STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Today’s contingent economy has
people moving constantly from one job to another, one type of work to another, one industry to a different industry. In fact, on average, a person between the ages of 25 and 45 will hold 11 different jobs in their lifetime. Thirty percent of us will work in more than 15 different jobs over the course of our careers. Organizations far and wide —perhaps even yours—will compete intensely for workers who are adaptable, resourceful, and can quickly learn and apply new skills to a variety of challenges. Where can you find such workers?
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– Steven Tepper, The Future
From School to
Over the past decade changing technologies, economies, and cultural values have radically altered the landscape of work. Particularly in creative fields, opportunities for direct, predictable career paths have been replaced by an array of new platforms, new tools, and emerging professions. In addition, people are sifting their priorities — rethinking and redefining what constitutes success and how to unlock their full potential.
AS TRAJECTORIES BECOME MORE COMPLEX,
career development at Stamps is receiving new focus. How do we help our students manage and thrive in this 21st century environment? And
even more importantly how do we help them make the personal decisions that will lead them to fulfilling careers? Students will need to have multiple skill sets, and in many cases, to use these skills to build and rebuild their own careers over time. It’s a fluid space — one that provides both opportunities and challenges for art and design education. Stamps’ open, individually directed curriculum allows students to explore and develop the complimentary skill sets they need to plan not just for their first career, but for a lifetime of careers. And, because it is a curriculum built around individual choices, every path is a unique one. The challenge for the school in its career development efforts is to offer a range of experiences that will resonate — it may be internships, or a work and study experience in another country, or a course that offers real-world skillbuilding. This issue of Emergence talks about the ways we are moving to amplify and deepen our engagement with the multiple paths from school to creative work.
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Community We all know the difference our college friendships and connections can make after we graduate. And if you’re a U-M graduate you understand the particular strength and loyalty of over 540,000 alums that span the globe. The Stamps creative community is part of that network. From posting internship opportunities to offering expertise and advice at Portfolio Expo, our alumni continue to play an enormous role in helping Stamps students get ready for post-college life.
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Portfolio Expo is a focal point for alumni participation. Offered each February, it’s a daylong event that gives students the opportunity to practice presenting themselves and their work to potential employers,
THIS YEAR, BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM
Portfolio Expo professional participants, we decided to take it a step further and help students prepare for the Expo
itself. We held two portfolio preparation sessions where students could work one-on-one with
many of whom are alums.
individual reviewers. Alumni generously gave of
Students are provided with a
their time to help Stamps students practice their
roster of employers who will be
interview skills. Participating alums included: Jessica Krcmarik (Riopelle), James Reitz (Michigan
participating, and they submit
Creative), Martin Soave (Michigan Creative), Kathy
their resumes. Then, just like in
Moody (Michigan Creative), Steve Mika (Steelcase), and
the real world, the employers
Scott Siegel (Steelcase).
select who they will interview.
Alums are our greatest asset for networking. And firms with a strong alumni presence like Team
On the day of the Expo, selected
Detroit, QLTD, MOVE Communications, Porter
students have 20 minutes to
One Design, The Mars Agency and Uproar keep
meet with employers to show and
coming back to the Expo year after year and are key resources for our students. In addition, this year’s
discuss their portfolios.
alums included filmmaker Joey Ostrander and designer Mike McGowan (Barracuda Networks). Learn more at: stamps.umich.edu/career/expo
Participating in the Expo: Detroit Venture Partners
The Mars Agency
Al Dente Pasta
River Gallery and Exhibits
Arts at Michigan
Mike Campau Digital Imagery
Brand Works Detroit
Oliver Uberti Creative
MOCAD STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Students meeting with Scott Siegel (BFA 1974) from Steelcase, one of the reviewers at the portfolio preparation sessions.
world learning experiences are
an essential part of a student’s
take a position with the CFPB.
Internships continue to be a lynchpin in a student’s trajectory from school to work. Real-
MOLLIE BATES (BFA 2007), SENIOR DESIGN +
Technology Fellow at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) posted a fellowship with the CFPB and one of our students, Reed Kelly
(BFA 2015), applied and was accepted. After he graduates he plans to
portfolio by the time they
Christine Golus (BFA 1980), Managing Director at QLTD, ensures
graduate. Increasingly, we’re
that QLTD participates every year in our Portfolio Expo. She also
finding that alums look to Stamps
hired one of our alums, Alissa Ampezzan (BFA 2008), after she had worked as an intern for the company.
to find interns. For example:
Careers Blog To make it as easy as possible for students
Recent student internships have included:
to learn about employment opportunities
The 88 (NYC)
The Warner Music Group (NYC)
Giorgio Armani (NYC)
The Whitney Museum of Art (NYC)
Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago)
Boston Magazine (Boston)
Elle Magazine (NYC)
Anthropologie (Ann Arbor)
Pixomondo (Santa Monica)
Hearst Design Group (NYC)
Hawaii Pacific Entertainment (Honolulu)
Each week he posts opportunities that
Spinelli Kilcollin (Los Angeles)
and many more…
range from calls for art to full-time jobs.
and internships, John Luther, Stamps Career Coordinator, has started a Careers Blog which now has several hundred followers: careersstamps.tumblr.com
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Brooke Alpart (BFA 2017) I N T E R N E D W I T H Q U E S T M AG A Z I N E I N N YC
I started each day updating the website. I would search for new fashion, gossip, etc. to write about on the website blog. I was constantly updating the social media to make sure the Instagram and Twitter remained interesting. I would then move to the design department where I photocopied pages of old magazines to practice photoshopping the models bodies. Once I proved I could do that, they let me edit the models. Then I designed some of the spreads for the open house section. The people I worked with asked me to do many different tasks in many areas of design. The internship made me realize that I don’t want to focus solely on graphic design. I really need to be a well-rounded artist.
Jacqueline Frey (BFA 2017) INTERNED WITH DESIGNER CHRIS GELINAS AT H I S C LOT H I N G CO M PA N Y I N N YC .
I was mainly hired to create textiles for Chris’ line. Typically, I came to work and talked to Chris about what he wanted with his textiles and spent most of my days creating sketches on paper and the computer, showing Chris, and making edits in order to improve the design. I also spent a lot of time creating spreadsheets and displays for future buyers and clients to see. I’d say the most memorable thing about the internship was making the finalized prints and seeing them printed on the silk. It definitely changed the way I think about my future career goals. While I realized that I do not want to be in the fashion industry, the internship helped me learn how to collaborate. I know this will happen a lot in the future when I work with others in a professional setting.
Alexandria Chase (BFA 2015) INTERNED WITH PORTER ONE DESIGN
I heard about the internship through the Stamps Portfolio Expo. I applied by interviewing with Porter One Design at the Portfolio Expo, And, after a few emails back and forth, everything fell into place. The high point was when Will Porter (the owner) let me know that the work I had produced throughout the summer would be used for a real client. My internship helped me to realize that my talents lie in many areas of design. It showed me that with a little guidance and inspiration, I have the ability to create so much more than I ever believed I was capable of, while simultaneously whetting my appetite for new areas of design work that I had never previously considered.
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
NEIL & JOLIE
Internships The aim is for 100% of our students to engage in an internship during their time at Stamps. And, this year, a gift from Stamps’ parents Neil and Jolie Markus brings us a step closer to this goal.
The impact of our children’s summer internships has been immeasurable. – Neil Markus Neil and Jolie Markus
THE MARKUSES, PARENTS OF A STAMPS STUDENT,
priority for Stamps Dean Guna Nadarajan. In
have seen first-hand the role that internships
surveying graduating seniors about their plans beyond
can play in students’ development. “The impact
graduation, the School found that students with an
of our children’s summer internships has been
internship experience were more successful in securing
immeasurable,” says Neil. “The stories they shared with us about
a full-time position. For Nadarajan, “An internship
hands-on learning and the people they were meeting could not have
experience can be invaluable to a student. We are
been obtained without an internship. We could see it was opening
grateful to Neil and Jolie for choosing to help students
their eyes to what life could be like after graduation.”
obtain the real-world experiences they need to make
Neil and Jolie also recognized that in today’s economy, with few
more informed decisions about their professional life.”
paid internships available, students who count on the income from their summer jobs are limited in choosing an internship experience. To help ease the financial burden for students and their families, the Markuses established The Markus Family Fund at the Stamps School. The fund will provide internship stipends for freshmen, sophomores and juniors who demonstrate financial need. “We created The Markus Family Fund,” confirms Jolie, “because we believe that internships are an integral part of today’s college education. We wanted to make sure that economic realities do not stand in the way of any student having the internship they want.” Expanding professional development for students is a key
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Information on internship opportunities and how students can apply for support can be found at:
(Right) Jessica Krcmarik (BFA 2012) works with students.
One of our most important creative projects is how we make our professional lives. Like any other creative project, you need to acquire skills, stretch yourself, improvise, harness your imagination and practice.
From the Syllabus for Professional Practice
Stamps has recently instituted
a professional web presence, paths to entrepreneurship, freelancing
a Professional Practice course.It
basics, and creative work/life balance. Visitors bring experience and
covers everything from identifying
expertise as employers, entrepreneurs, curators, and independent practicing artists.
students values and interests,
The second two hours are spent in hands-on workshops, often
to networking, interviewing,
in conjunction with the visiting professionals. Students practice how to write an email to arrange informational interviews, how
internships, and skill building
to interview, how to present creative work, and how to respond to
in those areas that support their
questions. Students create and rehearse their elevator pitches.
professional goals, including
“Each student must set up five informational interviews outside of class,” says Rowden. “They have to research creative professionals
documentation of work, a web
and firms. And they must think, not only about how someone’s
presence and social media.
expertise might benefit them, but also about what skills and abilities they can share based on their own research and interests.”
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE IS TAUGHT
Over the course of the semester students become more
by Professor Stephanie Rowden, and
comfortable with presenting their materials and getting feedback
she’s uniquely qualified to develop and
from their peers and from professionals. For Rowden, it’s important
launch the course. With a master’s
to use a framework creative students understand. “We draw on what
degree in community counseling with a particular
they know how to do. When we were working on creating resumés
focus on career development, and a thriving studio
for example, we tacked all the resumés up on the wall the same way
practice, Stephanie understands that finding a career
we would tack up sketches. I asked them to pick out the ones they
is a creative process. As she puts it, “What I love
would want to go up and read. And, then, which ones they wouldn’t
about this course is that students have an opportunity
want to read and why.”
to think about how they shape their lives — how
“We also spend a lot of time on learning how to build community
to balance planfullness and improvisation, how to
— how to find people you can learn from, people you can share
remain responsive to circumstances, attuned to
things with, build things with. It’s about figuring out what
themselves, and attuned to the world around them.
opportunities exist and also how to make things happen that don’t
Shaping their lives is a creative act.”
yet exist. It’s about being entrepreneurial.”
Each class period is divided into two segments.
By the end of the course, “there was a palpable difference.
For the first hour, guest speakers, including alumni
Everyone was sitting a little bit taller at the table. They were more
and other professionals, talk to students about topics
relaxed and comfortable. More confident. I could see they felt better
such as building professional networks, establishing
prepared for their lives after graduation.”
Joey Ostrander (BFA 2007)
Christine Golus (BFA 1980) Jeff DeBoer (BFA 1985)
Cameron Van Dyke (MFA 2015) Dylan Box (BFA 2012)
Rose Jaffe (BFA 2011) Megan Hildebrandt (BFA 2006)
Teshia Treuhaft (BFA 2012) (right)
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Stamps Seeing FUTURE the
Stamps recognizes the power of visitors to bring new ideas, new energies, and new professional perspectives to our community. The School has three main visitor opportunities — the Distinguished Speaker Series, the Roman J. Witt Long-Term Residency and Roman J. Witt Short-Term Visitors. Each program offers distinct ways for students, faculty, the University and Ann Arbor to listen to, learn from, and model themselves after artists, designers, architects, social activists, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers from across the globe.
