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Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Volume 1 / Fall 2010



Next Now An Interview with President

Jay Coogan

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

on the cover / mcad President Jay Coogan / Photo by Travis Anderson ’02


06 The all new MCAD magazine

> Please let us know what you think at magazine@, and upload your alumni notes and photos at


contents Fall 2010


Features _06_ Legendary Teacher, Dedicated Artist Carole Fisher retires from MCAD. _08_ The Next Now President Jay Coogan is connecting with alumni and Twin Cities art and business communities while planning the college’s continuous evolution. _14_ Students First To keep MCAD affordable for students and their families, trustees offer matching funds to double scholarship gifts. _16_ Up Close and Professional MCAD alumni give back through the internship program. _17_ The Enlightened Eco Blog New Yorker Elke Erschfeld is pursuing MCAD’s online sustainable design certificate to give her blog an education.


Departments _02_ Perspective

_18_ Alumni Notes

_04_ Between the Margins _22_ Openings & Events _12_ Look

_24_ Creativity & Purpose

_16_ Sharpen Edges

_26_ Upcoming Events

outside voice



Creativity propels the American economy. For entrepreneurs and artists, Main Street and Wall Street—it’s an essential skill for success. MCAD provides an environment that produces creative, purposeful leaders.

—Daniel H. Pink, author of four provocative books about the changing world of work.

Pink worked with Robert Ten Pas ’04 to create all of the manga illustrations in The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need (shown in foreground), available at photo by Tracey Brown


between the margins

Campus News


Alumni Firm Redesigns the College Website

MCAD has partnered with Monica Little ’78 and her firm, Little & Company, to redesign the college’s site The website project is being launched in three phases: Going live in November, the first phase will improve the college’s ability to attract the best and brightest students. The second phase, which will launch next year, will expand alumni and student web services, and the third will focus on improvements for faculty and staff. > To find out when the new site goes live, follow @mcad on Twitter or keep informed via See the latest campus photos online at

MCAD Gets Yarn Bombed

Colorful pom-poms of yarn were spotted hanging from lights in the MCAD skyway this past spring. Other yarn sightings included sleeves knitted for guardrails and cozies made for campus crab apple trees. Yarn bombing is an international movement of guerilla beautification. A group of MCAD students identifying themselves as the Yarn Ninjas claimed responsibility for the acts. Check out

Florence Program Celebrates 20 Years

Partnering with Green Team MCAD students created designs and marketing plans for “green” clothing this past spring in partnership with New York public relations firm Green Team. Competing for a chance to present their ideas to the firm and to clients in New York, students worked in groups to design, create, and market a fair trade, sustainable line of clothing.

Nice Ride on Campus
 In June, Minneapolis leapt to the front of the national movement of cities with bike-sharing programs. As a founding partner, MCAD worked with Nice Ride Minnesota, the nonprofit that manages the public bike-sharing system, and had a seventeen-bike hub installed on campus. “It makes sense that it’s so popular— it provides cheap and easy access to downtown and Uptown,” says student Zamin Dharsi.

photos by Amalia Nicholson ’10

> For more information go to

The class gave students like Chris Havranek ’10, a chance to work alongside students with other specialties. “The majors of the students participating were really diverse,” Havranek says. “Projects that have a real-life outcome can bring an additional level of intensity. It was definitely a good learning experience.” Daves ’96, DeCosse ’52, and three Italian exchange students share stories of their experience in Florence.


ach year for the past twenty years, select MCAD students have had the opportunity to study in Florence, Italy—home of Michelangelo, Giotto, and Botticelli. Students attend prominent Italian schools such as Accademia di Belle Arti and Istituto Statale d’Arte for a semester, taking fine arts classes taught in Italian. MCAD trustee Cy DeCosse ’52 generously funds this exchange program as a tribute to the influence that Florence had on him as an undergraduate student. “With the world shrinking, having international experiences becomes less of an option and more of an imperative,” says President Jay Coogan.
 Christine Daves ’96, a sculptor who participated in the program in 1995, says the experience gave her a more rounded education and the confidence to try new things. “In so many ways, it gave me more worldly knowledge. After studying in Florence, I had the confidence to backpack around Europe by myself for four weeks,” Daves says. “To this day I remember the great experience I had.”

mcad / Fall 2010


Legendary Teacher, Dedicated Artist 6

“ The text appears in the everyday environment on surfaces that pick up everything else. I am interested in this contradiction.” —Carole Fisher

faculty News

Carole Fisher retires from MCAD.


ven before the event that defined her artistic career, Carole Fisher was a true artist’s artist: She was accepted into the 1975 Whitney Biennial. She had solo shows at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery and New York’s SoHo20. And she received artist fellowships from the Jerome and Bush Foundations—two from each, actually. All this before the Exxon Valdez oil spill on March 24, 1989, when hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil was dumped in Alaska’s formerly pristine Prince William Sound. This single incident of environmental devastation so haunted Fisher that she set out on a multi-decade quest to document, present, and reinterpret the spill, both as a political exploration and an artistic one. More than twenty years and thirty installations later, Fisher is still working, interviewing, thinking, and discovering. Her work reinforces her strong belief that single events never happen in a vacuum. Rather, they create ripple effects that can take a lifetime to map and understand. Though the Exxon Valdez spill encompasses Fisher’s artistic life, it was MCAD that proudly captured her professional one. She earned her BFA in 1979 and became a teacher herself, working with five MCAD presidents and mastering a cross-disciplinary style that resonated with students and inspired fellow teachers.

photo by Rik Sferra

between the margins

Students remember some of her most popular classes: Critical Studies, Words and Images, and Experimental Drawing, Fisher exemplified MCAD’s value of Students First. As sometimes happens with exceptional teachers, Fisher was recruited into administration, serving as chair of fine arts (twice), coordinator of new media directions, foundation coordinator, and finally, in 1999, director of the master of fine arts and postbaccalaureate programs. It was from that post that Fisher oversaw the development of a much-needed teaching component and initiated the graduate print portfolio exchange. Noting these achievements, the college presented her with a Leadership Commendation Award in 1995. Though Fisher decided to step down from her position at MCAD last year, she remains a committed member of the college’s com-

faculty notes

Erik Brandt, Powderhorn Flag, 2010. (Good, April 2010) William Alexander received a 2010 Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to support his fiction writing.

