MCAD

This September, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s Master of Fine Arts program hosted our annual student-run fall exhibition. The event was held at our spacious new gallery space on Stevens Avenue, right up the street from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and MCAD’s main campus. The exhibition, APOPTOSIS 2016, showcased the work of first […]

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  • September
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This summer, MCAD MFA mentor and MCAD Illustration faculty member Jaime Anderson was selected to participate in ArtCrank 2016: Art That Loves Bikes. Anderson has illustrated for a wide range of advertising clients and  publications, including The Star Tribune, MinnPost, Dish Network, Hour Detroit, The Wall Street Journal, American Express, Eugene Weekly, and Oregon Business Magazine. Her […]

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This summer, second-year illustration MFA candidate Jacob Yeates was selected to participate in 410 Gallery’s “Project Bike: Traveling Minnesota one Piece at a Time.” From MN Artists: “410’s Project Bike is a state wide bicycle trip, art exhibition, and travel documentary with local artists setting the destinations. For a few weeks this summer the 410 Project’s […]

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This September, illustration MFA candidate Sishir Bommakanti ’18 and comic arts alum John Bivens ’16 attended the Small Press Expo in Bethesda Maryland. Both artists participated in the symposium by supplying work for sale to the public. The Small Press Expo, or SPX, is an annual comics and graphic arts festival which “presents the best and brightest […]

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  • September
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This month, MFA alum Preston Drum ’16 held an artist residency at the Soap Factory, as part of the exciting new “3×5” project. The project hosts one or more emerging artists to create work in three unique gallery spaces within the iconic Minneapolis Soap Factory building, and holds an open house group exhibition of their work at […]

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This month, first year MFA painter student Jonathan Aller displayed his work at the Truckstop Gallery on Nicolette Island. The opening, on Saturday September 17th, showcased the work of seven artists: Caitlin Karolczak, Joe Limpert, Jonathan Aller, Brandon Martin, Peter Geyen, Todd Cameron, and Jason Kittel. For more information: Truckstop Gallery event page Jonathan Aller

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This month, MFA Illustration alum Niky Motekallem ’16 and Illustration mentor Allegra Lockstadt participated in a group show at the Public Functionary gallery in Minneapolis entitled “CLAWS: 16 Illustrators grappling with their obsessions.” The exhibition was inspired by the hauntingly accurate David Foster Wallace quote,“Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” […]

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  • September
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MFA Drawing and Painting candidate Michaela Chorn was accepted this month into the In.Art Show, a juried and judged art competition complete with show opening and awards ceremony, at the Hallberg Center for the Arts in Wyoming, MN. Chorn joined a list of 69 participants who competed for $3600 in awards for excellence in art. Chorn’s […]

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  • September
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Earlier this month, a selection of our Minneapolis College of Art and Design MFA students were selected into a juried group show with MFA candidates from the University of Minnesota. The show, entitled CO.NFLUENCE, was a coming together between our respective programs, to foster community and create dialogue. The show presented a variety of disciplines including photography, painting, animation, printmaking, illustration, […]

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  • September
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This month, graphic designer Joe Letchford ’17 hosts the first show of the year in MCAD’s Gallery 148. The exhibit, a solo project entitled Not Enough, explores the in-flux relationships between digital media and the natural world. “Not Enough explores how our experience of natural landscapes has been permanently altered by an increasingly digital culture. […]

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  • September
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This summer, second-year sculptors Samantha Russell and Jesse Lentz gave the MCAD grounds a major upgrade. Together they worked to restore a sculpture garden staple, “Blue Hondo,” the work of artist and faculty member Mike Bigger. Lentz and Russell were commissioned by Karen Wirth, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Don Myhre, 3D Shop Director, to refinish the […]