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Penny Stamps DISTINGUISHED
Temple Grandin, Author and Designer
Each year the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series brings close to two dozen of the world’s most respected creative practitioners to the School to present a public lecture and meet with students. It’s an unparalleled opportunity for students to learn about the creative work process and to gain
I count the Stamps Speaker Series among the reasons why I’m lucky to be at this school. I mean, if it’s not the crown jewel of A&D, then I don’t know what is. – Willie Filkowski (BFA 2015)
insight into what a creative life and career really looks like from some of the top names in their fields.
EVERY WEEK DURING THE
semester Stamps students attend a Stamps visitor presentation at the historic Michigan Theater.
Some undergraduates attend the dinner with
Recent Stamps speakers have included:
the visitor following the lecture, and graduate
Anna Deavere Smith
for individual critiques. In addition, all
undergraduate students take a one-credit
Pussy Riot/Zona Prava
course about the series that prompts them to
Tony Shapshak & Erik Hersman
learn more about the visitors and their creative
students frequently have the opportunity
practice, to analyze and critique their work, and to understand it in context.
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Students talk— how Stamps speakers influence their vision of the future
STAMPS Speaker David Yurman • 4/10/2014
STAMPS Speaker Michael Graves • 1/23/2014
Martha Strong (BFA 2016) Ronald Conn (BFA 2015) So often I feel like we become trapped
Michael Graves talked about how he
STAMPS Speaker Candy Chang • 1/30/2014
Carly Roberts (BFA 2015) Candy Chang was not afraid to do
in our art bubble and it’s hard to bring
managed to get his first few projects,
what she wanted in life, and now it seems
others in or find a way out. David Yurman
following the philosophy ‘No job is too
that she is truly happy doing what she
breaks those boundaries. He said he just
small’ and doing things like designing a
loves. She talks about how in school she
enjoyed making sculpture and jewelry and
teapot, or teaching and giving lectures.
was going down the pre-med route but
then thought ‘is there a way for this to be
He brought his full attention to these
realized it wasn’t for her. She was getting
a livelihood?’ I think this train of thought
minor things, and he met with great
poor grades, so she spoke with her parents
is so important. As I’m halfway through
success. He offered a really great bit of
and decided to switch to architecture.
my college career I’m really thinking
advice about just believing you are good
Then she switched again to graphic design
about what path I want to take and would
enough to do that kind of work, and
and lastly to urban planning. Sometimes
it be a path that will be a career. I want a
perhaps being a bit clever about how
it can take a little while to figure out what
successful profession when I graduate so
you present yourself as a novice. In total,
works for you and what doesn’t. It was
it was fantastic to see someone who not
the man had a lot of great things to say.
comforting to hear her talk about her
only made it, but thrived.
But he was so matter-of-fact about his
past and see her current success.
presentation I feel it really resonated.
STAMPS Speaker Rafael Lozano-Hemmer • 1/16/2014
STAMPS Speaker Shapshak & Hersman • 2/20/2014
STAMPS Speaker Bunker Roy • 3/13/2014
Madalyn Hochendoner (BFA 2014)
Betsy Lee (BFA 2014)
Gabe Schindler (BFA 2015)
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s work is empowering. This lecture has given me a lot more to consider in my senior thesis which involves a sort of performative installation. For someone who has thought of tossing their phone and computer away after school, I really respect the way in which Hemmer works with technology.
Toby Shapshak and Erik Hersman’s
I am currently working on a mobile
lecture on Africa as a rising country
application with the medical school
in innovation and design was truly
to create software to aid university
inspiring. They talked of good designs
students with depression and mental
originating from desperate situations,
illness. Not only must the design and
out of necessity as the better context
narrative of the application be helpful
for design than places of abundance,
and informative, but it must also invite
like the United States. The products
users to engage in an experience that
and objects we use in our lives shape
is welcoming, friendly, and familiar.
our lifestyles in ways we, as citizens
I am inspired to follow in Bunker Roy’s
of a first world country, do not always
college’s footsteps and become engaged
notice because of our abundance.
in community innovation and design for those that could truly benefit most.
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Antony Gormley’s studio crew.
Antony Gormley Thanks to the Stamps Speaker Series
In the spring, with the support of the U-M International Institute and the Stamps School, I eagerly traveled to London, where I was ushered into Gormley’s impressive studio compound, with its multiple workspaces, photography studios, model making rooms, and storage facilities, as well as a library and group kitchen. Dedicated almost exclusively to metal work, Mr. Gormley sees this place a bit like a factory, employing approximately 20 other workers to produce sculpture. New ideas and strategies for describing space are constantly being forged. I was given the opportunity to work on the metal fabrication of two sculptures. However my gained experience and insight was not limited to material or process. Amidst the hustle of everyday studio production, Mr. Gormley would make time to discuss, Trevor King (MFA 2015) outside one of two large workspaces in Antony Gormley’s London studio.
The Penny Stamps Speaker Series offers
often looking for a debate about his conceptual ideas. The daily conversation ranged from specific works to future projects, to how other artists were
Stamps students an opportunity to meet
expanding the field of sculpture.
and talk with some of the most prominent
On several occasions, Mr. Gormley met with the
creative practitioners of our time.
fabricators to evaluate multiple iterations of a single method of sculpting, or sculptures stemming from multiple “poses” made within the same process.
RECENTLY, ONE SUCH MEETING GAVE GRADUATE
This allowed the group as a whole to share ideas of
student Trevor King (MFA 2015) the chance to intern
what was most effective, and discuss how to move
with renowned sculptor Antony Gormley. For a month
forward with new designs.
Trevor worked on everything from metal fabrication to
These critiques, like our conversations, were a
art handling and project development. Here Trevor talks about how
chance to discuss the content of the new works,
he got the internship, and what he learned.
placing emphasis on how an individual can relate to
While I was first introduced to Mr. Gormley’s work through
the sculptures, and how the artworks could be seen
slides in my undergraduate sculpture classes, I was
as a tool to contemplate the body in space.
introduced to him personally during his visit to the University of
Often, Antony made time to discuss the work I
Michigan, when he presented a lecture as a Penny W. Stamps Series
had been making in the MFA program at Stamps. I
speaker, in fall 2014.
cherished these opportunities and tried to squeeze
After this presentation I was invited to have dinner with the
every bit of wisdom and insight out of Mr. Gormley that
artist by Chrisstina Hamilton, director of the Stamps Speaker
I could. Now, I am coming back to my own studio with
Series. Here we were able to discuss many of the ideas he presented
new skills, knowledge, perspective, and an absolutely
in his talk, and I was able to share a bit about my own work and
incredible mentor. I look forward to sharing my future
aspirations. Kindly, he offered to continue this conversation by
artwork as I continue to benefit and grow from this
inviting me to work as an intern at his studio in London.
phenomenal experience. STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Roman J. Witt Residency In addition to weekly
→ Long-Term Visitors
visits by Stamps speakers, each year Stamps provides
School for a semester to
complete a project with
an opportunity for one renowned working artist or designer to come to the
FOR STUDENTS, THE ROMAN J. WITT RESIDENCY
provides a chance to apprentice with a single working artist or designer on an extended project. They get an in-depth look at the creative process, as well as
opportunities for hands on skillbuilding and practice in cross-
the assistance of students,
Since it’s inception in 2008 residents have included photographer
faculty and the larger
Jennifer Karady, digital artists the Open Ended Group, collaborative
artists Christopher Sperandio and Simon Grennan, environmental artist William Dennisuk, performer Pat Oleszko, and sound and installation artist Trimpin. This year’s resident was artist and filmmaker, Reynold Reynolds. Through experimental non-narrative film and installation projects, Reynold explores film’s relationships to other art forms, such as renaissance drawings. In his most recent project, created at Stamps, and entitled 2 Part 7, Reynold focuses on a decidedly more modern (yet retro) art form: LP records and TV. With a team of Stamps students, Reynold transformed the Slusser Gallery Lounge into a small-scale film studio, complete with a forced-perspective stage. He also worked with Dance department faculty Amy Chavasse and cast two students from the School of Music, Theater, and Dance as the film’s main performers who sing and dance atop the record-tiled floor dressed in 1960s go-go attire. Working with constructed architecture models and these live performers Reynolds incorporates stop motion animation, architectural scale models and live performance to examine our concepts of space, time and perception. The final film and installation was a featured exhibit at the 2015 Ann Arbor Film Festival.
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Roman J. Witt Visitors → Short-Term Visitors The Witt Visitors Program expands the classroom experience by supporting visits by wellknown, as well as younger emerging artists and designers. Visitors may give workshops, and/or participate in critiques.
Fall 2014 Witt Visitors included Annie Bissett, Printmaker Robin Deacon, Performance Artist Alex Gilliam, Architecture/Public Work Pierre Gour, Collage and Montage Rose Jaffe, Illustrator, Painter, Street Artist and Alum Jennifer McGregor, Curator Goedele Peeters, Printmaker Karen Sherman, Performance Artist Teshia Truehaft, Designer and Alum
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
In addition to career counseling, internships, and visitors programs, studio courses that feature work with real-world clients are an essential and ongoing component of Stamps career preparation. In many ways these courses present students with some of the professional challenges they will face when they graduate. They give students practice collaborating on idea development, sharing their ideas with their peers and presenting to the client. They also offer valuable skill building in the trial and error process of making their ideas real — with all of its successes and failures — before a final solution is reached.
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The Container Project This past semester, Professor Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo’s Visual Identity Design and Branding class got to dig in on an exciting project developing in Detroit.
INSTEAD OF HAVING HIS STUDENTS HONE THEIR GRAPHIC
design skills through theoretical assignments, Franc matched his students up with Karen Brown and Jurell Harris — two entrepreneurs in Detroit looking for real design
solutions for a big project they were launching. Karen and Jurell’s venture, unofficially called “the container project,” aims to merge creative place-making with grassroots entrepreneurship. Their vision is a marketplace for Detroit business start-ups made from shipping containers turned into tiny shops. While Karen and Jurell have spent that last six months working on
Photo by Nicholas Williams (BFA ‘17)
the logistics and legalities of the project (acquiring land, sorting out zoning, sourcing containers, and lots of paperwork), Franc’s students each spent the semester designing entire branding and identity packages for them to consider. Each student worked with Karen Logo designs from the course
and Jurell throughout the semester, researching their needs and
Visual Identity Design & Branding
Beatriz Lozano (BFA 2015) - Mound
Jenna Rothstein (BFA 2015) - Detroit Container Community Bianca Ng ARTDES 349.001 Visual Identity Design & Branding Fall 2014 Detroit Cubed
On the last day of the semester, Franc’s students presented Karen and Jurell with their final design proposals. Karen and Jurell plan to Beatriz Lozano ARTDES 349.001 Visual Identity Design & Branding Fall 2014 Mound
use these ideas as they move forward with their project. Jenna Rothstein ARTDES 349.001 Visual Identity Design & Branding Fall 2014 D.CO
D.CO DETROIT CONTAINER COMMUNITY
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Preferred Version Bianca Ng (BFA 2016) - Detroit Cubed
developing a wide range of branding iterations along the way. Cullen Whitmore ARTDES 349.001 Visual Identity Design & Branding Fall 2014 Crate Collective
Cullen Whitmore (BFA 2016) - Crate Collective
→ An 80 sq. ft. House for the Homeless
of their learning. In my experience, a thoughtfully framed project is the most effective teacher.” Students gained practice in basic transferable skills, such as design drawing, scale model building,
Stamps professor Roland Graf and Stamps graduate student Cameron Van Dyke gave
full-scale construction techniques, even poster presentation — all aimed at helping the class professionalize the working process. Students also
students a chance to design and build for
had the opportunity to develop and present their
an unusual real-world client — Camp Take
own socially and environmentally responsive design
Notice, a self-governing tent-city community of homeless people located in Ann Arbor.
approaches to Camp Take Notice, whose members came as clients and community partners to the students’ presentations. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, students learned to plan and manage a
large project from ideation to implementation. ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE COURSE, EXPERIMENTAL
“Given the constraints of the project, they’ve done
Architecture, Roland Graf and Cameron Van Dyke
a miraculous job,” said Tate Williams, a co-founder
welcomed their students to class, and then promptly
and board member of CTN, who provided feedback
shepherded them onto a bus on its way to a property
and input to the students throughout the semester.
recently acquired by MissionA2’s Camp Take Notice — a self-
“We can see aspects to improve now. But as it stands,
governing tent-city community of homeless people located in Ann
it is very useful, for us and the class… It wasn’t simply
Arbor. When they arrived, Roland and Cameron introduced their
a design class, it was a design and build class. The
students to several Camp Take Notice (CTN) residents and the
students really got the concept of design and the
class assignment for the semester: to design a low-cost structure
reality of building it. We provided the purpose, but
addressing the challenges the CTN community faces daily — space
they provided the possibility.”
constraints, access to electricity, and lack of shelter and heat. Over the course of the semester, the students worked collaboratively with CTN residents to research and develop site plans and design small pre-fabricated dwelling solutions that were less than 80 sq ft. With this tiny house project, the students were not designing something theoretical. There was a real and specific destination and community for their work. Roland sees this as a key learning strategy. “In design, as in most other fields, there is probably nothing more effective than project-based learning. And, if a project exists in the real world, the students are more likely to take it seriously and chances are higher that they take full ownership
17 / STAMPS
The Embrace is a large fabric panel that allows a hug between an infected and non-infected person. The panel is made of dual layers of protective material with four offset sleeves and a viewing window.