Phil Anderson presented his paper “Jazz Expatriates as Cosmopolitans: The City Is the World” at the 10th International Conference on Urban History in Ghent, Belgium.

Tom Garrett ’79 created illustrations for the U.S. News 2011 Best  Colleges Guide. Additionally, four of Garrett’s illustrations will appear  in the prestigious 3x3 Illustration Annual No. 7.

Displayed in the New York Times Building, the exhibit featured the work of more than two hundred designers, illustrators, artists, and typographers.

John Gaunt exhibited work in Flat

a juried exhibition titled Prints: Now In 3-D at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. The show runs through October 31.

Line at the Sellout Gallery, The Arts of Community at Intermedia Arts, and Art Educators at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts.

David Goldes’s work was included in Niche: In or Out, Interviews with Contemporary American Photographic Artists, published by Zhejiang Photographic Press.

Tom Haakenson, Mary McDunn,

and Graeme Stout presented at the MnCUEW conference in April. McDunn and Stout presented “Modeling First Year Writing for the Twenty-First Century Art School,” and Haakenson presented “Project Kafka: Teaching Creativity Across the Curriculum.”

Carole Fisher, Kickback, 2009, ready-to-apply lettering on glass, 24" x 40"

munity. The college is planning an exhibition of her Exxon Valdez material in 2011. To that end, MCAD provided Fisher with a travel grant to Alaska this summer to continue her research. Even in retirement, Fisher is working, seeking, and expressing—a true model of the artisteducator. b Alyssa Ford > Sticks in the Mind: Alaska Oil Spill Project, 1989–2010 will be on view in the MCAD Gallery from January 14 to February 20, 2011. A reception will be held January 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Betsy Byers ’08, MFA, participated in the show Flocked: A Wallpaper Project during Art-A-Whirl. Bernard Canniffe and Piece Studio

in Baltimore, MD, received a How 2010 International Design Award. Canniffe also exhibited Piece Studio work at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Jennifer Danos exhibited work at Analix Forever in Geneva. The exhibition, Public Things, featured a solo project by Conrad Bakker and work of five emerging artists from the United States. Diana Eicher exhibited work in Love Never Dies at Form+Content Gallery in Minneapolis. The show was cocurated by Howard Oransky.

Natasha Pestich’s I Need A Hero is in

Thomas Pope ’80 spoke at the conference Screenwriting Research: History, Theory, and Practice at the University of Copenhagen. In his talk, “Cultures in Collision,” Pope presented a theory suggesting that an uninvestigated genre should be examined. Barbara Schulz and her former student Brittney Sabo ’07 were interviewed for a May 12 Star Tribune feature story about the changing role of women in comics.

Joseph Jolton ’82 won for best special effects and for best use of prop in the 2010 Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project. Michael Kareken received a 2010

Bush Artist Fellowship. Fellows were picked from more than five hundred applicants and awarded $50,000 each.

Leslie Kelman constructed a large maze in What Remains at the Soap Factory. Vince Leo exhibited work in Ordinarily Here at the Weisman Art Museum. Frenchy Lunning presented a paper

titled “Shōjo Manga: Gender as Horror” at the 2010 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations.

Kindra Murphy’s work was featured in Wordplay: The Lettering of “On Language,” an exhibition of typographic work from the popular New York Times Magazine column.

Michael Kareken, Magnet, 2009 Karen Wirth received a fellowship

from the American Council on Education’s ACE Fellows Program and a fellowship from the Bush Foundation’s Bush Leadership Fellows Program. Wirth is the first art and design school administrator to receive these two competitive awards in the same year.

mcad / Fall 2010



Next Now The


MCAD President Jay Coogan is connecting with alumni and Twin Cities art and business communities while planning the college’s continuous evolution. Text by Phil Anderson / Photo by Travis Anderson ’02

mcad / Fall 2010

“ Alumni are the heart and soul of the college. I want to engage with them and connect these accomplished professionals to MCAD’s future.”



—Jay Coogan



1 President Coogan with outgoing president Michael O’Keefe 2 Coogan and Chris Havranek ’10 discuss travel abroad 3 Board Chair David Hartwell welcomes President Coogan on inauguration day 4 Coogan with his family in the MCAD Gallery


ay Coogan has a “crazy professor” in his family tree.

“My grandmother’s father was Henry Fairfield Osborn, former president of the American Museum of Natural History in New York,” Coogan says. “My father recalls him coming to visit with an entourage of secretaries scratching down his every thought or idea. He always called him ‘that crazy professor.’ ” The label is ironic, of course, because in the 1920s Osborn led expeditions to the Gobi Desert, finding the first proof that dinosaurs reproduced via eggs and thus answering the long-standing question “Dinosaurs: reptile or mammal?” Coogan’s own expedition from Rhode Island to the Midwest has yielded milder discoveries thus far, such as the butter sculpting he performed at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. But he did live up to his ancestor’s inspiration by bringing along his own collections, emphasis on the plural. “I collect rug beaters; I have about eighty of those,” Coogan says. “And shoe lasts and shoe trees, which are on the shelves in my office. Also, beer-bottle caps, which I collect with my daughter, and business cards, which I collect with my son. And embroidered maps of the United States—eBay has been incredibly helpful with this collection!” Why the collecting? “I like multiples in general, and these are great examples of material culture—of the variety within narrow definitions,” he says. “And I like sharing them with others, the conversations that start.”