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MCAD MFA Illustration alum Julie Van Grol ’14 has gone viral. Her instagram phenomenon #100DaysofBadassBabes has been shared and embraced by artists, journalists, philanthropic organizations, and personal heroes of Van Grol herself. Late last month the Huffington Post featured the project on its blog, highlighting not only Van Grol’s artistic chops, but the cultural import of the project: “As a […]

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Mixed media and sculpture alum Sarah Faye McPherson ’16, was asked to design an installation for the lobby and retail space of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, to be unveiled in tandem with the opening of their exhibit, “Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection” As an interdisciplinary artist, McPherson’s work spans many […]

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  • August
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This month, illustrator Jacob Yeates ’17, was featured in Creative Quarterly magazine as part of their Issue 42-43. The magazine “asks the question: Where does your inspiration come from? What person, place or thing inspires your work?” Yeates’ work is highly metaphorical, and confronts harsh realities in our political and social landscapes. His Creative Quarterly piece, entitled […]

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  • August
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This month, MFA alum Kelsey Zigmund, ’14, will be featured at Chicago’s Village Tap, in a show entitled “Sodashoppe Punk.” Zigmund also sat for a lively interview by Carlyn Hill of Threadless, a site which offers Zigmund’s work for purchase, printed on men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel. According to Zigmund, her concept of Sodashoppe Punk was inspired by the “hyperbolic, raw […]

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This month, second-year painters Erin Sandsmark and Yijia Li were selected to show their works as part of an exhibition at the New Bohemian Gallery in Brainerd, MN, entitled “Exposed.” From the event page: “This exhibition focuses on the nude, one of the most recognizable subject matter in the history of art, and something that […]

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This month, Mandy Martinson ’16 and local artist Daniel McCarthy-Clifford hosted a group show of their works at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. In the exhibition, Bless this Mess, both artists reflect on their exposure to criminology, and in so doing, deconstruct conventional perceptions of the “idyllic” home and family life. Mandy’s work confronts the collision between […]

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This month, MFA alumni painters Liza Dorsey ’16 and Leslie Barlow ’16 held artist residencies at the Soap Factory, as part of the exciting new “3×5” project. The project hosts one or more emerging artists to create work in three unique gallery spaces within the iconic Minneapolis Soap Factory building, and holds an open house group […]

This month, MFA mentor Luis Fitch exhibits his works in a group show entitled “Folklore Remix,” at Gamut Gallery in Minneapolis. In this exhibition, Luis Fitch, Rodrigo Oñate & Repo “remix” the stories of their childhood. “They have retrofitted their Mexican, Central American, and Minnesotan mythologies with a crisp, vibrant street art sensibility. Like old […]

This summer, the University of Minnesota Bee Squad offered to host two of MCAD’s new beehives at the Bee Vets Apiary at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport. Second year MFA student, Joel Terry, decorated the hives with a spray painted design that he created especially for the hives.   Joel was asked to create a design for the bee hives that […]

This month two MFA alumni, illustrator Niky Motekallem ’16 and comic artist Alex Mitchell ’16, participated in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ Third Thursday. Their project was a collaborative and participatory piece entitled “The Storytree.” From Alex: “The Storytree is a large sequential narrative project that takes shape in collaboration with the public. It allows visitors […]

This month, sculptor Samantha Russell, ’17, and MFA alum Rachel Leigh Jennings, ’16, were published in Barbed Magazine’s Issue #04. Barbed “is a blended publication of new works, artist’s nodes, performance art, food reviews, interactions, and new artists; produced in limited edition copies. Barbed Magazine is printed twice a year, in the Spring and the […]

Nick Rivers, MFA alum ’16, was featured this month by MN Artists, in an article by artist and fellow MCAD MFA alum Andrea Carlson, ’05. The article offers reflection and discussion of Rivers’ Thesis project: 5 Day Fast [My Theses on Art]. The project was a durational performance held on the main grounds of Minneapolis College of […]