Symposia and workshops can provide students with valuable training in collaboration and working across disciplines that mirror the professional
Design Charette on Ebola A RECENT MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DESIGN CHARETTE
hosted by Stamps brought together professionals, faculty and students from across the university to address a timely and critical global issue. Their Theirgoal goal— —
worlds they will enter.
to generate innovative design solutions specific to the Ebola outbreak.
In some cases they also
professor Jan-Henrik Andersen and with Led by Stamps faculty Jan-Henrik Andersen and with participation
give students the chance
participation from___________,_________ the Stamps School, the School Public Health,the the from ________, andof__________,
to grapple with the wicked
Medical School, of Engineering, the School of Information, charette focusedthe on College three main themes: Taubman College, andprotection the Schoolequipment of Nursing, the charette focused on • design of personal
problems that may define
three main themes: • health communication across cultural and linguistic barriers
protection equipment • transportation of infected and diseased bodies → design of personal health communication cultural and linguistic barriers A principle for the across charette was “empathy,” a challenge → guiding transportation of infected anddesign diseased bodies that→ became a key component in the process. Working in A guiding principle charette was “empathy,” a challenge interdisciplinary teamsfor forthe three days of intensive conceptualizing, that became a key component in theparticipants design process. Working in designing and making, the charette produced a wide
Improved personal protective
interdisciplinary teams for three simple, days of intensive conceptualizing, array of smart, often deceptively inventions for improving
equipment included a suit with panels
designing and making, the charette participants produced wide procedures around Ebola healthcare — from glove removaladevices, to
that both stretch to accommodate
array of smart, often deceptively inventions foractual improving an Ebola survivors radio program,simple, to a way to allow an physical
different sized wearers, and breathe
procedures arounda Ebola healthcare, including glove removal devices, embrace between caregiver and a patient.
for more comfort in the heat.
an Ebola survivors program, a way to allow actual physical The results of theradio charette will beand shared with the allan interested parties embrace a caregiver andare a patient. and somebetween of the design outcomes currently in testing with the CDC. Charette results are being shared broadly with interested parties, and some design outcomes are currently in testing with the CDC.
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Alumni profiles Marguerite
Marguerite Aitken is proof that even the straightest path on the road from school to a Color Study of lettuce.
career can have an unexpected pivot point.
AS A TEENAGER, MARGUERITE AITKEN (BFA 1988,
drawings of a human form, and a chair back showing
MFA 1991) was convinced she knew what she wanted
the musculature and the skeleton. Another was a
to do with her life. She loved both art and science,
baseball cap printed with a human brain image.”
and when she discovered a field called scientific
Her work for the Anatomical Chart company earned
illustration, she felt she’d found the perfect blend. “I looked
Marguerite a number of prestigious awards from the
through the big green book that, at that time, was the source of
Association of Medical Illustrators, including the
information on colleges and majors, and the University of Michigan
Award of Excellence in Color Illustration.
was one of only four colleges in the country that offered scientific
After hours and on weekends, Marguerite worked
illustration and it was only at the graduate level.”
for a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Mihran
So Marguerite decided to enroll at Stamps as an undergrad to get
Tachdjian, at Northwestern University Medical
the grounding in art and design that she would need for graduate
School, illustrating his textbooks. “Dr. Tachdjian
school. “I took life drawing every semester. And, because I was at
became a close and trusted friend. Illustrating his
a large research university, I could take the science classes that I
work inspired me to reconsider medicine as an
needed for entrance to the grad program — comparative vertebrate
option for my future. While still working full time, I
anatomy, physiology, biology, botany.” Even with this load,
completed post-baccalaureate studies in inorganic
Marguerite was able to graduate in just three years. She applied and
chemistry, organic chemistry and physics, took the
was accepted into Stamp’s MFA program in scientific illustration.
MCAT, and applied to medical school. But I wasn’t
It was at this stage that her ambitions began to shift. “While I
yet certain of a specialty area.”
was in graduate school, I was required to take gross anatomy with
Then I met and illustrated the work of pediatric
the medical students. This class came easily to me, and I felt a sense
plastic surgeon, Dr. Bruce Bauer. One of the cases he
of being in the right place. I thought perhaps I had missed my calling
asked me to draw was an ear reconstruction. I attended
and sought the advice of a professor of anatomy regarding my
the surgery and directly observed him performing this
future. He recommended that I complete my graduate degree, get
operation on a seven-year old boy. The procedure was a
a job and consider my options down the road, since medical school
complex one, requiring that Dr. Bauer harvest cartilage
was a big decision.”
from the boy’s rib, carve the pieces into long strips and
With this in mind, Marguerite completed her MFA and applied
create a scaffolding which was then placed beneath the
for a job in Skokie, Illinois as an illustrator for the Anatomical
skin on the side of the boy’s head.”
Chart Company. “My duties were to research, design, and airbrush
“For me it was a eureka moment. The building,
illustrate various anatomical subjects. The job also required me to
the construction, the actual creation of the ear made
develop scientific games and teaching tools. Memorable items I
perfect sense to me. When I was illustrating, I thought
developed included a director’s style chair with a seat inked with
of myself as using my abilities to teach other people
19 / STAMPS
• A L U M N I
P R O F I L E •
the skills I was communicating for my author. But
Marguerite’s advice to students:
with this ear reconstruction I could suddenly imagine
Seek the advice of your trusted mentors and speak to
myself in the role of surgeon. I could go from teaching
those from a variety of backgrounds. Take classes that
other people to do a job to doing it myself.”
take you out of your comfort zone, as you never know
Now with a thriving career as a plastic surgeon,
what you might find there. Although everyone says
Marguerite draws on her training as both artist and
it, aim high. You might be surprised at where your
physician. “It’s funny, sculpture was never really a
art degree will take you. Lastly, keep an open mind
favorite of mine in school, I always preferred 2-D
for how you will apply the lessons learned in school.
work. Now, I find my everyday life is very 3-D. The
Think about hobbies you enjoy and how you can blend
creative strategies or plans I have for my patients’
them with your art. Eventually, even your love of art
bodies and faces are initiated by my creative aesthetic,
will appear to be a job. If you are doing it because you
while the understanding and methods to get them to
are also immersed in an environment you enjoy, the
that desired outcome are based in medical knowledge
work will never seem like a job.
and experience.” “In addition to the sculpting that occurs in the operating room, much thought and consideration is employed in the process of examining the patient and discussing with them the possible results of their surgery. I routinely draw details of the anticipated procedure for patients whether we are planning on liposuction, breast surgery, facial aesthetic surgery or even nose remodeling. So, in some important way, my early ambition to blend art and science has been realized.”
Dr. Marguerite Aitken Dr. Marguerite Aitken joined Plastic Surgery Associates in 2004. She brings her talents from the art and design world, graduating from the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design and working as a medical illustrator in Chicago for 10 years prior to medical school. She completed medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago and residency in the Grand Rapids/Michigan State University Plastic Surgery program under the guidance of her Plastic Surgery Associates (PSA) colleagues. Following graduation, Dr. Aitken spent six months’ additional training, traveling to Atlanta, Georgia for additional experience in facial cosmetic surgery, to Belgium for complex reconstructive micro surgical techniques, and to Charlotte, North Carolina, for body contouring. Dr. Aitken has been the recipient of awards for her clinical research in the field of body contouring and has spoken internationally on the topics of breast reconstruction and facial aesthetic surgery. Her talents and her passion for this field have enabled her to both author and illustrate multiple textbooks and journals. Dr. Aitken is an eager teacher and also works closely with the medical students and residents in training as a Clinical Instructor for Michigan State University. Upper: Reactive Airway Disease Lower: Understanding Osteoporosis
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
The Grommet offices in Boston.
But equally important, Pieri and her partner were able to expand the support they gave to their Makers
Founder of The Grommet
to include business counseling and access to shared resources. “This is a company where the phones are ringing. We are talking to people all the time. In addition to creating things, Makers also have to be good at logistics, commerce, and financing. So we give them access to our UPS account and introduce them to Shipwire. We help them develop management tools so they can see what they are selling. We offer them data about different geographies. It’s a value-centered business, and we are serious about maintaining a value-centered mission.” Pieri’s sense of community and personal values
SodaStream is a highly popular home
are grounded in her upbringing. “I grew up in Detroit. My mom was a bank teller, and my dad was
carbonation system. GoldieBlox’s toys
a tool maker. Social consciousness was a part of my
and games for girls promote interest in
family and part of being from Michigan. People were
engineering and confidence in problem-
concerned with the fabric of community. They were the lifeblood, the risk takers. At the end of my street
solving. Fitbit produces wireless-enabled
were a railroad freight line and a GM Diesel plant. I
wearable devices that measure data such as
could hear products being made all day long and hear
the number of steps walked, quality of sleep and other personal metrics.
things being transported all day long. Everyone on my street made something or fixed something. I felt the heroism of that kind of work.” Pieri recalls coming from Detroit to the University
WHILE THESE COMPANIES ARE NOW WELL-KNOWN
of Michigan. “I was the first person in my family to
brand names, they each got their start on The
go to college. I actually started out in the Residential
Grommet, an innovative product launch platform
College. But I’d been making art since high school
co-founded by Jules Pieri (BFA 1982) in 2008.
and I missed it. After being accepted at Stamps, I
“We have an unusual business model,” says Pieri. “Our
was walking down the hall with my sculpture class
customer is not the consumer, it is the maker.” And makers on
one day when I saw some industrial design models
Pieri’s site have an opportunity to introduce their innovations in
on display. I said to myself, ‘That’s what I want to
a very personal way. After submitting their products to Pieri and
do.’ So I ended up with a double major in graphic and
her team for review (only 3% of all products considered go on to
become Grommets), they are introduced and promoted online
Industrial design allowed Pieri to hone her design-
through a 90-second video where they tell the story of their
thinking skills. It also helped her recognize that she
product’s conception and creation. They also participate in an
had an ability to anticipate unmet consumer needs.
online chat where potential consumers ask questions for six hours
“In 1981, I designed a portable laptop computer that
after the product airs, giving makers a chance to engage directly
was not all that different from the MacBook Air. I also
with customers. Over the seven years since its inception, The Grommet has garnered a reputation among entrepreneurs as a savvy curator of innovative products and as a company that supports those it works with. As Pieri explains, “It’s a community. A big part of what we do is creating a business model that is the antithesis of the nameless, faceless business. We try to model our business on the local village economy, where you knew all the people who made things.” And buyers have responded to this ethos. By 2014 over 2,000 products had been launched, thegrommet.com had received more than 200 million views, and email subscribers topped 2 million.