As a non-crazy former professor, dean, and provost—all at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)—Coogan has had hundreds of conversations about curious things since arriving at MCAD in the summer of 2009. “I’m out of the building three to five days a week, sometimes also on evenings and weekends. I go to quite a few events—maybe more than people expect from me. I’m visibly present to the alumni, and I want to see who’s in the room, to meet the community. Frankly, I’m always sizing people up. I want to see who our partners can be.”

Sculpting a New Path

Coogan’s route to academia involved some detours along the way, but all of them involved learning. “I started at the University of Denver in political science and business law. I suppose I was going to be a corporate lawyer of some sort, but halfway through I decided it wasn’t for me. I had been painting all along, and so I decided to go to the Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts for a year and a half.” Still with no formal degree after this experience, Coogan spent time in gallery work and painting in California; painted independently on Prince Edward Island; shifted “deeply into sculpture” for two years back in Rhode Island, learning bronze casting; then finally finished his undergraduate degree at Brown University and immediately pursued an MFA at Hunter College, from which he was hired to teach at RISD.

photos of Warriors by Amalia Nicholson ’10 / photos 1, 3, 4 by Caitlin Longley ’08 / photo 2 by Rik Sferra


photo of Thinking Cap courtesy of Jay Coogan

“All that time figuring out what to do was the best thing I ever did for myself,” he recalls. “There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in some track you’re not suited for.” His own work in cast-metal sculpture features collections of multiples based on ordinary objects (hats, furniture), often “hovering between two- and three-dimensional” with uncanny alterations of scale. Having taught at RISD for several years before moving into administration, Coogan not only misses the classroom but insists on revisiting it whenever possible. “Even once I was provost at RISD, I continued to go to student reviews. I like doing that still and did some this past year at MCAD. I just sort of showed up and saw what people were up to.” A native New Englander, Coogan had been to Minnesota a few times for short business trips; now he readily announces his comfort with his new home. “This city has been full of incredibly innovative and progressive thinking,” he says. And much of that innovation, he’s eager to point out, has been at MCAD. Coogan’s staff and faculty already know his delight at discovering that MCAD outshone its wider reputation. He praises the quality of student work, the accomplishments and talents of the faculty, the intuitively creative service of its staff. MCAD’s smaller size allows him to work more directly with a greater number of people than he ever could have at RISD, and he readily announces the “unique and compelling niche” MCAD had already established, compared to many other colleges: computer-supported instruction, the BSc degree, the mentor-based MFA program, online learning, the wellmapped Core Four curriculum. “All these things seem like solid, innovative ideas,” he observes. “And they were accomplished when all the other schools were just thinking about that stuff.” Coogan sees his and MCAD’s challenge from now on as both appealing and full of hard but good efforts. “Now my goal is to articulate things that are going on but with not enough visibility,” he says. Coogan’s goals include growing creative and educational partnerships, finding new ways to make a Minneapolis college more international, and exploring ways to make good facilities even better. “We call this effort the Next Now because it implies that there have been some great previous nows, and that there will be a continuous evolution of the college. It aligns with MCAD already being an innovative place. In two words, we’ve got the idea of innovate and the idea of uncertainty. What is the Next Now going to be? That question will be answered through our strategic planning.”

Looking Ahead

The next things Coogan has his eye on are readily summarized: building and sustaining MCAD’s community with attention to its essential value, especially

students and alumni; attending to technology and the physical environment to encourage even more innovation; and building and sustaining more partnerships, making MCAD more visible. “Alumni are the heart and soul of the college,” says Coogan. “I want to engage and connect these accomplished professionals to MCAD’s future.” His energy is visible, it’s audible, and it’s essentially contagious. But he would insist it comes from others: “I’m constantly energized by being here at MCAD and in the larger creative community,” Coogan says. One source for this energy is the alumni community of entrepreneurs and independent artists and designers.

(inset) Jay Coogan, Thinking Cap, 1999, aluminum, 5' x 8' x 10' (outlined)

Warriors, 1990, cast bronze


“What I’ve found out is … wow! That spirit can definitely nurture our students.” “‘Strategic planning’ sounds like such a fussy term,” he adds, “something so dry and mechanical. But the things we’re looking forward to—and they are strategic—have been planned by many people and through much hard work. It isn’t my strategic plan, thank goodness. It’s ours, and that’s what helps me to walk in the building each morning.” b Phil Anderson is a liberal arts professor at MCAD.

mcad / Fall 2010


Paul Shambroom ’78 Power Observer Gets a Major Grant


A deserted bank of beige cubicles. A white missile that seems to echo the proud steeple of a nearby church. A city council meeting in tiny Yamhill, Oregon. It’s power that fascinates photographer Paul Shambroom, be it corporate, military, or municipal. And now the Minneapolis-based artist has gained some financial freedom to push his cultural explorations even further. In June, Shambroom learned that he is a recipient of one of three Enduring Vision Awards— a $100,000 award—from the Bush Foundation. Shambroom is the first photographer to receive the award. Though Shambroom’s eerily beautiful photographs have been widely exhibited and published in three monographs, the artist has recently worked a more traditional day job. (And it was a good one: MCAD students were lucky to have the acclaimed photographer and alum on the media arts faculty for the 2009–10 school year.) The Enduring Vision Award, however, will allow Shambroom to delve into research and develop new projects he has been contemplating for many years. —Alyssa Ford

