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


Professor Flavin Leads Study Abroad Course Exploring the Origins of Photography

Associate Professor Christine Flavin and the students enrolled in the her Faculty Led Study Abroad course (photo), “Exploring the Origins of Photography” course in the School of Art and Design, traveled to France and England at the end of the Winter 2013 semester. They were following the footsteps of the inventors and early practitioners of photography. The trip began in Provence where the group photographed the ancient Roman and Medieval Gothic ruins in St. Remy, Arles, Luberon and Roussillon. They then moved north to Paris stopping at Chalon Sur Saone (home of the first inventor of photography, Nicéphore Niépce). After four days in Paris the class crossed the English Chanel to spend time in London and explore the surrounding countryside. The trip culminated with a visit to Lacock Abbey, home of William Henry Fox Talbot, (another inventor of photography) where students attended a workshop in which they reenacted the first photographic process.



Art and Design Alumnus Edwin Carter Featured in MoMA Design Store

A calendar designed by Edwin Carter (Photography, 2006) is currently available through the MoMA Store. Edwin Carter is based out of Marquette, Michigan, and focuses on conceptually driven, minimal, contemporary design with strong attention to typographic details that reference the The International Typographic Style.

Prior to working in Marquette, he studied graphic design at a graduate level in San Francisco, interned in one of the design departments of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and briefly worked at the award winning studio Hyperakt, in Brooklyn, where he worked on projects for clients such as Thomson Reuters, the United Nations, and the Ford Foundation.

Edwin Carter

MoMA Store 17-Month 2014 Calendar Notebook


Professor Rajagopal Presents Workshop Featuring Grant Funded Letterpress

The coming together of tradition (letterpress) and modern technology (platemaking facility) has provided students in the School of Art and Design with the opportunity to experiment with alternative methods of production. The letterpress was added to the graphics program by Professor Shravan Rajagopal in 2011 and has been in active use for more than a year. A photopolymer platemaker was added to the letterpress facility and was inaugurated this winter semester in a workshop instructed by Professor Rajagopal with over 15 participants. The platemaker enables students to transfer their digital artwork on to photopolymer plates. The process begins with exposing the photopolymer plate for a programmed duration using a digital negative of the artwork. The plate is then placed in a washer unit that helps rinse away areas that are unexposed. Once the plate is dry, it can be easily mounted on to an aluminum base and printed using the letterpress. The letterpress and platemaking facility was funded by the Wildcat Innovation Fund grant award. (Photograph by Dennis Staffne)

Graphic Communication



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



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


Lautner Article By Museum Director Published in the Michigan History Magazine

DeVos Art Museum Director and Curator Melissa Matuscak recently had an article published in the Michigan History Magazine. The article is the first comprehensive biography published about architect John Lautner, including his family history in Marquette. Lautner is an alumni of Northern Michigan University (BS ’33) and was a fellow at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin from 1933-1939. Lautner established a very successful architectural firm in Los Angeles and is considered one of the preeminent architects of the Modernist period. The article follows an exhibition on Lautner at the DeVos Art Museum in 2011, which was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition. Matuscak is a 2002 graduate of NMU, with a BFA in Graphic Communications. She received an MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007.

Michigan History Magazine

NPR’s Morning Edition John Lautner Exhibition

DeVos Art Museum


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