Art Education Professor awarded Best in Show

Professor Michael Letts was awarded “Best in Show” at the 70th Anniversary Art Annual of the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The exhibit runs from March 4th to May 10th, 2015.

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The Art Annual is open to artists in the 24 counties of northeastern Wisconsin and the 14 counties of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Of the 54 artists that applied this year, 22 had work that was accepted into the show. The juror was Ryan Mandell, a professor of art at UW-Milwaukee. The show this year addressed a theme of Legacy.

Mandell felt that of the 129 individual pieces of submitted work, 29 pieces told the best story about this region’s landscape and its change over time. Letts had two paintings selected for inclusion in the exhibit, “Sanctuary” and “Monument II.” He won the award for his painting “Sanctuary.”

Link to the Show Page

Art Education at Northern Michigan Univeristy

NMU Art & Design Student Receives Recongintion

NMU Freshman Filmmaker Chosen as a Finalist for National Geographic Competition

Congratulations to Jake Lamons of Kalamazoo, Michigan whose short film “Northern” has was chosen as a finalist for National Geographic’s “Wild to Inspire” short film competition. The NMU freshman, Lamons was surprised by the news since the other three finalists are all professional filmmakers set in exotic locations. Lamons was flown out to Idaho for the Sun Valley Film Festival and although he did not win the competition being chosen as a finalist brought good exposure to the young filmmaker.

Northern from Jake Lamons on Vimeo.

NMU School of Art & Design Digital Cinema Program

Art Student Receives Technology Innovation Award


Art Education Major (Painting Concentration) Breanne Kanak won the Northern Michigan University Technology Innovation Award for 2015 for her project entitled Vicissitudes. In her artist statement, Breanne describes the project.

  • Vicissitudes are natural changes or mutations, which are usually out of the realm of human control or prediction. Cancers, diseases, broken bones, deterioration, and conversely growth and healing can all be considered vicissitudes. In the past few years a number of my family members have had several serious health issues. The structures I have designed loosely reference the body parts and systems being addressed in the aforementioned illnesses. Each group of four drawings operates as a series and represents a different person or people, condition or event. I draw directly onto standard sketchbook paper using Micron pens of varying sizes. The biggest challenge in this process is learning to accept whatever mistakes are made or directions are taken. The 3D prints of the drawings present a new view of the existing lines on the paper and create a more accurate sense of scale.

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The Educational Technology and Resource Policy Committee reviewing proposals for the award noted the following about Breanne’s work.

  • The committee members found your project to be innovative: medical information turned into art form using 3D printing. Your project is about telling a story with art, specifically using art to help explain a medical condition (it provides the ability to reach someone; to turn it into something positive). It also helps to change the image of Technology as something cold.

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Northern Michigan University Art Education Program
School of Art & Design Drawing & Painting Program

Digital Cinema Club 4Reels Holds 24 Hour Challenge

On April 3rd the Northern Michigan Student Group, 4Reels Digital Cinema Club held a 24hour Cinema Challenge where student groups were required to complete a short film incorporating keywords provided by the group: tie and profit. The competition had groups ranging from freshman to seniors and included Art & Design Digital Cinema Majors, and students from other programs on campus. Below are the First Place, Second (Honorable Mention), and Third Place Winners.

First Place – Hold On by Profit – Josh Liimatta & Joshua Briones

Second Place (Honorable Mention) – Concerned Citizen – Aaron Chieply, Sara Bliesener, & Adam Kirkendall

Third Place – False Prophet – Trent Bailey, Ben Harrer, Madelyn Houghton, & Matt Mizerowsk


Digital Cinema at Northern Michigan University
4 Reels Digital Cinema Club
TV3 News Story