Paul Shambroom ’78 / Institute Radiation Check, 2005, archival pigmented inkjet on paper, 24" x 30" U.S. Department of Energy, Counter Terrorism Operations Support Program at Nevada Test Site: CTOS delivers specialized training related to the detection, response, and mitigation of radiological-nuclear incidents, providing responders with hands-on experience in a controlled, radiologically contaminated environment.


mcad / Fall 2010

Students To keep MCAD affordable for students and their families, trustees offer matching funds to double scholarship gifts. na Laura Juarez had three items on her wish list when she set out to explore


this effort. “The affordability of our art and design education is the highest priority of MCAD’s board of trustees,” says board chair David Hartwell. “We hope art and design colleges during her that alumni and friends will share this vision and help senior year at Booker T. Washing- to meet scholarship demand.” Scholarships are a critical part of the funding structon High School for the Performture at MCAD, where nearly 91 percent of students now ing and Visual Arts in Dallas. receive some form of financial assistance—putting an First, she wanted to be part of a top-flight printMCAD education within reach for many more prospecmaking program. tive students. Second, she wanted to spend four years in a “When I saw that acceptance letter, I cried,” vibrant new city “that would help me get out of my recalls Lindsay Turner, 20, a normal environment.” sophomore from California who Third, she hoped for a was admitted last year with the financial aid package that would help of $10,000 in institutional make it all possible. aid from MCAD. “I’ll still be “I knew my parents were working this year and contributnever going to be able to afford ing toward my education costs, to pay even a fifth of my college but just knowing that tuition tuition,” says Juarez, who visithasn’t gone up feels like we’ve ed MCAD during a prospectiveall been given a breather.” student weekend last winter. A similar combination of “The money issue was definitely scholarships, grants, and merit on my mind.” —David Hartwell awards made it possible for Juarez is hardly alone in her Juarez to start her freshman worries. With higher- education year at MCAD this fall—and expenses outpacing increases made her more confident about her future as an artist in housing and health care costs over the past decade, as well. “Little by little, MCAD found ways to offer me questions about college affordability are on nearly evmore, and it felt like they really saw my dedication,” eryone’s minds. With soaring costs at many four-year says Juarez. “To me, it really says MCAD cares about colleges, the potential price for a bachelor’s degree its students and that the college is devoted to its miscould increase to more than $300,000 by 2020 if sion of helping artists to be the most that they can be.’’ current trends continue.

“The affordability of our art and design education is the highest priority of MCAD’s board of trustees.”

Choosing to Freeze Tuition

Last year, most private colleges raised tuition by an average of 4.4 percent. But MCAD leaders chose a different path. Instead, the president and trustees voted to freeze tuition at current levels and add $200,000 in institutional aid to the more than $5.5 million in financial assistance that MCAD already provides to its students. “That decision was about drawing a line in the sand and acknowledging that huge tuition hikes year after year are just not sustainable,” says MCAD President Jay Coogan. Now, MCAD’s board of trustees is enlisting alumni and friends to support these efforts by creating the Students-First Challenge. The goal is to provide a dollar-for-dollar match for up to $100,000 in new and increased donations from MCAD’s community of supporters. MCAD’s board has pledged $100,000 toward

Doubling the Impact of Gifts

From now until the end of the year, all new and increased contributions to MCAD will support college affordability and will be matched dollar for dollar by the Students-First Challenge provided by trustees. “If you’ve been thinking about supporting MCAD, this is really a great time to do so,” says President Coogan. “The goal of the Students-First Challenge is to raise an additional $200,000 in scholarships and aid, investing directly in our students during what has been a very challenging economic climate for higher education.” b Laura Billings is a freelance writer who lives in St. Paul.

> Help MCAD meet the challenge by

making a gift today at

F i r s t j Photos by Amalia Nicholson ’10

Nine out of ten MCAD students, including Ana Laura Juarez, receive financial aid in order to attend.


sharpen edges

career & Professional Development

Terese Elhard ’09 gained valuable experience while interning for MCAD alumni.


Up Close and Professional usband and wife team Namdev Hardisty ’03 and Kimberlee Whaley ’03 own a buzzing creative studio in Minneapolis where they design flyers, exhibition catalogs, art magazines, and books. But these two crossdisciplinary creatives produce more than design. They also help to ferry soon-to-be MCAD grads to the next level by way of the college’s expansive internship program. Hardisty and Whaley have so far hosted seven interns in their studio, the MVA. “We chose to partner with MCAD because we know the quality of education people get there,” says Hardisty from his work space in the California Building in Minneapolis. Request a Continuing Studies catalog from

An occasional MCAD instructor, Hardisty in particular likes having an enthusiastic student around once or twice a week. “Part of the job is offering constructive feedback, and that’s very easy to do,” he says. “MCAD students are pretty seasoned when it comes to critiques. They have thick skins.” The MVA Studio hosted then student Terese Elhard ’09, on the cusp of completing her BFA in graphic design. During her 120-hour internship, Elhard made adjustments to a signage system for Target, did some photo editing for a book, worked with unusual typefaces, and essentially shadowed Hardisty and Whaley. Some of Elhard’s friends had interned at Twin Cities Metro magazine, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, Urban

photo by Erin Nicole Johnson ’07


MCAD alumni give back through the internship program.

