Strategic Planning: Chantal Zakari

January 3-28, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, January 12, 2018, 5:00-8:00 pm

  • Chantal Zakari

    The Competitive Landscape, four color screen print on felt, 18 x 40 inches, 2017.

    The Competitive Landscape
  • Chantal Zakari

    Leadership Workshop, denier nylon applique gonfalon, 50 x 30 inches, 2017.

    Leadership Workshop
  • Chantal Zakari

    Strategic Plan, denier nylon applique gonfalon, 60 x 50 inches, 2017.

    Strategic Plan
  • Chantal Zakari

    Strategic Plan (detail), denier nylon applique gonfalon, 60 x 50 inches, 2017.

    Strategic Plan (detail)
  • Chantal Zakari

    SWOT, woven embroidery patch, 6 x 6 inches, 2017.

  • Chantal Zakari

    Cultural Engagement, 200 denier nylon applique banner gonfalon, 44 x 28 inches, 2017.

    Cultural Engagement

Press Release
Artist Page

In her new work Chantal Zakari creates a collection of flags that reference business nomenclature which is widely being used by academic administrations. The business term "Strategic Plan" originated in the military but is now a staple of every university, liberal arts college, and even small art schools. It functions as a promise for positive change along with improvements for the institution's immediate future.

The designs of these pennants, sailing burgees and medieval gonfalons are a study of vexillography layered with visual elements from various historical periods. Collected on internet clipart sites, the vernacular imagery points to a hollow vocabulary: SWOT for strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats; Competitive Landscape; Synergy; Global Imperative; Innovation Catalyst; Leadership Workshop… The accompanying artist's book for the exhibition is designed in the style of a product catalog. Here, the banners are seen within context, in college specific spaces such as faculty offices, dorm rooms, libraries and art studios.

At a time when an increasing number of small colleges are under financial stress due to a shrinking student population caused by enormous increases in tuition, these art objects stand as reminders of the true ideals of higher education that are at risk.