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


Student Work Selected for Exhibition at ICFF 2013 New York

Senior Furniture Design student, Brendan Solinsky was among 12 students from across the country selected to exhibit work at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York. As part of a call for entries hosted by the Furniture Society and sponsored by Powermatic, selected student’s work will be on display at ICFF May 18-21. As a part of the work being on view in New York, Powermatic has also created an online gallery and competition with voting for “The People’s Choice Award.” The student receiving the most votes will win a Powermatic bandsaw.

“Table Chair” by Solinsky, features a design focused for a small space and serves as multi-functional furniture. “Table Chair” can be repositioned into a variety of forms, a feature Solinsky identified as “a major concern in small living environments”. Solinsky’s work can be voted for as part of the Powermatic competition. Voting will expire on May 20th when the winner of the competition will be announced.

Student Competition Online Gallery

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Woodworking and Furniture Design


Professor Kakas Invited to Exhibit Works at Galateea Galley in Bucharest, Romani

Assistant Professor of Ceramics, Brian Kakas, was invited to participate in the 3rd International Ceramics Now Exhibition held in Bucharest, Romania. Artworks included in this exhibition were created by 22 artists from 14 different countries and selected by the Asociatia Ceramics Organization. The organization based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, produces an international ceramic journal that published a review of Professor Kakas’ works in the January 2012 publication. While in attendance at the exhibit, Kakas presented lectures at The University of Art & Design, Cluj- Napoca and University of Bucharest. Kakas has been invited to return to Bucharest for a residency by the Romanian Fine Art Union where he will produce work for an exhibition and conduct workshops.

Ceramics Now Magazine

Brian Kakas



Student Art Exhibition at the William Bonifas Arts Center

A student exhibition from Northern Michigan University’s School of Art and Design is currently on display at the William Bonifas Fine Art Center in Escanaba, Michigan. The exhibit is designed to feature the diverse studio arts being created in completion of undergraduate degrees. The title, “No B.S. (or B.F.A.) Yet!” denotes the students current status of currently working on but not finished with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree. Students selected for the exhibition first were required to successfully complete their junior year portfolio review and receive support from their major professor. This exhibition provides a showcase for the individual pursuits of the students involved and highlights the work of advanced students from multiple studio areas of the school. The exhibit will be on display through the end of February.

The William Bonifas Arts Center


Professor Pless Invited to Exhibit at the Salon Satellite and Neocon

In April of 2012 Associate Professor Peter Pless was invited back to Milan, Italy for and exhibition of new designs at the Salone Satellite. The “Link Series” consisted of three new modular designs that articulate amongst each other allowing for a range of sculptural configurations specific to the need and function. The international exhibition showcased the work of young designers from all continents and attracted close to 50,000 visitors to this year’s fair.

Following the Salone Satellite, Professor Pless was invited to exhibit the “Link Series” in Chicago, Illinois at the Merchandise Mart for North America’s largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors, “NeoCon.” Professor Pless’s designs were displayed in the “Materials Pavilion” curated by Interiors and Sources magazine. BTD Powder Coating, Material Intelligence and Interiors and Sources Magazine sponsored this showcase. (photograph by Christine Flavin)

Salon Satellite Catalogue 2012

Peter Pless

Human Centered Design


Alumnus Recipient of the 2nd Annual MANIFEST PRIZE

Brett Eberhardt, a 2002 graduate of the School of Art and Design, has received the MANIFEST AWARD, sponsored by the Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Eberhardt’s oil painting, titled “Red Plate”, was selected from 252 entries submitted by artists from across the country. Ten jurors review the entries until ONE from among hundreds is selected for exhibition in the Parallel Space Gallery , where it is the only work on display. The Manifest Prize has become an annual offering, which includes a cash award, and is featured in the gallery catalogue.

Eberhardt received his MFA from Syracuse University and is currently an Associate Professor of Painting at Western Illinois University. His work is exhibited nationally and he is represented by Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.


Drawing and Painting


Artwork by Professor Steven Hughes Selected for National Exhibitions

Assistant Professor of Illustration, Steven Hughes, has had work selected for exhibit at three recent national juried shows.