Outfitters, Paper Magazine, and at the studio of photographer Alec Soth. These are examples of the opportunities organized by MCAD’s career services department, providing real-world experiences to students like Elhard. “It was good because the work was interesting and challenging, and they’re interested in DIY album covers, which I’m also passionate about,” says Elhard. Hardisty agrees. “Terese was great. She’s talented, she seems to know everyone on the planet, and she would get excited about whatever nineties guitar-rock album we happened to have on at the moment.” b Alyssa Ford > To learn how you can serve the next generation of MCAD graduates through the internship program, contact the career services office at 612-874-3721 or

Start Off the Year Taking Care of Your Career Please plan to join us on January 22 for Career Matters, a day of workshops and presentations offered exclusively for college alumni and students. From the basics of running your own business to promoting your work, The conference will provide the tools, knowledge, and contacts to build your career or kick it off in the future. Career Matters is sponsored by the MCAD Alumni Association. > More information at careermatters

2011 Continuing Studies Courses Spring Jan. 3, registration opens Jan. 10, online classes begin Feb. 7, general classes begin Summer May 2, registration opens May 31, all classes begin > Register at

The Enlightened Eco Blog New Yorker Elke Erschfeld is pursuing MCAD’s online sustainable design certificate to give her blog an education.


rofiled on, Elke Erschfeld takes her blogging seriously. To report on the intersection between design and eco-conscious strategies, the Germanturned–New Yorker has traveled as far as Boulder, Colorado, for fresh blog content. She hunts for post-worthy tidbits at all the major design shows, including the Greener Gadgets Conference and the New York International Gift Fair. And her reportage is originally sourced by way of interviews with designers and businesspeople. But the thing that really sets her apart from the legions of extemporaneous design bloggers is her commitment to knowing the meaty stuff behind the often-fluffy world of green. She launched her blog, EcoChic Design, in 2008, but found her knowledge base to be lacking. “I could discuss my personal aesthetic and what something was made of, but I didn’t really have a depth of vision,” says Erschfeld. She googled “sustainable design course” and discovered MCAD’s popular Sustainable Design Online certificate, offering a thirtycredit post-baccalaureate. “I’m only halfway finished, but already it’s made an incredible difference,” says Erschfeld. “Go back and read the posts from early 2008, and you’ll see what I mean.” From her studio apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Erschfeld spends late nights doing her MCAD homework and critiquing analyses and busi-

ness plans posted by her classmates from around the world. Among them are product designers, artists, and MBAs, plus a fair number of art directors like herself. “It’s very community oriented and incredibly constructive,” says Erschfeld. “And I appreciate how the courses build on top of one another.” In the meantime, Erschfeld’s 3,500 or so readers get a dose of the big picture with each blog post. To review Avalon Organics Tea Tree Mint Treatment Conditioner, for instance, Erschfeld pulls in a timely link from activist-artist Annie Leonard and her film The Story of Cosmetics. In her post about recycled plastic toys, Erschfeld explains the concept of upcycling. And while she swoons over Fuz’s sustainable felt handbags, she’s also careful to describe the company’s manufacturing and sourcing. Outside of her blogging life, Erschfeld works as an art director, spreading, as she says, “the German stereotype of being efficient, precise, and caring about the environment.” Though she began her studies to improve her blog, Erschfeld says she knows the program will affect her works as an art director, too. b Alyssa Ford > Follow Erschfeld’s blog at Learn more about MCAD’s professional online certificate in sustainable design at

mcad / Fall 2010


alumni notes 1940


Ramona Krampert Frey, St. Paul, retired from the Robbinsdale, Minnesota, school district, where she worked as a long-time substitute arts teacher. She now has more time to focus on free-form quilting, her artistic passion.

In the News Stephen Rivkin ’75 was nominated with James Cameron for an Academy Award for work on the film Avatar.


Antra Jansons-Pakalns, St. Paul, 18

retired after teaching in the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts for thirty years. She is currently a docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, designing tours. She says, “The art history and memory work is incredible and is keeping me on my toes.”


Nancy Bundt, Frogn, Norway, took photographs for En Smak av Norge (A Taste of Norway), a large coffee-table book on Norwegian farmers and food producers.



new children’s book, Henry and the Bully (Viking Juvenile, 2010). Her artwork was also featured in a threeperson show at the Art Institute of Chicago, and she taught a course on children’s illustration during the 2010 Split Rock Arts Program, held each summer at the University of Minnesota.

in the book 100 Artists of the West Coast II by Tina Skinner (Schiffer Publishing, 2009). He also played a supporting role in the documentarystyle film Zoo, which was shown at both the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. Elizabeth Patterson, North Hollywood, California, was featured in a solo exhibition at Louis Stern Fine Arts in West Hollywood, California. The title of her show was Chasing the Rain: Drawings by Elizabeth Patterson.

Nancy Carlson, Minneapolis, has a

Tom Gormally, Seattle, was included


Lise Prown, Peekskill, New York, was featured in an exhibition of Hudson Valley contemporary artists at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, New York.

Terrence Campagna ’09, MFA

Discarded Material, 2010. Terrence received a 2009 Joan Mitchell MFA Grant. His visual work this year centers on stadium debris he collected after the first Twins game at Target Field.


Rob Akey, Whitefish, Montana, was commissioned by the Montana Arts Submit your alumni notes to

Council to create a large-scale oil painting, 96 inches by 72 inches. The finished work, Akey’s largest to date, now hangs in the lobby of the Montana Department of Natural Resources in Kalispell, Montana.


Christina Bouajila, Albuquerque, contributed to the book Reel Food from Reel Women, a cookbook collaboration of women involved with the film arts.