This month, graphic designer Qiuwen Li, MFA ’16, has several pieces on display at Minneapolis’ TractorWorks building in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown. Once a John Deere tractor factory, the prominent office building is a piece of fascinating Minneapolis history. “Renovations boast polished concrete, frosted glass, oxidized steel, and contemporary fabrics through the space, an aesthetic […]

This spring, MFA sculptor Joel Terry was selected to participate in the juried show, Untitled 12, at the Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis. From Soo Vac: “Untitled 12 marks the twelfth year of SooVAC’s juried exhibition series. Untitledprovides opportunities for artists working in any medium and at any stage of their career, resulting in […]

This month, MFA alum Jo Yeh ’15 was selected as the Featured Artist by the art and poetry journal Vagabond City. Yeh’s interview was published along with several selected illustrations for their 10th Issue. From  Vagabond: “Each piece is a thought in itself, the sort of thing you’d make your cover photo or text to your best friends not just to seem […]

On Friday May 13th, MCAD hosted the culminating exhibition of our graduating Master of Fine Arts candidates.  This was the inaugural thesis exhibition at the program’s new studio and gallery space, and was the result of a two-year interdisciplinary journey of intensive research and studio practice. Presenting a variety of disciplines including photography, painting, animation, printmaking, illustration, sculpture, […]

In April, MFA Alum Kelli Nelson ’13 returned to Ecce Gallery in Fargo, North Dakota for her second solo painting exhibition. Kelli’s work suggests ties to Francis Bacon and Oehlen stylistically, but she maintains her own distinct, nuanced voice throughout her latest series of paintings. She has taught foundation drawing at MCAD, drawing, painting, and figure drawing at […]

Leslie Barlow’s work consists of oil painting, collage, and drawings. She uses the figure and narrative elements to talk about issues related to multiculturalism, “otherness,” and identity. Working within the history of figurative painting, the figure offers a fertile ground to push the boundaries of our known visual language and inject that history with a new […]

Julie Reneé Benda thinks of lakes, rocks, and trees as an original vocabulary—one that infuses her understanding of the world through story and experience. In her artwork, she uses her own and others’ narratives of place to promote and strengthen this communication. The work builds upon her explorations of creating thoughtful environments and subtle interactions that […]

John Bivens is an award-winning visual storyteller, focused on the comic book medium. His work reflects a love of watching society and interpreting the cause of social actions. Instead of turning away in reaction, he uses dark humor to help him digest the information he absorbs. In his thesis, Lil’ Charlie, John has created a new […]

Anna Leigh Biedenbender is interested in the human condition. In her work she dissolves figure/ground relationships into compositions of gestural line and mark. Through this process, she reflects on the intersections of personal identity, sanctuary, and relationship. Anna works from multiple sources, referencing photographs, direct observation, and other renderings. She combines and translates this information through painting […]

When so much of our digital identity is comprised of selected fictions, Allison Brown crafts fictions that live in those spaces as truth. The majority of her work is grounded in her working-class childhood in south-central Indiana. Feminism, politics, and class are central lenses through which she construct her narratives; populism versus authority acts as […]

Kelsey Bosch creates installations in moving image, sculpture, and sound reflecting on our mediated relationship to nature. For the two past years, she has focused on ice, linking her experience of winter, living in Minnesota, to the abstract and absent phenomenon she hears occurring in polar regions. Her work is rooted in looking and listening, […]

Kayla Campbell’s work is directly influenced by the nature of campy kitsch, pop culture, and the never-ending search for some waterfront property in the uncanny valley. It’s something with which she has been fascinated before she knew what it was, or that the concept had a name. She is interested in how these campy, kitschy, […]

Siqi Cheng is a graphic designer who focuses on typography, specifically the relationship letters have as two-dimensional forms with three-dimensional forms. She is interested in the relationship of typography to our daily life. In researching different types, she investigates the legibility and display within various type forms. Siqi is interested in the relationship of typography to […]

