Photography Exhibit by Christine Flavin at the Beaumier Heritage Center

Professor Christine Flavin, with the support of a NMU Faculty Research Grant, documented the abandoned mining landscapes of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as they appear today. Using hand-built pinhole and zone plate cameras she photographed the sites scanned the film and outputted the images to ink jet printers in the School of Art and Design’s Computer Art Studio. The photographs capture the remains of the mining industry and resemble landscapes from ancient ruins. The exhibition “Vanishing Horizons: An Interpretation of Abandoned Mining sites in the Upper Peninsula” is currently on display in the Cohodas Building at the new location of the Beaumier Heritage Center, a museum and research center dedicated to the cultural history of the Upper Peninsula.

Beaumier Heritage Center



Myra Greene a Keynote Speaker at 2008 United in Diversity Conference at NMU

Myra Greene, Professor of Photography from Columbia College in Chicago and a keynote speaker at Northern Michigan University’s 2008 United in Diversity Conference, discussed with students in the photography program the methods and concepts behind her series of self portraits titled “Character Recognition.” Using antique photographic processes she revisits ethnographic imagery made of slaves in the era of the Civil War. Seven of the seventy image series are featured in the “United in Art” exhibition in the DeVos Museum of Art.

Myra Greene



The New Studio for Experimental and Eco-Design (SEED) Opens at NMU

The new Studio for Experimental and Eco-Design (SEED), inaugurated at the beginning of the fall semester, provides a focal point for students, faculty and the community with a broad spectrum of information and exposure to current practices in design (e.g. technology, ethics) and economic and manufacturing strategies from a global perspective including the offering of lectures, symposia, joint ventures and international travel. The center incorporates an interdisciplinary approach that includes Design, Business and Sustainability. Entrepreneurs interested in developing prototypes of products can contact professor Peter Pless, the director of SEED at 906-227-2194 or Pictured at right is student Zachery Luhellier’s prototype for a snowplow resistant mailbox developed for a SEED client. The studio is located in room 173 of Art and Design building on the campus of Northern Michigan University. See the links below for additional information about SEED.

NMU Communications and Marketing

Marquette Mining Journal

Human-Centered Design


DeVos Director Published in Proximity Magazine

DeVos Art Museum Director Melissa Matuscak is published in the current issue of Proximity Magazine. The piece is a review of an exhibition, “Street Art”, at the Tate Modern in London. The exhibition was the first major public museum display of street art in London and was presented in two parts. Six internationally known artists were commissioned to create new works on the museum building’s iconic river facade, and five artists from Madrid were commissioned to create pieces in the neighborhood surrounding the museum. Matuscak visited the Tate last summer while in England to present a paper at the International Conference for the Arts in Society in Birmingham.

Proximity Magazine

International Conference for the Arts in Society

The DeVos Art Museum


HCD Student Recognized in International Design Competition

Human Centered Design major, Amanda Leppi was recently recognized in an international design competition hosted by Her design, “Landscape Plate,” was short listed out of 4843 designers from 98 countries and was displayed in Milan, Italy at Macef International Home Show. Amanda’s design combines research of geographic information systems (GIS) in conjunction with behavioral rituals encompassed within the dining experience. For more information please see the link below.


Human Centered Design


Social Structures Students Visit Arketype

Pictured at right (standing center) is Paul Meinke (A+D Graphic Design,1984) who is Principal and President of Arketype, a national, award-winning design and advertising firm located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Mr. Meinke and his staff graciously hosted a visit by two Social Structures classes traveling to Chicago in March. Students were provided with a tour of the firm’s new headquarters and a presentation that featured examples of Arketype’s services that include print, packaging, new media, and television. Arketype’s client base is a broad mix of consumer product and business-to-business companies, from Fortune 500’s to small businesses.



School Hosts Photoshop Wars 2008

Photoshop Wars was hosted by the School of Art and Design on April 4, 2008. Students were given one hour to complete an image utilizing Adobe Photoshop. The image was based on a theme announced at the beginning of the event, which required fast idea development and even faster execution from the participants. The first battle of the day was a solo battle in which each participant completed an image and the battle was won by Chris Paluch. The solo event was followed by a team battle in which teams of two to four participants completed a single image. Coordinated by Stephan Larson, the event was created to have an entertaining, competitive arena for students to show-off their technical, design and conceptual skills. The time limit not only adds to the intensity of the battle, but also mimics a real-world situation where solutions often need to be completed in a very short timeframe. As added motivation, prizes were awarded by a panel of Art and Design faculty and a separate Audience Choice award was determined by the voting of participants and audience.


The DeVos Art Museum Hosts Visiting Artists and Scholars

The DeVos Art Museum welcomed ten visiting artists and scholars over the past year in conjunction with exhibitions at the museum. As part of the visits, students had the opportunity to meet with the artists first hand in the classroom, participate in workshops, hear the artists talk about their work in the exhibitions and see the artists present slide lectures on their artistic practice. Last fall, Jeremy Tinder and Amy E. Mayfield met with students and gave tours of their work in the exhibition “Told and Retold: Stories From Chicago”. In October, Yin Mei held a special workshop with dance students as part of her solo exhibition “Three Thousand Yin Mei”. In January as part of the “reGeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow” exhibition, Rod Slemmons, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago) presented the lecture “Photography Without Boundaries”. Angela Strassheim, whose work is featured in the reGeneration exhibition, visited from Minneapolis in February and gave a slide lecture about her work in the art history lecture hall. In March, Perin Mahler, Jim Nawara and Lucille Nawara, all part of the “7 Painters” exhibition, came for the reception and Perin Mahler also presented a slide lecture on his work.

images from top to bottom:

Jeremy Tinder (top left) giving a tour to an Illustration class and Amy E. Mayfield (bottom second from right) discusses her work with a Social Structures class.

The DeVos Art Museum


Pless Prototype Featured in Cologne Exhibit

A chaise lounge prototype by Professor Peter Pless (Human-Centered Design) was featured in the “Fabulous 50” exhibit at the 2008 International Furnishing Show in Cologne, Germany. The annual weeklong event, attended by Professor Pless, showcases the work of established design stars and creative newcomers whose creations, ranging from production-ready designs to blue-sky speculative concepts, represent the “interiors of tomorrow”. Pless was one of only two Americans selected for the exhibit. For additional information about Professor Pless’ furniture design see the link below to Kristi Evans’ feature story in Campus.


Human-Centered Design

Peter Pless Home Page


The February issue of AmericanStyle Magazine Features Alumni from the School

The February issue of AmericanStyle magazine features five alumni from the School of Art and Design. Patrick Dragon, Kathleen Conover, Maureen Bergquist Gray, and Ed and Julie Risak. The article highlights each artist’s work and their relationship to the beautiful but demanding environment of the upper peninsula of Michigan. The author of the article, Lynda McDaniel states: “This finger of land, tied to Michigan only by an address and a bridge, is so independent it could just as easily be the 51st state. Life here, unsullied by too many chain stores or media extravaganzas, moves ahead at its own pace, influenced less by modern culture than by nature and a rich history of Native Americans, logging and mining. A sort of artistic terroir flourishes, yielding artwork that is truly unique to this place”.