His poster illustration (pictured), Angel Rising, is part of the 2nd Annual International Commitment to Excellence in Art and Sport: A Fine Art Competition Exhibit at the National Art Museum of Sport (NAMOS) at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. It will be on exhibit October 27, 2011 until February 29, 2012. NAMOS was founded in 1959, and features one of the nation’s largest collections of fine art depicting sports. The collection includes more than 900 paintings, photographs, sculptures, and mixed-media works representing some 40 sports.

Her Name is Alice, a charcoal drawing on vellum, has been selected for the Third Annual Drawing and Painting Exhibition at Lore Degenstein Gallery, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania from October 29 through December 9, 2011. This is a national visual art competition and exhibition of contemporary, figurative, painting, drawing and printmaking.

In addition, Composition #1, a small abstract of found and stained papers, is viewable online as part of The National Collage Society’s 27th Annual Juried Exhibit. Professor Hughes’ artwork was selected from 149 collages and assemblages from nearly 400 national and international entries.

Degenstein Gallery Susquehanna University

Steven Hughes, Primary Hughes Illustration



Painting by Professor Letts Selected for ArtPrize 2011 Exhibition

Assistant Professor of Art Education, Michael Letts, was selected to exhibit a painting at ArtPrize 2011, an international competitive art exhibition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan in October. Works of art from a total of 21 countries worldwide were selected by curators to be shown in 162 venues around the city.

The DeVos Place Convention Center, one of the largest venues in the city, selected Professor Letts’ 6′ x 15′ painting, Ancient Coast 2. The adjudication process to be featured in the most prestigious and frequented venues was extremely competitive. The DeVos Place Convention Center was one of the most desired exhibit spaces for artists, having hosted the second-place winner in 2010. Ancient Coast 2 was placed in a prime location, near the main entrance, and next to 2011 winner Mia Tavonatti’s entry (see photo). Professor Letts’ web page has additional views of his paintings including Ancient Coast 2.


Michael Letts Portfolio

Art Education


Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition Features Professor Wedig and Students

Professor of Metalsmithing and Sculpture, Dale Wedig, and five of his student majors were selected to exhibit their artwork in October at the recent national, invitational, 6th Annual Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition at the Step Gallery on the campus of Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona. The juried exhibition of jewelry and metalwork from faculty and students of selected universities across the nation included Arizona State University, California State University at Long Beach, Colorado State University, East Carolina University, Kent State University, and Northern Michigan University. Student work from the School of Art and Design at NMU was created by Wade Buck (pictured-honorable mention), Kelly Gilligan, Laurel Mills, Andrew Hanson, and Gina Graci. A catalog of the exhibition is being produced and will be published at the end of November. This exhibition featured the individual artistic accomplishments of the students and brings national distinction to both the program and university as a whole.

The 6th Annual Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition

Jewelry, Metalsmithing and Blacksmithing


Ceramic Expo in Jingdezhen, China Features Recent Works by Professor Kakas

Assistant Professor of Ceramics, Brian Kakas was selected to exhibit recent works from a residency in China at the 2011 Kaolin Grand Prix for International Ceramic Arts. Exhibited works were juried into the exhibition along with other professional artists from a total of 25 countries worldwide in conjunction with the largest ceramic festival held annually in China showcasing innovative ceramic designers and artists. Professor Kakas received an award of Excellence and selected work has been acquired into the permanent collection of The Great China Museum. Jurors included internationally acclaimed artists such as: Professor of Ceramics, Fumio Shimada, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan; Director of Ceramics & Glass, In Chin Lee, Hong-ik University, South Korea; Director of Ceramics, Nancy Selvage, Harvard University, USA; Head of Ceramics & Glass, Tapio Yli-Viikari, Aalto University School of Art and Design, Finland. Study abroad programs are currently being developed by Professor Kakas for a greater exposure to the ceramic art and design field throughout Europe and Asia.

Brian Kakas, Sculptural Ceramic Vessels