Trained as a photographer, but working with many mediums, Andi Fink investigates the many facets that make up a contemporary feminine experience, especially as it pertains to the body. Her work examines the body as a canvas to act upon, a refuge against the world, and as a personal penitentiary. In a practice that involves […]

Rob Gooding’s films aim—through hyperreal visual storytelling—to make you feel cornered and to look at things you do not normally see. Within the short films he makes, emotional trajectories of years are concentrated into stories under twenty minutes to create an immediate experience. These emotions are expressed through his psychologically complex characters that deal with an […]

Though trained as a painter, Preston Drum has recently turned toward building interactive sculptural installations using cardboard, garbage, and other recycled materials. These installations are pseudo stages where the viewer becomes a part of a performance. There is no script for these plays—the work is driven by narratives of the downtrodden souls from his North Carolinian roots. […]

Liza Dorsey has been working toward describing and displaying documents that seek to encode the experience of flow onto a surface. Flow, a state of mind characterized by complete absorption in an activity, is something she experiences and implements when she paint. Driven by her competitive nature and a desire to create work that repeatedly evolves, Liza’s gestural […]

As a graphic designer, Cong Hu works through multimedia to explore the threshold and transform it within different forms. Art is a language that gives her the supplement to fill up vacancies in the design world. She never gets tired of enriching her skills and expanding her design vocabulary. Currently, she is exploring time. In her work, […]

Essma Imady’s medium of choice is film. Film is a very visual experience, and she challenges this through using limited imagery or a layered surface that does not allow the vision to penetrate to its depth in order to present questions about the limits of vision, and to trouble the relation between vision and knowledge. […]

Rachel Leigh Jennings comes from a rural landscape and her work is reflective of that upbringing. A sense of place acts as the central theme in her work, whether it is the subject matter, or reflected in the creation of a physical environment. Rachel’s fascination with objects and a corporeal presence is embodied through material […]

Patience Lekien’s creative practice is an engine with which he communicates and express blackness and issues that encompass it. Patience uses his practice to both define what culture sees as blackness, but at the same time dissect its core meaning and the chaotic beauty it embodies. He aims to capture the varying spectrums that allude […]

In Qiuwen Li’s designs, graphic elements are constructed, deconstructed, and then reconstructed in order to create a richer experience and extend their meaning. As a designer, Qiuwen understands the need for legibility, but she is more concerned with communicating something more visceral, expressive, and imaginative. Her work engages viewers in a way that evokes playing games and figuring out puzzles; […]

Katie Lupton is a cross-disciplinary designer. Her work aims to investigate relationships between design constraints and parameters within play and fun. The tactile nature of her work is heavily influenced by an interest in play and participation and how both can be incorporated into design solutions. The work Katie produces reflects the traditions and motifs of her Norwegian heritage, championing effortlessness […]

Growing up, Mandy Martinson heard endless stories from her father about his work as an investigator of violent crime. At the dinner table, it was just as common to hear about disturbing cases as it was to talk about how their days went. With this type of upbringing, Mandy became interested in criminology and the merging of work life […]

John Matsunaga is an artist who uses photography and artists’ books as his main media of expression. In his work, he focuses conceptually on history, memory and forgetting, and racial identity and inequality. Overall, John’s goal is to create social commentaries that promote an awareness of the constructed nature of and the biases within our histories, identities, and visual representations. […]

Sarah Faye McPherson explores ideas of impermanence and the connections she sees between three distinct spaces: nature, architecture, and the digital realm. She is fascinated by the concept of a mediated experience—where the digital realm, architectural space, and the natural world all collide to create a contemporary vocabulary relying on the cyclicality of these realms to […]

Heidi Miller tactically employs humor, meditative spaces, enigmatic approaches, and product-based solutions for social criticism, to create an escape, or to provide consumer alternatives. Using the “design for good” movement as a guide, she explores how graphic design can be revealing and have ethical impact.  Often, Heidi uses appropriated materials. Engaged with these design relics, she deconstructs them […]

Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies

Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies

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