21 / STAMPS
• A L U M N I
P R O F I L E •
designed a one-cup coffee maker in the era of Mr. Coffee. I didn’t quite see the coffee culture coming, but I could see that there were a lot of people who would want just one cup of coffee.” “I learned that I was good at seeing how advances in technology, changes in people’s behavior and a gap in the competitive market could create opportunity. I first directed that talent toward designing a specific product. Now, with The Grommet, we’ve extended it to a business model.” Pieri and her partner in The Grommet, Joanne Domeniconi, met while they were both working at Keds on a team led by Meg Whitman, who would later become the CEO of eBay and Hewlett Packard. Domeniconi led product development at Keds, while Pieri was director of strategic marketing. Their Keds experience
pointed them towards their future business. “We saw that the best products weren’t winning because big retailers needed them
actually be part of local communities — to recreate
to be de-risked. They couldn’t take on innovators when they were
the community-centered main streets that we all
grew up with.”
Recognizing the need to create a new space for innovators,
“I’m most excited about the business opportunity
Pieri and Domeniconi launched The Grommet. It was structured
for all the companies we work with. The thing that
to empower individual makers and consumers to determine what
gets missed in all the hype is that these companies
products would succeed, rather than having success decided by
are so far ahead of the market. We’re doubling the
number of our launches over time, and helping the
“Designing a business is similar to designing a product. All
regular person realize their creative potential.”
start-ups begin as a blob. That’s how products start, too. As a
“I do believe this is a Small + Small = Big scenario.
designer you develop great skills for seeing the future and being
I was talking to the venture capitalist who originally
able to marry it with present demands. You figure out what exists
funded eBay and he said you have the same
and what could exist. You try to sculpt the opportunity financially
opportunity — you need to grow large while always
and gain an understanding of the competitive landscape.”
staying small. That’s what we strive for every day.”
Recently, as more and more of The Grommet’s products became successful because of the visibility they received on the site, Pieri and Domeniconi envisioned a way to add small retailers to their business model, creating a triad of makers, consumers and retailers. In May 2014, the company unveiled a new online wholesale (M2B) portal, The Grommet Wholesale. “Now we’ve brought small makers and small retailers together into a much larger effort. I was never interested in being a retailer. Our e-commerce is just a way to find out about the product. I always wanted to find a direct route to retailers and I didn’t plan to have us remain exclusively online. Our aim was to have the business The Grommet logo outside the White House Maker Faire where Jules launched Grommet Wholesale.
Jules Pieri Jules Pieri is Founder and CEO of the
Continuum and President of Ziggs.com.
Women Entrepreneurs in 2013. And in
product launch platform The Grommet.
In addition to her undergraduate degree
2014, she was invited to launch Grommet
Pieri started her career as an industrial
from the Stamps School of Art & Design
Wholesale at the first-ever White House
designer for technology companies and
at the University of Michigan, people tell
Maker Faire. She writes a personal blog
was subsequently a senior executive for
her she is the first designer to graduate
at www.jules.thegrommet.com, and for a
such large brands as Keds, Stride Rite,
from Harvard Business School, where she
column named “CEO Unplugged” on Inc.
and Playskool. The Grommet is her third
is an Entrepreneur in Residence. Pieri was
com. She posts as @julespieri on Twitter
startup, following roles as VP at Design
named one of Fortune's Most Powerful
and Instagram. STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
• A L U M N I
P R O F I L E •
When I got to Michigan and I went to see my freshmen counselor, I showed him my portfolio. He said you don’t want to be in the theater school, you want to go to the (then) College of Architecture and Design. And be sure you take liberal arts courses, social science and literature. That was the other best advice I ever got. While in high school, I drew from life at the Art Student League on 57th Street in NY, which led to drawing from life every day for two hours as a freshman at U-M. I also tried sculpting in clay and wood. I worked on my design vocabulary in technical
Artist, Theater Designer & Producer
drawing and was introduced to photography. In fact, I was the first person ever, at Michigan, to graduate with majors in photography and painting. And I didn’t forget great books, sociology… I studied interior design, graphic design and hung
The Rug Concerts (1973-1978) © Peter Wexler
around with the architects. I was a member of the
With a career that encompasses
APX architecture fraternity so I lived with ten or
everything from scenery and costume design
twelve architects up on a hill in an old farmhouse
to the design of performance spaces, music
near the Arboretum. This is what I tell kids who are just starting with me:
festivals, and large-scale exhibitions, Peter
“You should be able to work well in the media we work
Wexler (BDES 1958) is a legend within the
with, but you must also expand your mind to the rest of
theater world. He is also proof of the power of
the world. Otherwise you will have nothing to offer.” That’s what I discovered at A&D. Those four years
an expansive art and design education. Here
were just wonderful. It was a cornucopia of learning
we interviewed Peter about how he approaches
experiences that just kept pouring out for me.
his work and the experiences that prepared him for a long and successful creative life.
When you graduated from U-M, you spent some time at Yale and then you were off and running in theater in New York. While at U-M I had been working summers at
As a child in New York you grew up working in the theater — as an apprentice scene painter and actor at the Cleveland
CBS T.V. One of the designers who I worked for, Elden Elder, was also doing plays for a young
Playhouse’s summer quarters in Chautauqua, NY and as one of
producer interested in public theater. Later, when I
Rudolf Bings’ first acting/dance student supernumeraries at the
was at Yale, Elden called and said he was doing too
Metropolitan Opera. Given the range of your theater experience, how
much other work to keep doing plays for that guy —
did you make the decision to attend U-M and not theater school?
would I like to work for him? So, I came down from
Growing up, I guess I did have lots of art and theater experience
Yale and did my first show in New York as the scenery,
in New York. I was already working on scene design in
costume and lighting designer for a play called
high school and had been painting scenery, in the summers at the
“Anthony and Cleopatra.” The director guy was Joe
Chautauqua Opera Association and also as an apprentice with the
Papp, Anthony was George C. Scott and Cleopatra was
Cleveland Playhouse in Chautauqua. I was on stage at the Met two or
Coleen Dewhurst — not a bad beginning...
three nights a week for three years while in high school, learning all
I was also one of the first designers at Lincoln
about opera — carrying a spear, carrying a tray of wine, being a corpse.
Center. I was asked to design the scenery for the
So I applied to the Yale graduate school of theater to work in their
New York Philharmonic Promenades, a new concert
design department with the most famous theater design teachers
series at the new first building just opened at Lincoln
in America. Although they said they would accept me, they thought
Center, and I ended up designing it all — the scenery,
that I should go to an undergraduate school and learn about the
lighting, interior space accommodation, food service,
world, first. It was some of the best advice I ever got. I then applied to
exterior banners, planting, graphics and costumes —
Michigan because it had, well, a wonderful reputation.
well I did go to Michigan, didn’t I?
23 / STAMPS
You were doing theatrical work and operatic work. Then you started producing music festivals. How did this happen? One thing leads to another. I was still working on the Promenades in my early thirties, when the executive director of the Philharmonic, Carlos Moseley, asked if I had any ideas about how to reach audiences of my age. “I never buy a ticket to your regular concerts,” I said, “because I don’t like to put
Search For Life (1987) © Peter Wexler
on a coat and tie to listen to music. I lie on the floor on my carpet at home and turn on the Hi-Fi. So, why don’t
© 2013 Furman University. Photo by Jeremy Fleming
we cover the auditorium in carpet, get 1000 cushions and put them on the stage. Put the orchestra in the middle of the hall. Sell the seats for very little money. Increase the amount of concerts... do modern pieces, and Mozart and earlier, but nothing from the Romantic period.” And then suddenly I was a conceptor. I was in production. That series, the Rug Concerts, was the most successful concert series for the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, ever. And, that concert idea helped Pierre Boulez find his audience. The news of the series’ success went around the world. It’s still one of my favorite projects because there are thousands of people who now have music as a part of their lives who would never have had it without those concerts.
Peter Wexler For over six decades Peter Wexler has designed scenery, costumes, lighting, concerts, performance space, and outdoor concert facilities, as well as a working as a producer
My U-M experience gave me a broad education.
and as a studio artist. His credits include designs for
That meant that if someone asked me to do something
Broadway (The Happy Time, Camino Real, The Trial of the
I thought OK I’ll try. The things that I did weren’t
Catonsville Nine); off-Broadway (War and Peace, Anthony
huge when I took them on. It was what we all did with
and Cleopatra, Brecht on Brecht); The Metropolitan Opera,
them that made them big. So I’ve gotten to have a
1951-1954 and 1970-2004 (Les Troyens, Le Pophete, Un
huge, long, and happy life, so far. One thing just led to another. It did then. And it still does. What advice do you have for students today?
Ballo in Maschera); The New York Philharmonic, 1965-2004 (The Rug Concerts, The Promenades Concerts); The Boston Symphony, 1995-1999 (The Pops); The Los Angeles Symphony (Hollywood Bowl); and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
If I allow myself to investigate something
He helped found regional theatres (the Mark Taper Forum,
differently than the way I’ve done it before,
1965-2004 and the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, 1975-1980) and
if I open up and am curious and adventuresome…
consulted on TV design (The Merv Griffin Show, The ABC World
new things will happen for me. New things will
News with Peter Jennings). He has produced large outdoor music
happen for students, too. I also remind students that it’s not enough to have
festivals featuring artists such as the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, Van Cliburn and Mstislav Rostropovich. He has also produced large exhibitions (The Smithsonian Institution, The Tramell
a great idea — you have to be willing to work your rear
Crow Co.) and has consulted on the design of theatres and
end off to make it a fact. It’s also important to really
concert performance spaces including the Carlos Moseley Music
like working with others, and to have fun doing it.
Pavilion in Central Park, NY, which he conceived and produced. STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Thesis Exhibitions 2015 From February 25 to March 13 2015, nine graduating MFA candidates prepared to make that critical
encompassing both an exhibition
and a written thesis.
resources of a research university.
transition from graduate school to the professional world through the presentation of their thesis work,
I N P R OJ ECTS THAT R AN GED FR OM AN EXP L OR ATION OF
post-colonial identity, to alternative energy vehicle design, to honeybee advocacy, MFA candidates demonstrated the power of creative work to engage
important issues and the benefits of linking with the rich
The House on Four Waters
A year-long multi-faceted playground
A contemplative installation, including
A multimedia installation based on a personal
redesign by students attending Ann Arbor
ceramics, installation, video, sound,
narrative that addresses the mechanisms of real
STEAM @ Northside Elementary.
photography, and sculpture, Listener
and imagined sites of memory of two sisters.
encourages sensory consideration of the human being as a vessel.
Mary Ayling Breathing Room Questions of how fragile forms show their
Cameron Van Dyke Math Monahan
Future Cycles At the intersection of engineering, urban
strength and how seemingly solid structures
planning, and art and design, this project
buckle, arise in this exploration of negotiating
Through sculptures, installations and
presents three vehicles that challenge
our own private and shared spaces.
narratives drawing on folklore, mythology
American car culture to consider the use of
and personal memory, Tellings reveals how
human power and alternative energy options.
storytelling can negotiate the difference
between text, information and myth.
Hive Using beeswax and neon, cooking and performance, Hive examines issues of
Wake the Town and Tell the People Taken in its entirety the show seeks to ask
sustainability and environmental and social
Below Shepard's Hill
the following question: can one form a sense
justice, with a focus on honeybees.
Enter through the red safelights of a
of self, while not owning or being owned
darkroom into a story about an accidental
by one place?
rite of passage for a young boy and his brother. Painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography trigger the forensic imagination.