Anna Lewis, Chicago, was named National Toy Examiner for


Valerie Frank, Minneapolis, was featured at Gallery13 in Minneapolis during the summer and will participate in two fall exhibitions: at 801 Gallery in Minneapolis and at the College of Visual Arts, St. Paul. She has served on the CVA faculty for more than 10 years. Dean Lucker received a 2010 Bush Artist Fellowship.


Kurt Dyrhaug, Beaumont, Texas,

was selected for numerous juried exhibitions in 2010: at Foster Tanner Fine Arts Gallery on the campus of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida; at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; at Missoula Art Museum; and at Kreft Center Gallery

Avatar image © 20th Century Fox

Lois Heim will be exhibiting paintings and drawings with her husband, Harry Heim ’41, at the Fireside Gallery in Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hopkins, Minnesota. The exhibition, Heim Art Retrospective 1944–2010, will be on view through October 31.


In the News James Casebere ’76 and Kelly Nipper ’93 were included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial. on the campus of Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Kathleen Heideman, Green Bay, Wisconsin, was selected for two writer residencies and one artist residency in 2010: at Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, at Aspen Guard Station in Colorado, and at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Creative outpourings from her adventurous year can be found online.


Tina Falk has relocated to Salt Lake

City and would welcome emails from old friends. She is at Kristoffer Knutson, Minneapolis, was named managing director at PUNY, an interactive entertainment studio. He also moved his art toy store, ROBOTlove, to 507 E. Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. Scott Miller, Savage, Minnesota, was named group creative director at Gage, a nationally recognized marketing agency.


Aaron Spangler, Brooklyn, New York,

was featured in a solo exhibition at Horton Gallery in New York City and received a 2010–11 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Visual Artists. Tom Thulen, Minneapolis, photographed ice fishing for the “Escapes” section of the New York Times. He also photographed the Rice Creek Water Trail for a Minnesota Conservation Volunteer feature story.


Joseph Monnens, Andover, Minnesota, was named associate creative director at Colle+McVoy, a nationally recognized advertising and marketing firm in Minneapolis. Justin Newhall, Minneapolis, will premiere his latest work at Franklin Art Works in Minneapolis beginning November 12, 2010. The photo collection, titled Northern Studies, consists of images taken in and around Churchill, Manitoba, sometimes called the Polar Bear Capital of the World.

Mark Mallman, Minneapolis, got a star on the wall at First Avenue in Minneapolis. Lisa Nankivil, Minneapolis, is currently featured in a group exhibition at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona, showcasing the private collection of Don and Carolyn Eason. The exhibition continues through January 23, 2011. Mariam Aziza Stephan, Greensboro, North Carolina, received a Fulbright Scholars Research Award to study and paint in Egypt.


Julie Fakler, Faribault, Minnesota,

was named gallery chair at the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault.


Melanie Pankau, Chicago, was selected for numerous exhibitions in 2010: at Charles Allis Art Museum in Milwaukee and Institute of Visual Arts in Milwaukee, at South Bend Museum of Art in South Bend, Indiana, and at University Gallery on the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.


Jenny Jenkins, MFA, Minneapolis,

received a $6,000 Minnesota State Arts Board grant to continue work on a series of photographs centered around loss, change, and rebirth. Eighteen of her embroidered pieces were also recently showcased at the Weisman Art Museum during the show Ordinarily Here.


Constant Kpami, Minnetonka, Min-

nesota, was named art director at North American Membership Group, a magazine publishing company. Titles he has worked on include the History Channel magazine, Cooking Club magazine, Gardening How-To magazine, and North American Hunter magazine.


Travis Anderson, Minneapolis, codirected an animated film called Feeding Randy with Paul Danhauser ’02. Anderson also composed a 23-minute orchestral score for the film. Erin Hauber, PB, Los Angeles, was named assistant professor in communication arts at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Jodi Reeb-Myers ’95

Acraelemental, 2010; Jodi participated in the 15th annual open studios at Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art. Shawn McCann, Otsego, Minnesota,

was featured at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in April 2010 for his children’s book The Sick Bug. The festival was held on the UCLA campus and hosted more than 200,000 attendees over the weekend.


Carrie Hartman, an adjunct faculty member in MCAD’s design department, celebrated the release of her tenth picture book, The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery (Key Porter Books, 2010), written by Rebecca Eckler and Erica Ehm. Shen Wei, New York City, was featured in a four-person exhibition at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York. The exhibition, titled Self Exposure, was praised by an art reviewer at the New Yorker, who noted that the drawings and paintings “verge on exhibitionism but suggest other knottier and more intriguing areas of psychology and sexuality.”


Michael Banning, MFA, was featured

in a spring 2010 group exhibition titled Forward: A Survey of Wisconsin Art Now at the Charles Allis Art Museum in Milwaukee. Currently, his work is showcased at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Fort Wayne, Indiana. That show, Contemporary Realism Biennial, continues through November 7, 2010.


Erik Bergstrom, New York City, wrote and illustrated Gimmer Tales: A Wicked Collection of Happily Never After Stories (Plume, 2009). The book received positive reviews in the New York Post, amNew York, and boing Samantha French, New York City, was featured in the group exhibition Unwind at the Lana Santorelli Gallery in New York.

