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Spring 2015




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  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 Particularly in creative fields, opportunities for direct, predictable career paths have been replaced by an array of new platforms, new tools, and emerging professions.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.



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. 


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at Stamps






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

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,



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:

Participating in the Expo: Detroit Venture Partners

McCann Worldwide

Quack! Media

The Mars Agency


Merit Goodness


Al Dente Pasta


Michigan Creative

River Gallery and Exhibits

Arts at Michigan


Mike Campau Digital Imagery

Savitski Design

Brand Works Detroit


Oliver Uberti Creative



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Stamps Internships

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-


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)

Samsung (Korea)

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.

URBN (Philadelphia)

and internships, John Luther, Stamps Career Coordinator, has started a Careers Blog which now has several hundred followers:

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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.


  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.


  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.


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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



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.”


   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)


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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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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.



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

Robert Wilson

for individual critiques. In addition, all

David Yurman

Stefan Sagmeister

undergraduate students take a one-credit

Pussy Riot/Zona Prava

Philip Glass

course about the series that prompts them to

Tony Shapshak & Erik Hersman

Nick Cave

learn more about the visitors and their creative

Candy Chang

Janine Antoni

Michael Graves

Ernesto Neto

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Wangechi Mutu

Antony Gormley

Paula Scher

students frequently have the opportunity

practice, to analyze and critique their work, and to understand it in context. 


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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.

11  /  STAMPS


Antony Gormley’s studio crew.

Interning with

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.


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  

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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

disciplinary collaboration.

an opportunity for one renowned working artist or designer to come to the


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

university community.

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. 

13  /  STAMPS


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


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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.

15  /  STAMPS


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.



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



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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

Tiny House

→  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.

A Multi-Disciplinary

Symposia and workshops can provide students with valuable training in collaboration and working across disciplines that mirror the professional



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

their futures.

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. 


/  18

Alumni profiles Marguerite


Plastic Surgeon

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.



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


/  20

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


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

industrial design.”

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, 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

complete unknowns.”

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

powerful retailers.

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

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, 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  

/  22

•   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  

/  24


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,

  Laura Amtower


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

  Trevor King

  Natasa Prljevic

Connecting Curriculum


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

  Mike Bianco

between text, information and myth.

  Cosmo Whyte

Hive Using beeswax and neon, cooking and performance, Hive examines issues of

  Joshua Nierodzinski

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


•   M F A



2 0 1 5


/  26

Photo by Alex Mandrilla

27  /  STAMPS


•   M F A



2 0 1 5

•   M F A



2 0 1 5


/  28

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.



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

Future Plans


of faculty international

travel is the development of new school


of international

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  

/  30

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?



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

campaign announcement. 

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 To learn more about Patronicity, please visit To learn more about the Knight Foundation’s Art Challenge grants, please visit

The Patronicity campaign runs from June 1st - June 30th, 2015. Our campaign goal is $25,000. GIVE HERE STAMPS E M E R G E N C E  

/  32

•   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.


Opportunity Fund

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

international scholarships.

scholarships from the Alumni and

studio-related classes.

Friends Scholarship Fund.


33  /  STAMPS


Questions? Contact Amber Connell

•   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



   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.


/  34

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


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 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)


/  36

•   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.


   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

Thurnau professorship.

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


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


/  38

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

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.

Julie Van Loon Strabel BFA 1960

Malcolm Powers

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

VI” sculpture.

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

Anneli Arms

solutions. One of their most renowned

BFA 1957

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

William Crosby

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  

/  40

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

Stanford University.

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”

Richard Burd

depictions of seascapes and landscapes.

BA 1965

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

Dana Paxson

that has dynamic agility in the face of

BDes 1964

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

Mark Sedgeman

arranged in the city, thousands of lines

BDes 1965

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,

the setting.

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.

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.

BFA 1981

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

Susan Hensel

not trying to make your child an artist.