25 / STAMPS
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2 0 1 5
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Photo by Alex Mandrilla
27 / STAMPS
• M F A
T H E S I S
E X H I B I T I O N S
2 0 1 5
• M F A
T H E S I S
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2 0 1 5
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Ann and Bob Aikens Give Unprecedented Gift in Support of Faculty International Travel For over ten years, Ann and Bob Aikens have invested in one of the Stamps School’s most important assets: its faculty.
AIKENS’ SUPPORT FOR FACULTY INTERNATIONAL
more faculty to travel each year and shape Stamps’
travel has given Stamps professors unparalleled
international experiences and opportunities for
opportunities to enhance their creative practice,
decades to come,” said Dean Guna Nadarajan. “As
to incorporate their international experiences
faculty bring their international experiences into the
into the classroom and to assist the school in expanding its global
classroom, it will enhance students’ understanding of
connections with colleges and universities.
their role as global citizens. And, as our international
It is with gratitude and excitement that we announce that the
footprint expands, it will help the School to attain
Aikens have now added to their travel fund support, establishing
new prominence and visibility across the globe.”
a new, endowed fund that stands as the largest gift to the School
Over the past decade, thanks to Aikens travel
in support of faculty travel, The Ann and Bob Aikens International
support, faculty have traveled to 53 different
Travel Fund For Faculty.
destinations across all of the continents except
“This generous gift from Ann and Bob Aikens will allow many
Developing New Partnerships
A C O N T I N U I N G G OA L
of faculty international
travel is the development of new school
G I V E N T H E I M P O R TA N C E
experiences to our School’s mission, Stamps
partnerships, allowing Stamps students to fulfill their
has an ambitious agenda for expanding our
international study requirement in new locations across
international reach and reputation. The Aikens gift
the globe. Faculty visit the partner institutions and
will help to make these goals a reality.
assess their fit with our students’ curricular needs.
Over the next few years, Aikens funding will
And they work closely with the Stamps School’s
allow us to increase the number of faculty who
International Engagement Coordinator, to ensure that
can engage in international projects. We intend
these partnerships remain strong and that students
to establish relationships with institutions in new
benefit from their experiences.
locations, including Southeast Asia, East Asia,
In 2004, the Stamps School had 10 agreements with
Central and South America and Sub-Saharan
international partners. This academic year the School
Africa, while deepening our relationships with
has 28 partnerships with institutions throughout the
current international partners.
world. These partnerships include long-standing direct
We will also be working to increase the
exchanges, such as Kyoto-Seika University, and newer
number of international visitors who come to
ones like the consortium agreements with Burren
Stamps from partner institutions across the
College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland; Danish Institute
globe, creating a more dynamic exchange
for Study Abroad, Copenhagen, Denmark; and Studio
of ideas and creative practices, including
Art Centers International, Florence, Italy.
exhibitions, lectures, and collaborative projects.
29 / STAMPS
We are committed to the international travel program, and we are happy to fund the endowment that will sustain it. The program is also a way in which we can reward our outstanding faculty. – Ann Aikens
Professor Endi Poskovic used Aikens travel grants to go to Belgium and develop two new bodies of creative work, resulting in multiple exhibitions and a broadening of his classroom teaching. The new work has been in 30 exhibits in the United States and abroad. Several of these exhibitions were accompanied by major publications and reviews.
Professor David Turnley says, “I have made three trips to South Africa to continue my photography documenting
Professor Nick Tobier was the artist-in-residence at the
the Mandela family and the South African struggle. My
International School of Brussels, working with 120 children;
work at the historical moment of the passing of Nelson
he was the visiting critic at two art schools, La Cambre and
Mandela, one of the great men of our time, was made
St. Luc; and he organized a site-specific public performance,
possible by the Aikens. For this I am so grateful.”
sponsored by the Commune d’Ixelles and Valtierra Projects.
Bob and Ann Aikens Professor Matt Kenyon used Aikens support to install his most recent sculpture, Supermajor, at two new media
Bob and Ann Aikens are both long-standing members of
festivals, the WRO Media Art Biennale in Wroclaw, Poland,
the School’s Dean’s Advisory Council. Ann, a painter and
and the 404 International Festival of Art and Technology
interior designer, earned her degree (BFA 2002) after
in Rosario, Argentina.
raising four children and supporting her husband Bob (JD 1954) in his business. Bob Aikens also serves on the Law School Committee of Visitors and the Dean’s Advisory Committee of U-M-Dearborn’s School of Management. STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Stamps School to launch Patronicity crowdfunding campaign in support of...
Brightmoor Maker Space What if we could teach 200 kids how to design and build furniture? Or build solar-powered lamps to make neighborhood streets safer? Or start a t-shirt-making business, using handmade screen prints?
WHAT IF PEOPLE IN THE BRIGHTMOOR
neighborhood — kids, teenagers and adults — had free access to 3D printers, welding equipment,
cameras, editing programs, art supplies, art classes, business workshops, design seminars and more? What if one of Detroit’s isolated neighborhoods had... a maker space? Working with Brightmoor community partners and Detroit Community Schools, Stamps envisions the Brightmoor Maker Space as a place for residents, particularly young people, to improve their making skills, develop intergenerational connections, and nurture community revitalization. The space will also help youth explore paths to college and/or a profession. It’s an important project, and one that needs your support. The project has been honored to receive a $100k matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. However, given the terms of the grant, the School has until September 30, 2015 to raise $50,000 in matching funds with an additional $50,000 by September 30, 2016.
31 / STAMPS
The Stamps School’s Brightmoor Maker Space project will help an often neglected Detroit neighborhood become more active and engaged. – Patronicity co-founder Ebrahim Varachia (LSA 2012)
There are a number of ways you can give. You can make a direct
for dollar, the “Public Spaces, Community Places”
gift at any time. Or you can be part of a crowdfunding campaign
campaigns on the Patronicity site that 1) activate
through Patronicity, a Detroit-based crowdfunding platform
space as their mission and 2) reach their stated
focusing exclusively on projects in Michigan. The Brightmoor
fundraising goal within a set time period. Stamps
Maker Space attracted the attention of Patronicity co-founder and
should hear very soon if the Maker Space qualifies
U-M alum Ebrahim Varachia (LSA 2012) because “at Patronicity,
for these matching funds. With an MEDC match, a
we strive to build vibrant communities and the Stamps School’s
successful $25,000 Patronicity campaign would
Brightmoor Maker Space project will help an often neglected Detroit
yield $50,000, and launch the project.
neighborhood become more active and engaged.” Varachia thought
In addition to the enticement of the MEDC
Patronicity could help with fundraising.
match, Patronicity also allows donations made
On June 1st, the Stamps School is launching a Patronicity
offline to count toward campaign goals. Direct
campaign to raise $25,000 from Stamps alumni, friends, family
gifts can be made at any time. If you wish your gift
and donors. Look for the launch announcement on email, the
to be a part of the Patronicity campaign, specific
Stamps’ website, and social media.
information on how to give will be part of our
Patronicity has developed a partnership with the Michigan
Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to match, dollar
• learn more about •
the Maker Space If you would like to learn more about the Maker Space, to make a direct gift, or have questions, please contact Eric Schramm at (734) 647-0650 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Patronicity, please visit patronicity.com. To learn more about the Knight Foundation’s Art Challenge grants, please visit knightfoundation.org.
The Patronicity campaign runs from June 1st - June 30th, 2015. Our campaign goal is $25,000. GIVE HERE patronicity.com STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
• A N N U A L
G I V I N G •
Every Counts GIFT
Annual Giving at the Stamps School Last year alumni, parents, friends, faculty, and staff gave more than 400 annual gifts to the School. This support has helped us enrich our programs as we strive to become the model of 21st century art and design education.
ANNUAL GIFTS ARE CRITICAL IN MEETING THE STAMPS SCHOOL’S DAILY NEEDS. They serve as a crucial bridge between tuition revenue and the true cost of a Stamps education. Participation in annual giving helps increase the School’s presence throughout Michigan, the nation, and internationally. Every gift is important and makes an impact.
WHEN YOU GIVE
to the Stamps School you can designate how your gift is used:
The Stamps School Opportunity
International Initiatives Fund
Alumni and Friends Scholarship Fund
Fund is the best way to support
The International Initiatives
The Alumni and Friends Scholarship
the most pressing needs of the
Fund helps defray the cost of
Fund provides an opportunity for
School. Funds are used to seed
international travel for Stamps
donors to have an immediate impact
new programs, fund special student
students. The Stamps School is
on student support. Students who
projects, internship opportunities,
the only unit at the University that
have demonstrated exceptional
and support minor renovations. Each
requires students to participate
academic performance or exceptional
year funds are marked for student
in an international experience. In
creative potential, as evidenced
enrichment opportunities that
2013, over 100 students received
by their portfolios, can apply for
include guest lecturers and artists in
scholarships from the Alumni and
Friends Scholarship Fund.
TO GIVE, GO TO: stamps.umich.edu/giving
33 / STAMPS
Questions? Contact Amber Connell email@example.com
• A L U M N I
P R O F I L E •
I loved every minute of being at the School. It was there that I realized I had a creative side. I starting sorting out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and Stamps showed me the way. From the project Photograms
Richard Burd → Long Time Stamps Supporter
Richard Burd is celebrating his 50th graduation reunion this year with a gift to the Opportunity Fund. A strong supporter of Stamps since 2009, Richard has multiple reasons to feel a continuing connection to the School and the University. From the project Photograms
“I WAS BORN IN ANN ARBOR AND BOTH MY PARENTS WORKED
In retirement Richard continues to take
at the University. My father was the chief medical
photographs and he has recently self-published
photographer at the University hospital, and my mother
two books. One, entitled Shadows emphasizes how
was a secretary in the anthropology department. So
important shadows are to photographic composition.
coming to school at U-M seemed natural.” But Richard also credits
The other is Photograms, a compilation of his
his Stamps education with pointing him towards his own future
photograms since 1970. Four years ago Richard
career as a photographer. “I loved every minute of being at the
exhibited a 50-year restrospective of his work.
School. It was there that I realized I had a creative side. I started
Part of the exhibit included images taken in his
sorting out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and Stamps
first photo class at Stamps.
showed me the way.” After graduation Richard worked at an advertising agency for a few years, and then he moved to Chicago for a position as a Chicago Tribune photographer. After a decade of working at the paper, he learned about a new state university — Governors State University — and he applied for and was hired as the university photographer, a position he held for over 30 years until his retirement. Richard also taught at the school. He had never thought about teaching, but he fell in love with working with students and helping them to see with a photographer’s eye.
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Make a Difference: The
This issue of Emergence has been focused on the ways the Stamps community prepares our students to enter the professional world as creative thinkers and makers. It’s an important mission. And as a Stamps community member you can help. YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS CAN ENSURE THAT EXTRAORDINARY STUDENTS are able to study here, regardless of their financial circumstances. Your generosity can help us to attract talented, inspiring faculty, increase opportunities for international travel, and fund new opportunities for creative work and research.
builds a bridge between where we are and where we want to be.
Find YOUR Passion
→ Scholarship support
→ A robust exhibition program
→ International study stipends
→ Conferences and symposia on
→ Career development opportunities → Our first endowed professorships → Cutting-edge creative tools and technologies
→ Facilities that support contemporary learning and making
TO GIVE, GO TO:
issues in creative practice
→ Creative cross-disciplinary research → A research center based in the Stamps School
→ Expanded teaching and learning opportunities that foster collaboration and community engagement
If you would like to discuss these opportunities or other ways to support Stamps, contact Mary Alice Bankert at
stamps.umich.edu/giving 35 / STAMPS
734.478.5770 or Eric Schramm at 734.647.0650.