In the News Ben Conrad ’96 and his firm, Logan, produced the motion graphics for the Woody Harrelson film Zombieland.

mcad / Fall 2010


In Memoriam

Joyce Blegen ’45 passed away on

March 5, 2010. She was a collage artist and printmaker.

alumni notes

Eugene Newstrom ’42, a sculptor and watercolor artist, passed away this summer. Lester Johnson ’42 died on May 30,

Taking Submissions for ALUMNI NOTES AND PHOTOS Share your news and strengthen your connection with the MCAD alumni network. Alumni notes will be edited for clarity and style. We also welcome photos of all alumni gatherings: three or more classmates together at recent ceremonies, opening receptions, or other events. Each image must be 300 dpi and include the event name, location, date, and alumni names. We publish as many photos as space provides—one photo per event.

Sandra Menefee Taylor ’76 20

Jane Powers ’98, MFA Our Home Lab, 2008, mixed media. One of Jane's pieces was selected by Creative Quarterly as a runner-up in the fine art category for CQ19. David Kelly, San Francisco, was

named art director at Pereira & O’Dell, a boutique advertising agency in San Francisco.


Melissa Breitenfeldt, Minneapolis, was featured at Soo Visual Arts Center’s Seventh Annual Juried Show in Minneapolis. J. M. Culver, Minneapolis, was featured in a spring 2010 solo exhibition at the Stevens Square Center for the Arts, as well as in a group exhibition, Cult Sisters 5, at Cult Status Gallery in Minneapolis. Culver was featured in the online edition of Art & Beyond magazine and in a June issue of City Pages. Patrick Kelley, Minneapolis, was featured in the July issue of Avianca en Revista, the Spanish-language inflight magazine of Avianca Airlines. Ashley Siebels, Minneapolis, was accepted into the MFA creative writing program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In a New Voice, 2010, tempera. Sandra is teaching painting techniques to elder clients in the HealthEast Care System in St. Paul.


Nikki Will, San Francisco, was named designer at AKQA, an interactive advertising agency in San Francisco.


Gregory Euclide, MFA, Prior Lake,

Minnesota, was featured in solo exhibitions at the Joseph Gross Gallery in Tucson, Arizona, and at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles. He was also profiled by Art Ltd. magazine and featured on its cover. Teri Fullerton, MFA, Minneapolis, was featured in a two-artist show this summer at the Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon.


Anna Bongiovanni,

Minneapolis, had her first solo show in May at 2D Cloud Studio and Gallery in Minneapolis to coincide with Art-A-Whirl. Dylan Lathrop, San Francisco, was named designer at Good magazine. b

Submit your alumni notes to

Deadlines February 1 for the spring issue. August 1 for the fall issue. Contact MCAD Magazine 2501 Stevens Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404 612-874-3745

2010, in Westhampton, New York. “Mr. Johnson, a maverick associate of the Abstract Expressionists in New York, found his subject matter in the joys and sorrows of ordinary people on the street. His boxy figures of the 1960s, somberly painted in thick impasto, their features often scratched into the surface, faced the viewer squarely with an air of stoicism or grim defiance,” wrote the New York Times in his obituary.

Donn Lee Kreofsky ’72 died on July 20, 2010. He founded LARK Toys, an expansive store and toy-making business in Kellogg, Minnesota, and was a notable collector of vintage toys, including Tiddlywinks, Tinker Toys, and rocking horses. In 1992, he designed an elaborate carousel and commissioned three artisans to block, hand carve, and hand stain it over nine years. Kreofsky called it his favorite toy. Renee Ann Ratanas Iber ’80 died in August 2009 following an eight-month struggle with cancer. She is survived by her parents, Gerry and Ed Forystek, husband Con Iber, children Alex and Stephanie Ratanas, and stepchildren Katy and Carlos Iber.

In the News Monica Haller ’05, MFA, was named a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow.

Kurt Dyrhaug ’89 Crop Wing, 2009, cast iron and enamel, 16" x 28" x 8"; Kurt’s work was selected for several juried shows in 2010.

Jim Madson ’87 When he graduated from MCAD in 1987, media major Jim Madson admits he didn’t look like the alum most likely to include the college in his estate plan. “I graduated into a recession when no one could find a job,” Madson says. When a request for a contribution to MCAD came while he was still unemployed, he said that he was discouraged from making a gift for a long time. As he began a career as an inhouse designer and creative director for Unisys, then Piper Jaffray, and then U.S. Bank, Madson lost touch with MCAD for more than a decade before coming back to campus for an alumni meeting. “I’d been away long enough to realize how much MCAD had shaped me and to see how valuable the experience had been in my life,” says Madson, who was invited to join the alumni association board and went on to serve as the group’s president. Learning more about the ways MCAD strives to make art and design education affordable for students reminded him how important a named scholarship had been to him during his senior year, when financial concerns caused him to consider quitting for a semester. “It wasn’t a lot of money—maybe a few hundred dollars,” recalls Madson, who now serves as director of business development at Larsen in Edina. “But it made all the difference at the time.” A few years ago, when he and his partner were preparing their wills, Madson decided to set aside $30,000 from his estate for another named scholarship to provide the same kind of assistance to future MCAD students. Though estate planning is something he believes many people would prefer to put off for as long as possible, “you have to confront it at some point,” says Madson. “And once you do, you find out it’s completely painless.” “When I tell people I graduated from MCAD, they’re impressed, which is nice—and I want them to continue to be impressed,” he says. “In some ways, giving to the school is an investment in me because I want the MCAD experience to mean something to the next generation as well.” —Laura Billings

giving back


photo by Mike Habermann ’78

mcad / Fall 2010

openings & Events

Two is a party. Three is a reunion. Attending an event or opening? Grab two MCADers and take a photo. Send us your pictures, and we’ll run them in this space. Upload at, or email from your phone to

photos by Amalia Nicholson ’10


The Soap Factory Whitney Weir ’09, Jack Randol ’09, and Liz Plahn ’09 at the A Theory of Values opening reception. Visit our Flickr page for the latest gallery and campus photos:

They Won’t Find Us Here Gallery Matt Lawler ’10, Ben Moren ’10, and Gwen Comings ’09 at the Swingin’ opening reception.

