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Graphic designs, illustrations and prints on display at Atrium Gallery (Released: 1/17/97)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- A leading illustrator of children's books and an innovator in typographic design will showcase their works at an exhibit at the University of Connecticut's Atrium Gallery through Feb. 7.

Alexi Natchev, a visiting professor of art at UConn, will show watercolor illustrations, etchings, lithographic prints and children's books. Frank Armstrong, an assistant professor of art, will show graphic design posters, corporate annual reports, educational booklets and an audio compact-disc package design.

The artists will give talks and slide presentations at 3 p.m. Feb. 4 in Room 107 of the Fine Arts Building.

Natchev, teaching at UConn for the 1996-97 academic year, moved to the United States from Bulgaria in 1990. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1978 and was a professor in its Department of Drawing from 1986 to 1990.

Natchev has illustrated more than 40 books for Bulgarian publishing houses. Since 1990, he has illustrated nine children's books for major publishers in the United States. These include: A Wagonload of Fish by Judit Bodnar (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard), 1996; Tom, Babette, & Simon by Avi (Macmillan), 1995; and Forri the Baker by Ed Myers (Dial Books).

Natchev has had solo exhibitions at the Elizabeth Stone Gallery in Birmingham, Mich., the Nica Gallery in Pullman, Wash., and the Bulgarian Cultural Center in Berlin, Germany. His work has appeared in small group exhibitions at the Chemers Gallery in Tustin, Calif., the Agora Gallery in New York City and the Elizabeth Stone Gallery. His work has been shown at international print exhibits and is represented in public and private collections.

Armstrong received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1971 and a master of fine arts degree in graphic design from Yale University in 1978. While at Yale, he published Visual Forms & Sound, a limited-edition nine-page book based on a conceptual relationship between music and graphic design.

Since 1982, Armstrong has been creative director of Armstrong Design Consultants, a graphic and hypermedia design firm specializing in developing visual information systems for corporate, education, and healthcare clients. During the mid-1980's, he created a prototype for a PC-based interactive software program that automated electronic page composition.

Armstrong has taught graphic design and typography at Yale University, Boston University, North Carolina State University and Meredith College.

The Atrium Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Building, is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.