Graphic Design Students and Faculty attend the AIGA National Conference 

Graphic Design students from the special topics course Design Thinking instructed by Professor Keith Ellis, attended the AIGA National Conference “Head, Heart, Hand” in Minneapolis. The AIGA is the largest national organization for Graphic Design in the country and presents this major biennial event.

This conference was an amazing experience for the graphic design students as they had an opportunity to exchange ideas and be reviewed by some of the most prominent graphic designers in the field, such as George Lois (whom the character Don Draper in Mad Men is partially based) and Michael Beirut (Pentagram Design) as well as being exposed to some of their favorite designers whose work they were familiar with but had never met. They also had the opportunity to network while having their portfolios reviewed by professionals representing Adobe, Google, IBM, Etsy, Saks 5th Ave, IDEO and many other smaller firms.

The students who attended this conference provided a first hand accounting through their blogs which are available at the link below.

AIGA National Conference Student Blog

Graphic Communication


Professor Letts featured in Book on Michigan Landscape Artists

Associate Professor Michael Letts is a featured artist in the “Art of the Sleeping Bear Dunes: Transforming Nature into Art”, a book published in fall 2013 by the Leelanau Press. The book features a juried selection of art works inspired by the landscape of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore of Michigan. An exhibition of works from the book is being held at the Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, opening in October 2013.

Professor Letts began developing a series of paintings inspired by the dunes when he was an artist in residence for the Glen Arbor Art Association at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in summer of 2011. From this series of work, the large acrylic painting “Sleeping Bear 3” was selected for inclusion in the book. The book includes 108 works, juried from over 250 submissions. Jurors were Mary McNichols, professor of Art History at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and E. W. Ross, an an internationally known artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The book also includes an essay by Jerry Dennis, a nationally acclaimed writer whose essays have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Smithsonian, Audubon, and Orion.

The book is available at the Dennos Museum store.

Michael Letts

Art Education

Dennos Museum Store


Art and Design Alumnus Takes Film Festival Awards

Joe Rule, a recent graduate of the Computer Art program, won the Best of Show award at the Saugatuck Shorts Film Festival on October 12 for his animation “Eat Your Vegetables.” The animation was completed as part of AD 403: Senior Exhibition in April, 2013. “Eat Your Vegetables” also won the Best in Animation category in the Young Michigan Filmmakers Festival over the summer and the Best Animated Film in the Made-in-Michigan Film Festival on October 19.

Young Michigan Filmmakers Festival

Made in Michigan Film Festival