In 2002, when her company won the Art Directors Club's Vision Award for creativity and design, Martha Stewart was one of few success stories in a slumping economy. One year and one stock scandal later, the ADC in New York presents "Living Vision," an exhibition of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia products and editorial design.
The show, open to the public through Sept. 26, includes editorial layouts, TV-show bloopers, samples from the furniture line and a wall of paint chips featuring all of Martha Stewart's colors. "They've broken new ground in magazines and magazine design," says ADC executive director Myrna Davis. "They've revived crafts that are dying. ... This company has brought so much information together and presented it so beautifully about all the domestic arts."
Martha's troubles did not deter the ADC in the least. "America holds people innocent until proven guilty, the press notwithstanding," Davis says. "And the ongoing storm of bad publicity is not a reason to withdraw the honor. Quite the contrary." (Still, the press were not invited to last Thursday's opening.)
Agency creatives have mixed opinions about the show. "I can picture it in my mind, and it would be something that aesthetically doesn't appeal to me," says Steve Krauss, cd at True Grey. Marwan Khuri, art director at Young & Rubicam, plans to stop by. "The Martha Stewart stuff that's out there is something inspiring for all of us," he says. And what of her alleged indiscretions? "People have done much worse," Khuri says. "It doesn't make me look at the magazine in a different light."