider. In line with more progressive thinking, they changed the role of Victor Frankenstein to Victoria Frankenstein, allowing a woman to take over the traditionally male role.
Meyer’s “FrankenShow Poster” shows Victoria Frankenstein and her monster diametrically opposed, but connected through electricity that pounds through a human heart. His visual representation of the two leads captures the actor’s visages well. Unfortunately, Meyer’s mastery of precision and attention to detail is not well represented on the “FrankenShow” gallery webpage. For those curious to see close-ups of “FrankenShow Poster,” Meyer posted vignettes on his Instagram.
While he currently studies at UMBC with a focus on artificial intelligence theory, Meyer plans to freelance in his future. He is driven by the need “to make work that is fun to look at, which is always what art has been to [him].” He looks forward to being at a point in his artistic freelance career where he can have a healthy work/life balance, while utilizing his Instagram, where he posts more horror-themed works.