Students Recognize Alumni Donors at the 2nd Annual Day of Thanks —
Hail Yeah Alumni are a continuing and powerful influence on the success of Stamps students — serving as mentors, role models, collaborators and donors. On March 18 students got a chance to say thank you when U-M Student Philanthropy and the Stamps School hosted its 2nd annual Day of Thanks — Hail Yeah! Every Gift Matters. Photo by Eric Bronson
Here is a sampling of the messages Stamps students sent to alums. Dear Alum, I am a 4th year student studying Art & Design and Mechanical Engineering. My experience at U of M has driven me to make change in the world and has given me a wide perspective on people and different cultures. Thank you for your support! Eli Davis (Class of 2016)
Dear Alum, Thank you so much for the donation! You’re the reason these facilities stay up and running! As I continue to study sculpture and fabrication through ceramics, wood, and metal, I’m always grateful for the materials and the tools at my disposal. Peace & Love, -Anonymous
Dear Stamps Alum, Stamps has been the best part of my freshmen college experience this year. The art school has opened opportunities for me I could never find elsewhere and opened my eyes to new creative solutions, problem solving, collaboration, and constructive criticism. Stamps is also a wonderful community of talented, open, supportive individuals and I personally appreciate your support for the art school very much. Thank you! Kira Appelman (Class of 2018)
Dear Alum, Thank you very much for your support of Stamps. Without you, I probably wouldn’t have decided to come to the University of Michigan. The variety and freedom of study are really special and I’m so glad to be a part of it. Eryn Baker (Class of 2016)
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
• R E T I R E M E N T •
Ed West Retires
Bendinephupho (1997) from the project Casting Shadows
“Wide-ranging,” “impassioned,” “engaged” — this is how colleagues characterize Ed West’s career as a teacher, artist and administrator.
WITH A BA IN ART HISTORY,
Professor West’s interdisciplinary approach to teaching has
an MFA in photography and
been described by students as “focused,” “caring,” “challenging,”
printmaking, and additional
and “life changing.” Throughout his career at Michigan, he has
museum studies and curatorial
developed innovative approaches and solutions to studio arts
practice, Ed began his teaching with faculty
teaching, including the reconceiving of photography and related
appointments at the University of New Mexico, the
courses and the retooling of modules of the Stamps undergraduate
School of the Art Institute of Chicago as chair of
curriculum. He was an early proponent and adopter of cross-
the photography department, and the University of
disciplinary teaching, with courses taught outside the School
Hawaii as director of foundation studies.
for students from a wide range of backgrounds and interests. As
He joined the University of Michigan faculty in
Associate Dean of Graduate Studies he led a shift to a non-media
1990 as associate professor of art and was promoted
specific program, embracing interdisciplinary learning utilizing
to professor in 2001. In addition to his role as a
offerings from throughout the University as core to the curriculum.
teacher, he served the Stamps School as Associate
And, as a champion for creating a diverse, multi-cultural learning
Dean for Graduate Studies (1994-1997) and Director of
environment, he laid the groundwork for the Stamps School’s
International Initiatives (2001-2002).
international engagement program. In 2010 his commitment
In his creative practice Ed is internationally
to excellence in arts education was honored with an Arthur F.
recognized for work that ranges from photography
and collage to installation and curation, exploring
Ed will retire from Stamps in June 2015. In retirement, he is looking
issues of identity and place. His work has been
forward to time to make more creative work, including traveling to
exhibited in the United States and abroad, including
new locations as he continues his project on mixed race identity.
South Africa, China, Japan, and Switzerland, and can be found in major collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, The Detroit Institute of Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the South African National Gallery, the Guangdong Museum in China, and the Japan School of Contemporary Photography in Tokyo.He is the author of two books of photographs, Casting Shadows, a meditation on post-apartheid South Africa; and So Called, a transnational exploration of mixed race identity. Partners (2011) from the project So Called
37 / STAMPS
• R E T I R E M E N T •
Left: Ground Cover II (2012), Daylily stalks, graphite, polymer medium, pins Right: Column II (2015), Daylily stalks, graphite, polymer medium, monofilament
After more than four decades at U-M, on December 31, 2014 Professor Larry Cressman’s association with the U‐niversity entered a new phase — Professor Emeritus.
Larry Cressman Retires
LARRY EARNED BOTH UNDERGRADUATE
two-‐dimensional media, an approach that has expanded the notion
(BS 1968) and graduate degrees (MFA
of line and form. Site ‐specific projects have been a particular
1975) from the (then) U‐-M School of Art.
interest, and his installations have been a part of exhibitions in a
He began his teaching career at Michigan
variety of venues throughout the country. In 2009 he traveled to
in 1977, serving as a Lecturer II in the Residential
Granada, Spain where his installation work was included in the
College through 2003. In 2004, he was awarded a
Spora ’09 International Exhibition of Ephemeral Art.
joint appointment in the Stamps School of Art and
As to his plans for retirement: “I am currently preparing a solo
Design, rising to the rank of professor in both units
show for the fall to be held at the Midland Center for the Arts and
in 2012. In addition, Professor Cressman served
have recently taken down a one-person show at the Ross Museum
as the first Director of the Residential College Art
of Ohio Wesleyan University. Things have not slowed down in
Gallery, a role he held for many years throughout his
retirement! Having the extra time to work in my studio is terrific.”
career at the University. As an educator, Professor Cressman is an inventive, encouraging, inspiring, and supportive teacher. He is praised by his students for his commitment as mentor and guide, whether teaching art and ‐design majors in a rigorous conceptual environment (in the Stamps School) or non‐ majors interested in expanding their creative and cultural acumen (in the Residential College). His former students consistently describe his classes as pivotal experiences in their academic and creative lives and frequently cite his commitment to skill building and experimentation as values that inspire their own creative practice. Professor Cressman’s dedication to his creative practice is equally intense — deeply rooted in the traditions of drawing and printmaking, but by no means limited by those traditions. His sculptural drawings reflect an innovative approach to a typically Haywire (Detail) (2006), Graphite, polymer medium, dogbane, pins
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
Alumni Updates Share Your News With Us Online and be featured in Emergence and on our website. Have you had recent exhibitions that you’d like to mention? A new job? An entrepreneurial venture? We’ll now be using online submissions as the primary way to gather alumni news for our alumni updates in Emergence. When you submit online you get double the coverage—your news is seen by everyone who receives Emergence AND by everyone who visits our website. It's a great way to stay in touch and to share news and images about you and your creative work.
To Submit News ↓ → To submit, use the following link: → Don't forget to include an image → And, as always, if you have stamps.umich.edu/news/submit
39 / STAMPS
of your work. And please make sure
any problems submitting online,
that the images you send are
don’t hesitate to email
1 - 5 MB in size
Updates that focus on the transition from school to work are highlighted in cyan.
1960s represented by the J Todd Galleries in Wellesley, MA and in Chatham, MA. www.wmc-art.com
Julie Van Loon Strabel BFA 1960
Work by Julie Van Loon Strabel was featured in the 2014 International Society
BDes 1959, MFA 1961
of Experimental Artists exhibition in San
My bronze sculptures are in a group
Pedro, California in the fall of 2014 and
show for most of June, 2015 at the
received the Nautilus Fellow Award. The
Riverside Art Center Gallery in Ypsilanti,
2015 ISEA Show will be at the Dennos
MI. The title of the show is Light, Bronze
Museum at Northwestern Michigan
and Pigment. Here is my “Supervision
College in Traverse City from September
20th through January 2016.
Jack Kelley BSDes 1962 A recent story in the Ann Arbor Observer highlighted the role Jack Kelley played in the development of the modern office environment and the mouse pad. In 1961, while a student at Stamps, Kelley interned with renowned problem-solver Bob Propst at the Ann Arbor Herman Miller Research Division. Propst went on to hire Kelley, and the two collaborated on a number of important commercial design
solutions. One of their most renowned
office panel furniture system that became
Anneli Arms was featured in 75th
the most popular in the country.
Anniversary Show of the Federation of
In addition, in 1968 while at Herman
Modern Painters and Sculptors, at The
Miller, Kelley worked on a project for
Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery in NYC
the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) to
from March 10 - April 11.
designs was Action Office II, a modular
design a human-oriented modular panel computer workstation. He was asked
BS 1961, MFA 1963
to integrate SRI’s Dr. Doug Engelbart’s
For twenty years I have been with Harbor
design for a computer mouse. Kelley
Square Gallery in Rockland Maine and
designed a portable console with a
fifteen years with the Martin Gallery in
dedicated area for this new computer
Charleston South Carolina. In the last
mouse, and the prototype for the
two years I have added The Gallery at
mousepad was born. Both innovations
Somes Sound, Someville, Maine; Art
were on display when Dr. Engelbart gave
Collector’s Maine Gallery at the Grand
a live demonstration of his computer and
in Kennebunk, Maine; and Portland Art
its mouse for the Fall Joint Computer
Gallery in Portland, Maine. I am also now
Conference in 1968... C O N T I N U E D → STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
in San Francisco. This demonstration
Recently, I’ve moved my work from
College in Ann Arbor, many public
is widely known as the “mother of all
Second Life to the OpenSim worlds.
and private collections, three group
demos.” On April 1, 2015, Demo Opera,
OpenSim is an open-source framework
exhibitions at Michigan governor’s
a new techno-infused music theater
allowing free transfers and copies of
mansion in East Lansing, a painting
piece based this historic demonstration
one’s works and worlds to be made. This
used in a George Clooney movie, and
premiered at the Bing Concert Hall at
frees me to replicate the whole project
participation in Stamps Annual Alumni
for public view online. I’ve done so in the
Show each year for three years. I
For the full Ann Arbor Observer article:
Kitely virtual-world setting.
designed and built a home and studio
My entire project can be visited
in Irish Hills on a small lake. I haunt
antique and resale shops with my wife.
Jeddin-Laval/TarnusCity while I
My sons and grandson are involved
continue work on it offline.
in visual and performing arts. I still
work like I’m possessed, painting and sculpting. My work is all over the world… Beijing, Paris, Sydney, New York, California, Michigan and other locations.
Stephanie Warburg BDes 1963 Stephanie Wenner Warburg’s oil paintings are “fantastic realism”
depictions of seascapes and landscapes.
They are carried in Boston at the
This past summer I was invited to
L’Attitude Gallery on Newbury Street and
participate in a prestigious photography
in Key West, Florida at the Gingerbread
exhibition at Argonne National
Square Gallery on Duval Street.
Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois from July
to September 2014. I was one of ten photographers invited to exhibit images with the theme, “Not the Obvious.” All of the six images I submitted were selected for exhibition. After graduating from Stamps I received a masters degree in photography from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1970, studying with the American photographer Aaron Siskind.
Buster Simpson BFA 1969 “Anthropocene Beach // Zone One Elliott Bay Seawall Habitat Project” This conceptual artwork is intended to address both marine and shoreline habitats, acknowledging the interdependence of the two realms. Additionally, future discussions are anticipated to address the relationship of the beach to the promenade, the roadway and to Pioneer Square. The environmental restoration of the encroachment at urban water’s edge calls for an honest transparent aesthetic, one
that has dynamic agility in the face of
the influences of climate change as we
Since 2007 I have been working on a
enter what is now considered the human
project in the virtual world of Second
influenced Anthropocene Epoch.
Life to construct a sector of a three-
My recent exhibitions and events
dimensional, digital, underground city.
include: Duchamp Effect, a group exhibition
My personal work on this project
with Robert Gober and Sherrie Levine at
comprises thousands of lines of
the Seattle Art Museum; Double Bound, a
computer code in several programming
solo exhibition at the Greg Kucera Gallery
languages, thousands of digital images,
in Seattle; Nature 3.X Symposium,
thousands of constructed digital objects
arranged in the city, thousands of lines
of Minnesota; Rising Waters Confab,
of text for visitors to read, and dozens
Some highlights of last few years...
facilitator for a residency program
of animations illustrating aspects of the
regular and continuing exhibitions at
focusing on climate change issues,
fictional story being presented through
Pierre Paul Gallery in Ann Arbor, a one
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation,
man show, purchases including Cleary
Captiva Island, FL.