BFA 1972

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

Leslie Nobler

onto the uniforms we wear to work?

BFA 1980

   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  

/  42

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.

are the qualities Gayle Dickerson believes

Susan (Rosenberg) Wechsler

are most important in an art gallery.

BFA 1983

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

Susan Nordman

who has taught many art courses at the

BFA 1983

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and

After a very successful 2014 season for

Flint campuses.

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.

Ellie Fabe

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

BFA 1983

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.

Lisa Neild

I wanted The Horsemen to be different

BFA 1988

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

Michael Gibson

on photography when she earned her BFA

MFA 1993

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

Metropolitan Chicago.

“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

Peter Baker

MFA 1989

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

The Horsemen.

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   →

William Wylie


/  44

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,

Heidi Dauphin

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.

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

Vanessa Mitchell

the same shadow patterns on panels of

BFA 2005

rusted metal.

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

BFA 2006

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


Megan Hildebrandt

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.

Jim Leija

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.


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

Zack Denfeld

Stevenson. There are hidden fairy

MFA 2007

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

Rose Jaffe

essay and work by The Center For

BFA 2011

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,


/  46

“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

Meghan Grubb

an attitude that recognizes the power of revision and persistence has helped me

MFA 2012

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

Charlie Naebeck

technologies, Meghan makes works of

BFA 2014

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,

MFA 2013

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

Parisa Ghaderi

big, bright spotlight. I soon learned to

MFA 2014

   Glimpses of Italy will be available for

embrace this feeling of discomfort, and

Parisa directed and wrote the story

purchase at

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


what sticks.

•   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.



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. 

• IN


Alfred K. Becker

William B. Klatt

Frances E. Taylor

BDes 1966; Teach.Cert. 1966

BDes 1952

BDes 1945

Charles H. Clarke

Ronald A. Kleemann

Virginia A. Tesh

BDes 1951

BDes 1961

BDes 1938

Shirley E. Coller

Eleanor S. Leon

Jan G. Vonk.

BDes 1946

BFA 1981

BDes 1966; AM 1978

John M. Gruszczynski

Barbara H. Outwater

Teach.Cert. 1968; BFA 1968

BDes 1945

Paula A. Heneveld

Barbara J. Richardson

BDes 1967

BDes 1952 STAMPS E M E R G E N C E  

/  48

The Stamps Community is Online!   ↘

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


  → _ 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



49  /  STAMPS





Learn more at:

Follow us on: Instagram Go To →


Twitter → _ Stamps


Facebook →

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

Luke Raymond

Regional Alumni Co-Chairs:

Ann Aikens

Ellen L. Rontal

Roddie Pistilli, Northern California

Robert Aikens

Maxine Snider

Linda Banks, Southern California

Linda Banks

Larry Snider

Kevin Smith, Southern California

Thomas L. Dent MD

Penny Stamps

Ellen L. Rontal, Illinois

Joan K. Rosenberg-Dent

E. Roe Stamps IV

Judy Maugh, Michigan - Ann Arbor

Debra Gorman

Ilene Steglitz

Ann Aikens, Michigan - Detroit

Steve Gorman

Marc Steglitz

Sally Angell Parsons, Michigan - Detroit

Bette Klegon Halby

Chris Van Allsburg

Janet Watkins, Michigan - Grand Rapids

Gary Halby

Lisa Van Allsburg

Bette Klegon Halby, New York

Susan Isaak

Susan Smucker Wagstaff

Susan Isaak, New York

Odette Maskell

Reid Wagstaff

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

Policy Statement

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


/  50 with your summer address.

Alumni and Development Office at 734-764-0586 or

Please contact Amber Connell in the Stamps School’s

sure you hear about them.

events Up North in the summers, and we’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



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?

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Emergence - From School to Creative Work  

The spring 2015 issue of the U-M Stamps School of Art & Design alumni magazine, Emergence, focuses on Stamps students' transition from schoo...

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