Dedication for Peace Bridge Designed through MCAD Collaboration A formal dedication ceremony was held at the Lyndale Park Peace Garden in Minneapolis for a new bridge designed by professor Jerry Allan and former professor Kinji Akagawa.


McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship Exhibition This year’s McKnight exhibition presented new work by the four recipients of the 2009–10 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists—four MCADers. The show featured work from fine arts professor Michael Kareken, Aldo Moroni ’76, Carolyn Swiszcz ’94, and media arts professor Piotr Szyhalski.

MCAD Presidential Inauguration David Bogen, associate provost for academic affairs of the Rhode Island School of Design, and Michael O’Keefe, then outgoing president of MCAD.

mcad / Fall 2010

Creativity & purpose


Bernard Canniffe Professor and Chair, Design

> Canniffe posts information about his latest projects online at

Canniffe regularly collaborates with students and staff. Left to right: Mitchell Green, Christopher Santoso, Bernard Canniffe, Annie Wang, DesignWorks Director Zach Keenan ’05, DesignWorks Intern Alex Roche ’10

photo by Amalia Nicholson ’10


or the past nine years, I have been offering classes that operate in a paradigm where students are forced to get out of their academic comfort zones and come to grips with complex, real-world global issues—resulting in a greater understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of art and design. These classes allow the institution to see the value and benefit of having students become global ambassadors,” says Professor Bernard Caniffe, chair of MCAD’s design department. A native of Wales, Canniffe joined MCAD in 2009. He is the recipient of the Graphic Designers for the New Millennium award, and he has been featured in numerous design publications, including the Graphis Design Annual, How, Good, and Step Inside Design. He cofounded the social design firm Piece Studio, and he is an advisor to the international collaboration Project M. In his first year at MCAD, Canniffe worked with his students on projects benefiting the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, the City of Minneapolis, the Whittier Alliance, and St. Stephen’s Human Services. b

MCAD faculty members are leading the way in art and design education. Their strong voices and influential work help to advance the college’s mission in our classrooms and in the community. Read their stories here, in the Creativity & Purpose feature in each issue of MCAD magazine.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design


BOARD OF TRUSTEES David Hartwell, Chair Mary Lazarus, Vice Chair David Andreas Uri Camarena Nathan Davis Betsy Massie Clinton H. Morrison Craig Rice ’76 Julie Snow D. Robert Teslow II Missy Staples Thompson Bill Thorburn ’84

Donor Profiles

TRUSTEES by virtue of office Jay Coogan, President Mike Keefe ’86, President, Alumni Association Board of Directors life TRUSTEES Bruce Bean Cy DeCosse ’52 Clinton Morrison ALUMNI BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mike Keefe ’86, President; Abigail Allan ’08, MFA; Keith Braafladt ’86; Joe Cecere ’92; Jan Elftmann ’84; Janet Groenert ’79; Bethany Iverson ’06; Kerri Jamison ’08; Catherine Kennedy ’05; Joe Monnens ’94; Gary Springer ’63; Emily Taylor ’00

MCAD Magazine

Published twice a year for MCAD alumni, donors, and friends.

NAME: Ute Bertog Graduation Year: 2005 Major: Painting On the horizon: Coming off a group show at the Soo Visual Arts Center, I will be included in several exhibitions this fall. One of them is the greater-Minnesota show at the Soap Factory called A Theory of Values. Why I give to MCAD: I loved my experience at MCAD, being surrounded by like-minded, talented, creative people. But when you leave school, that vast pool shrinks, and you miss the constant source of inspiration. A few years after I left, I decided the time was right to give back to the college—partly to feel connected to that community, but also because I feel strongly about the value of education. Even if I don’t support in a big way, I want to make it possible for students to focus on their experience at MCAD and to have this constant, dependable source of support that they can use wherever they need it most.

photo by Lacey Criswell ’04

ADVANCEMENT STAFF Joan Grathwol Olson, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Cindy Theis, Director of Development managing EDITOR Rob Davis, Director of Communications ART DIRECTOR Brian Donahue CONTRIBUTORS Phil Anderson, Travis Anderson ’02, Laura Billings, Tracey Brown, Lacey Criswell ’04, Alyssa Ford, Mike Habermann ’78, Sandra Hoyt, Erin Nicole Johnson ’07, Caitlin Longley ’08, Timothy J. Meegan, Janis Reid, Lisa Nebenzahl, Amalia Nicholson ’10

We welcome your ideas and feedback. Please email mcad / Fall 2010


Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Nonprofit Org. US Postage Paid Permit No. 4446 Mpls, MN 55404

2501 Stevens Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404 change service requested

Upcoming Events

photos of 2009 Art Sale by Caitlin Longley ’08

Mark Your Calendars

In the Galleries MCAD/Jerome Fellowship Exhibition Steven Accola, Caroline Kent, Tynan Kerr ’07 and Andrew Mazorol, and Tony Sunder ’08 October 1–November 6 Reverberation Ayomi Yoshida October 13–November 7 Commencement Exhibition December 3–11 Reception: Friday, December 10

GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day Tuesday, November 16 A state-wide event to support Minnesota’s nonprofit organizations. Art Sale November 18–20 Art Sale expands to three days. Career Matters Saturday, January 22 A career conference for students and alumni.


Minneapolis College of Art and Design alumni magazine