41 / STAMPS
the keynote speaker at the University
Foundation grant, she learned to use
NJ; Metropolitan Gallery of Farleigh
digitizing software to create embroidered
Dickenson University; online Book Arts
text from the survey responses.
exhibitions; and one will be headed to
The Wearing My Age Project was
The Jewish Museum of Oslo, Norway.
exhibited at Concordia University, St. Paul, MN, as part of Truthtelling: Jerome Fiber Artists Project Grants Exhibition. www.susanhenselprojects.com
Norm Stewart BFA 1969
Susan Stewart BDes 1970 This year, Stewart & Stewart partners, celebrates their Bloomfield Hills, Michigan workshop’s 35th anniversary of printing and publishing fine print editions. Stewart & Stewart fine prints will be available at the Capital Art Fair
Betsy Statman Besl
and the Boston Print Fair.
I have been a teaching artist at a private
Walter Griggs BFA 1975 I wanted to share this image of “A Winter’s Night View — Michigan Stadium.” painting of Main St. North
school in West Bloomfield, Michigan for the past 14 years, working with children from ages 2 through 12. Two years ago I also began my own traveling art studio for children — The Funky Craft Studio. The Funky Craft Studio offers summer camps, vacation camps and special events. So far, the Funky Craft Studio has brought a creative experience to nearly 300 children. My philosophy for the studio is based on these words of Viktor Lowenfeld: “…remember you are
not trying to make your child an artist.
It is his creativeness you care about: his
In 2014, Susan (McGaughan) Hensel
sensitivity; originality; adaptability;
received a grant from the Jerome
fluency; flexibility; and the powers of
Foundation to complete a body of work
synthesis, analysis, and redefinition…”
examining how women perceive their
I also continue to create my own
power in the work place.
work — mostly teapots made from
Susan recognized that the clothing we
old metal teapots and assorted
wear broadcasts information about us,
whether intended or not. And, when we
You can view my work on the
clothe consciously, it can be thought of as
Facebook page Specialteas by Betsy; and
a form of self-publishing. She wondered:
you can visit The Funky Craft Studio on
What if our thoughts were embroidered
onto the uniforms we wear to work?
She developed and disseminated
During 2014, Leslie Nobler studied and
a survey. And she designed a 4-piece
worked at The Ratti Textile Center of
“uniform” of jacket, dress, petticoat
Facebook, as well.
the Metropolitan Museum of New York
and leggings representing degrees of
and the Grafisch Atelier of Amsterdam
personal space and privacy. She sewed
in the Netherlands, creating new work.
four uniforms to represent the four
The pieces created “reinventing” ritual
decades of a typical working life.
lace textiles have been in exhibitions
With the assistance of the Jerome
at the Pierro Gallery in South Orange, STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
around the Midwest and has been described as “a mind-blowing lyricist.”A song from her first album, Be A Girl Again, was recently featured in the soundtrack of NightSong from Mirepoix Pictures. She’s played at the Bloomington Songwriter Showcase, the ARTSONG Summer Series in Cincinnati, and the Singer/Songwriter Session at the Bitter End in NYC. Now she’s back from the 2015 30A Songwriters Festival to promote her latest release, Devil May Care. This is alternative folk— expressive, authentic.
Gayle Dickerson BFA 1981 Accessible, inviting, inspiring —these
Gather round. Get to know her. You’ll be glad you did. itunes.com/elliefabe
are the qualities Gayle Dickerson believes
Susan (Rosenberg) Wechsler
are most important in an art gallery.
Dickerson Art Gallery is an online gallery
In May, 2015 I taught my signature
that people of all ages and interests
four-day mosaic DRESS workshop in
can appreciate and feel comfortable
Huntington Hills, MI.
browsing. Gayle wants those who visit to
I teach my unique mosaic style all
be at ease, experience art to its fullest,
over the globe, but I couldn’t wait to
perhaps find a great treasure.
come back to the place of my youth. If
The artists featured at Dickerson Art
you would like more info, it’s all on my
Gallery are among the most sophisticated
in their media and include Ted Ramsay, Professor Emeritus at the Stamps School of Art & Design, and Marcia Polenberg, a Stamps School of Art & Design alum
who has taught many art courses at the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and
After a very successful 2014 season for
jewelry designer Susan Gluck Nordman,
Tour the gallery, enjoy the art, and be
Susan is continuing to expand her
sure to share the experience with friends,
Taliswoman@SiouxStudio line of jewelry
“like” the gallery on Facebook and follow
to another Michigan venue, the Yellow
us on Twitter.
Door Art Market in Berkely. Her work is
constantly evolving, as she loves to let her materials take the lead and become what they want, as if she is merely the conduit for some greater voice and vision. Her latest work involves the use of raw Lake Michigan beach stones, aluminum, copper, waxed linen and a variety of colorful gemstone beads. Taliswoman@SiouxStudio can be found locally at the Heavenly Metal Boutique in Ann Arbor, The Eyrie in Ypsilanti, the Yellow Door Art Market in Berkely and also at the Weasel & Fitz Gallery in Madrid, NM.
Judy Enright BFA 1985 Work by Judy Enright was featured in three recent exhibitions in the Ann Arbor area. Chaos, organized by the River Gallery in Chelsea, was on the 4th floor of the Rackham building on the University of Michigan campus from Feb. 27 to May 7, 2015. Mission, Art and Music, 2015 was at the First Presbyterian Church in Brighton, MI
from Mar. 15 to May 8.
Ellie Fabe is a singer/songwriter in
AAWA (Ann Arbor Women Artists)
Cincinnati, Ohio who never got over
2015 Spring Exhibit was at the Mallets
being too young to see the Beatles at
Creek Library in Ann Arbor from
Crosley Field with her older brother and
March 16 to April 20.
sisters. She performs in coffeehouses
43 / STAMPS
century photographer Giorgio Sommer.
Egyptology. I wanted to work with a
The work was exhibited at Page Bond
different African faith system, a system
Gallery (Richmond, VA) in 2013 and will
that no one, I mean no one, was thinking
be followed by another more extensive
of when The Horsemen was created in
exhibit in November, 2015.
1997. No one was thinking of using the Orishas as a launch point for a comic
book world at that time. I wanted to focus more on the Western part of the continent where my family, and the majority of African Americans hail from.
I wanted The Horsemen to be different
and contemporary... It needed to be
After running her photography
different and contemporary.”
business out of her home for 16 years,
Lisa Neild took the plunge and opened her storefront photography studio in Wilmette in February 2014. With the studio space, Lisa can expand the options for her clients to include studio sessions as well as photo shoots on location. “Photography has always been woven into my life,” says Lisa. She started taking pictures in high school and concentrated
on photography when she earned her BFA
from the Stamps School in 1988. After
Along with co-author Keith M. Owens,
graduation, while employed as an art
Michael Gibson had a chapter published
therapist, Lisa used photography with the
in the Routledge Companion to Design
women she worked with at the YWCA of
Research in December 2014, titled
“Making Meaning Happen Between ‘Us’
Then, while raising her three children,
and ‘Them:’ Strategies for bridging gaps
she increasingly took more photos of
in understanding between researchers
her family, and the seeds for Lisa Neild
who possess design knowledge and those
Photography were sown.
working in disciplines outside design.”
Marianne Fairbanks BFA 1997 In fall of 2014, Marianne Fairbanks started in her new position as Assistant
Samples of Lisa’s work are available at
Professor of Textiles in Design Studies
in the School of Human Ecology at the
Additionally, on her site under Personal
University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Projects, there are videos of her 2011 and 2013 “A Picture A Day” projects.
Jiba Molei Anderson BFA 1994
Jiba Molei Anderson is featured in a
BFA 2000, BA 2000
During two residencies sponsored
SciFi Pulse interview on his series of
In 2014, Peter Baker became Creative
by the Yale University Art Gallery,
afrofuturist graphic novels, including
Director of Duo Security, leading a
William Wylie gained unique access
rebrand of the company’s identity,
to the Pompeii archeological site,
“I wanted the world of The Horsemen
and staffing a full in-house design and
which is featured in his photographs,
to feel real, free from the mythology
marketing department. The company,
following in the footsteps of 19th-
of Afrocentrism and its adherence to
Michigan’s fastest... C O N T I N U E D →
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
growing technology firm in 2013, recently
changing opportunity will present itself.
moved to a new 15,000-square-foot
The instructor of this seminar knew a
headquarters in downtown Ann Arbor and
U-M alum jeweler in San Diego where
raised $12 million in Series B funding, led
I would be returning after graduation
by a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
in two months. I ended up visiting that alum’s studio in San Diego, where on the elevator I randomly met a Russian master jeweler who happened to need
Audra Wolowiec BFA 2002
apprentice for 2 years earning “trolley fare,” while I honed the fine craft of
Audra Wolowiec is featured in Modern
diamond setting. Key Point: No easy
Painters: 24 Artists to Watch in 2015.
living expectations up front in exchange
“Since I work on multiple projects at once, my process always feels slightly nebulous. I tend to work haptically, through hands-on experimentation. Whether it involves sound, sculpture,
an apprentice. I ended up being his
or print, I almost always start with test pieces—something tangible—to see
MFA 2001, BFA 1992
how materials behave. I also consider
Heidi Dauphin, with her public art
how a viewer might inhabit the work
partner Nina Solomon, recently
through physical experience.”
completed a five-year public art project
for learning life-long lucrative skills. Fast forward 10 years. I now own a million dollar jewelry business where I create custom engagement rings for awesome clients all over the world. Life is good. www.VanessaNicoleJewels.com www.VanessaNicoleEngagementRings.com
for the City of Phoenix, Arizona. Dauphin and her partner were selected to design a 1,200 ft. section of security wall surrounding a 3 million gallon water reservoir for the City of Phoenix. This project was funded as part of the Percent for Art program that the City of Phoenix sponsors. Dauphin and Solomon created shadow patterns of desert plants and trees that seem to fall across the wall, but are in fact embedded into the design of the wall. They soften the long wall with natural imagery in silhouette forms, contrasting these patterns with repeated panels of rusted metal for textural variety. Two gates were also created with
the same shadow patterns on panels of
Since this issue of Emergence focuses
This is Dauphin’s fifth public
on career development, my story for
art project in the Phoenix area with
you is about feeling okay working from
Solomon. She is also currently working
the ground up. I transitioned from art
Megan Hildebrandt displayed her
on privately commissioned mixed media
school into being a successful jeweler by
series of large-scale drawings in a solo
artwork for local Phoenix business
seizing random opportunities right after
exhibition entitled Counting Radiation at
lobbies and occasionally teaching.
graduation. Most students (including
the LIVESTRONG Headquarters in Austin,
myself) were conditioned to think that
Texas from March 1 - 30.
once you graduate, you simply get an
On April 9, Megan presented her paper
awesome design job because that’s what
“Being Present: Illness Narrative, The Art
we’re trained for. But now we all know
of Witnessing, and a Return to Bedside
that’s not a reality.
Manner” at the Innovation in Health
On a random Saturday at the art
Care Delivery Systems Symposium
school back in 2005, I went to a seminar
in the AT&T Executive Education and
about designing cars because I thought
Conference Center in Austin, Texas.
it would help my jewelry drawing skills. Key Point: You never know when a life-
45 / STAMPS
images with text that questions the
and illustrator. Together their styles
assumptions behind how we make, eat
produced vibrant pieces combining
and perceive food.”
interpretations of the photographs and
The book also features the work of
their individual unique processes.
Stamps faculty Matt Kenyon.
The show was on exhibition at
ReCreative Spaces, Washington D.C., through February 28th.
