Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition inspires community with exclusive pieces, dedicated leaders

Since 1979, Colorado State University and the Department of Art and Art History have hosted the biennial Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition (CIIPE). 

And since 1979, the event has promoted the arts in the community and serves as a fantastic platform for artists to showcase their work and educate others on their process.

The exhibition, which opened this year on Sept. 23 and closes Nov. 4, is in the Visual Arts Building on campus. 

The CIIPE is a series of exhibitions and events featuring the world’s most distinguished poster artists and designers and is one of only a few international invitational poster exhibitions in the world.

The use of posters as a medium of art works to leave quick and lasting impressions. Bob Coonts, a Fort Collins artist and Colorado State University graphic design emeritus faculty member, believes that posters are one of the more effective ways to convey a message, but you have to do it intentionally and quickly. 

“A poster has to be observed rather quickly, so you need to communicate its message quickly,” Coonts said. “You maybe only have a moment, somebody is walking or riding a bike past it, and you have just seconds to capture somebody’s attention to make them stop and take a second look.” 

Lucky enough for those who have attended the event, there is enough time to sit with each poster and fully appreciate the message it is attempting to convey.

Art can have a great impact on a community. The event allows for not only the CSU community to become more educated but provides a solid foundation for what professional art and events are meant to be.

CIIPE inspires the next generation and celebrates those that have made their mark, such as Coonts. Coonts was honored on Sept. 20 at a special retrospective showcasing posters he designed over the past 50 years.

The impact of this ongoing showcase dating back to 1979 has established an impressive legacy, profound community leaders and inspiration for all. 

For more information on CIIPE, visit