MFA 2007 Jim Leija gave an “In Conversation” gallery talk at the U-M Museum of Art on Sunday, May 17 in conjunction with
Anna Vlaminck BFA 2006
the exhibition HE: The Hergott Shepard Photography Collection. The talk, entitled “Men That Got Away: Chasing Queer
Since graduation, I have been doing
Masculinities in the Hergott Shepard
freelance medical illustration and fine
Collection” is an interpretive journey
art from whatever location my travels
through the collection that mashes up
have brought me. I am currently living
song, dance, memoir, sparkle, high
in Quito, Ecuador, and while here, I
heels, and perhaps a few quizzes from
have finished a series of illustrations
the internet to get to the heart of the
destined for a pharmacology textbook
matter: when the man gets away, where
for a client in Michigan.
does he go? Leija is a performer, artist,
and arts educator, and currently serves as the Director of Education & Community Engagement for UMS. www.jimleija.com www.umma.umich.edu/view
Melanie (Conn) Zwegers BFA BA 2011 This March marks the publication of Into the Garden - Verses for Hearts Young & Old written and illustrated by Melanie M Zwegers (formerly Melanie Conn). The book is a collection of 34 original poems and watercolor illustrations inspired by nature, childhood, and the 19th century beloved classic A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis
Stevenson. There are hidden fairy
doors, fireflies at twilight, adventures
In 2015, Black Dog Publishing released
on high seas and sofas, delights of the
Experimental Eating, a book about
changing seasons, and more.
contemporary food-based creative
Melanie was responsible for every
practices that features an introductory
essay and work by The Center For
illustrating, design, and publication.
Genomic Gastronomy, an artist-led think
Duologue: Portraits, Patterns and Prints is
For more information on the book and
tank co-founded by Zack Denfeld.
a show by D.C. artists Rose Jaffe and
other upcoming book events, as well as
“Experimental Eating is the first
Graham Boyle. The two took portraits
how to purchase the book, please visit
international survey of contemporary
of friends in their immediate artist
experimental and experiential food-
community and collaborated on the
based creative practices across art,
works. Graham is a printmaker, with
design, catering, science and theatre.
a focus on collage and colorful pattern
Deliciously detailed and good enough
with themes of activism and social
to eat, this book combines luscious
justice. Rose is a portrait painter
aspect of the book’s writing, editing,
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
“I have Stamps to thank for this
editor. “Still” is a short film about
realization. I thought back to my Color
loss and denial, longing, and trying to
Theory studio with Professor Janie Paul.
reconnect through mundane means
She always encouraged me to do work
of communication. The date of release
that comes from the heart and that
hasn’t been announced, as the short is
failure is not a bad thing. The more you
still in a process of submissions.
fail, the better then end result will be.
Follow this link for a short trailer.
Every art student has heard: ‘Your first
draft won’t be you best or final design.’ It’s hard to accept this mentality when you have a strict deadline or a really, really great first idea. However, having
an attitude that recognizes the power of revision and persistence has helped me
not only to come up with better concepts
Meghan Grubb was featured in a solo
and designs, but also to maintain a
exhibition, Meghan Grubb: House of Stories,
positive energy in the working world.”
at Gallery 210 in St. Louis, MO from
February 21 - April 11.
Blending analog and digital
technologies, Meghan makes works of
sculpture, installation, photography and
It was summer of 2012, and I was anxiously
video that explore how powerful non-
preparing details for my departure
physical responses may be elicited by the
overseas for the first time. I was nervous
experience of physical phenomena.
for my first travel abroad, and I had no idea what to expect, so I probably inundated my study abroad advisers with a million and one stupid questions. All of the preparation in the world could not have mentally and physically prepared me for the experience that I was embarking upon. When I got to Florence, Italy, I felt like Alice in Wonderland
Alisha Wessler Emily Cedar BFA 2013 Emily talks about how an experience at Stamps impacted her work life: “I was in love from the moment I walked in the door. My own standing desk, an energetic environment filled with engaged and creative people, and
falling down the rabbit hole of experience. Every day was an adventure,
around every corner was a new idea, and
Alisha Wessler was an artist-in-
there was no answer in how to deal with
residence at Wave Hill, a 28-acre public
all of it, short of full immersion.
garden and cultural center in the Bronx
My new book Glimpses of Italy is an
overlooking the Hudson River and
unfiltered retrospective of that journey
Palisades. The two-month residency
through the lens of the camera. As a
culminated in a public open studio event
teacher now myself in New York City,
on February 21st.
and as an alumnus of Stamps, my goal in publishing this book is to share insights
work that made me feel thrilled to get
into the creative process. Too often we
out of bed in the morning. The start-
are afraid to share our ideas for fear of
up company, Passage, is located in the
backlash or judgment from our peers.
heart of downtown Detroit, and does event marketing and mobile ticketing
My ideas in Italy were certainly all over
for all kinds of events. I do the design,
the map both literally and figuratively.
marketing, and writing. Every day I am
Without the experience though, I would
faced with a new challenge, and that’s one of the main reasons I dig this job so much. At first, however, this was a
Cy Abdelnour BFA 2014
have never understood how important it is to experiment and to throw the proverbial spaghetti at the wall to see
bit overwhelming as I felt I was under a
big, bright spotlight. I soon learned to
Glimpses of Italy will be available for
embrace this feeling of discomfort, and
Parisa directed and wrote the story
purchase at www.charlienaebeck.com
began to see that it was truly growth and
for the short film “Still.” Cy served
in Summer 2015.
excitement in disguise.”
as the director of photography and
47 / STAMPS
• I N
M E M O R I A M •
David Alan Lauer BDes 1952 David Alan Lauer, teacher, artist, collector, and long-time Stamps School supporter, passed away on January 3, 2015.
THE AUTHOR OF THE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL AND WIDELY
Jewell, amassed a collection of over 400 objects and
used text, Design Basics, Lauer also maintained an active
100 books that they endowed to the Mariners Museum
practice as a painter, and was a noted collector of items
of New Port News, Virginia.
and books related to Admiral Nelson.
David was a member of the Nelson Society, and
Lauer was born in Iowa City, Iowa on 13 October 1930 to Professor
a patron of the San Francisco Opera and the Fine
Edward Lauer and Edna Mayworm Lauer. He grew up in Seattle,
Arts Museums of San Francisco. He was a generous
Washington, where his father was Dean of the University of
supporter of the University of Michigan and of the
Washington. Following graduation from the (then) U-M College of
University of the Pacific. With James, he was the
Architecture and Design, David toured Europe, returning to attend
proud and happy owner of four successive Gordon
the University of Washington for his Master of Fine Arts degree.
Setter dogs: Andrew, Cameron, Duncan, and Stuart.
He served in Korea in the Signal Corps, and then moved to the
David is survived by his companion of fifty years,
Bay Area for a teaching degree from San Francisco State University.
James Jewell; H-L Ittner of Moraga, widow of Fred
He was a part of the founding art faculty at the College of Alameda
“Bear” Ittner, his University of Michigan college
where he taught until retirement.
roommate, fellow Fiji, and life-long financial advisor;
In addition to his thriving career as a teacher and artist, David
nephew James Graham of Oakland; and the countless
was also an author. And his book, Design Basics, coauthored with
students whom he taught, mentored, and nurtured in
Stephen Pentak, remains a popular introduction to 2D design. First
their art careers.
published in 1979, Design Basics is now in its 8th edition.
It was David’s wish that gifts in his honor be
David also had an avid interest in Admiral Nelson that began
made to the Stamps School of Art & Design at the
in high school when he saw the film, That Hamilton Woman, and
University of Michigan, or to the Mariners’ Museum,
continued throughout his adult life. He and his partner, James
Newport News, VA.
Alfred K. Becker
William B. Klatt
Frances E. Taylor
BDes 1966; Teach.Cert. 1966
Charles H. Clarke
Ronald A. Kleemann
Virginia A. Tesh
Shirley E. Coller
Eleanor S. Leon
Jan G. Vonk.
BDes 1966; AM 1978
John M. Gruszczynski
Barbara H. Outwater
Teach.Cert. 1968; BFA 1968
Paula A. Heneveld
Barbara J. Richardson
BDes 1952 STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
The Stamps Community is Online! ↘ umstampsschool.tumblr.com
Follow @umstamps on Social Media ↓ And stay connected with faculty, students, and alumni.
“Women of Color Portraits,” a stunning series by senior Meghal Janardan, is hanging in the west hall of our building! This is “Angela,” from the Women of Color Portraits by Meghal Janardan @meghaljanardan. Read the stories of these women as they navigate the complex yet rarely addressed narrative of being a minority on a seemingly liberal campus. –ani
Fresh figure collages made by senior Anica Presley (anicajp)! She wheat pasted her life size photomontages straight onto the gallery wall — on view in Stamps Slusser Gallery until this Saturday, May 2nd! LEARN MORE ONLINE
→ twitter.com/UM _ Stamps
We are so impressed with the creative work that explored all media, including installations, film screenings, performances, and more! Kit Trowbridge’s oil painting took inspiration from her dreams, architecture and favorite films. LEARN MORE ONLINE
Grace Ludmer’s senior thesis project was featured on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls blog! Stamps senior Grace Ludmer is making 500 hand-drawn stickers as part of her senior thesis titled The Girls I Draw. From ladies with strawberries for nipples, to intricate collage work, Grace never fails to make these women beautiful inside and out. L E A RN M O RE O N LIN E
LEARN MORE ONLINE
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49 / STAMPS
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Learn more at: stamps.umich.edu
Follow us on: Instagram Go To → instagram.com/umstamps
Twitter → twitter.com/UM _ Stamps
Facebook → facebook.com/umartanddesign
Contact us: Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design • 2000 Bonisteel Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069 • T E L . 734 764 0397 • FA X . 734 936 0469
e d i t o r K A T E W E S T • d e s i g n e r C A R L G R E E N E • w r i t e r s J U L I E T H I N E LY, K A T H E R I N E W E I D E R-R O O S , K A T E W E S T
Dean’s Advisory Council
Regional Alumni Co-Chairs:
Ellen L. Rontal
Roddie Pistilli, Northern California
Linda Banks, Southern California
Kevin Smith, Southern California
Thomas L. Dent MD
Ellen L. Rontal, Illinois
Joan K. Rosenberg-Dent
E. Roe Stamps IV
Judy Maugh, Michigan - Ann Arbor
Ann Aikens, Michigan - Detroit
Sally Angell Parsons, Michigan - Detroit
Bette Klegon Halby
Chris Van Allsburg
Janet Watkins, Michigan - Grand Rapids
Lisa Van Allsburg
Bette Klegon Halby, New York
Susan Smucker Wagstaff
Susan Isaak, New York
Susan & John Brown, Wisconsin
Richard M. Maskell
Leslie Jones Zeller
Sally Angell Parsons
Paul M. Zeller
University of Michigan Regents
Michael J. Behm, Grand Blanc
Mark J. Bernstein, Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/
religion, height, weight, or veteran status in
Laurence B. Deitch, Bloomfield Hills
affirmative action employer, complies with all
employment, educational programs and activities,
applicable federal and state laws regarding
and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be
nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The
addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional
University of Michigan is committed to a policy
Equity, and Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator,
of equal opportunity for all persons and does not
Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national
Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-
Katherine E. White, Ann Arbor
origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation,
1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other
Mark S. Schlissel, ex officio
gender identity, gender expression, disability,
University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.
Shauna Ryder Diggs, Grosse Pointe Denise Ilitch, Bingham Farms Andrea Fischer Newman, Ann Arbor Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park
STAMPS E M E R G E N C E
firstname.lastname@example.org with your summer address.
Alumni and Development Office at 734-764-0586 or
Please contact Amber Connell in the Stamps Schoolâ€™s
sure you hear about them.
events Up North in the summers, and weâ€™d like to make
The University holds some interesting alumni social
at the same address, please let us know.
If you spend time in Northern Michigan each summer
UP NORTH THIS SUMMER?
E M E RG E N C E
2000 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069
Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
University of Michigan
If it has, email Amber Connell at
Has your address changed?
Non-Profit US Postage PA I D Ann Arbor, MI Permit #144
Published on May 28, 2015
The spring 2015 issue of the U-M Stamps School of Art & Design alumni magazine, Emergence, focuses on Stamps students' transition from schoo...