Author: Keondre Lucas

Congratulations to Alumni, Justine Braisted!

Our alumna, Justine Braisted, who graduated in 2013 with a BFA concentrating in Communication Design has been offered a position at Pentagram in NYC—one of the most prestigious studios in the country. This brings the number of Graphic Design graduates who have worked there over the last few years to three (Haley Taylor ’15 and Emily Makarainen ’15). But the good news does not stop there for Justine, she has also been accepted in to the MFA program in Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art in London for the Fall 2016 semester. She will be joining UConn BFA graduate Sara Jamshidi who also graduated in 2013.

Congratulations, Justine!

Alumni Biennial (Three) Exhibition- January 26th-March 11th


January 26th – March 11th in the Contemporary Art Galleries

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm
The Contemporary Art Galleries announces its upcoming alumni exhibition, Alumni Biennial
January 26th through March 11th. The exhibition will feature four graduates from the University of
Connecticut’s Master of Fine Arts program. Juried by Jay Lehman, co-owner of New York City’s Morgan Lehman Gallery. Alumni Biennial (Three) will feature recent artwork by Deborah Zlotsky (MFA 1989), Jenn Dierdorf (MFA 2008) Siobhan Landry (MFA 2011) and Jared Holt (MFA 2014). Connecting each of these artists is a strong sense of play, either through style and appropriated imagery as with Dierdorf’s new flower portraits, through response to medium and process as with Zlotsky’s paintings and wall drawings, through the interactivity of Holt’s Typewriter, or through the dreamlike engagement with narrative in Landry’s video, A Place to Put Her. What starts as play gives way to complexity, engaging with important ideas of gender, sexuality, life, death, and the artist’s response.

For more information on the exhibition click here

Fine Arts Graduate, Antonio Campelli wins Marshall Scholarship

Recent graduate Antonio Campelli ’15 (SFA) has been named a winner of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. He is one of just 32 selected from among 916 applicants this year.

As the fourth Marshall recipient in UConn history – and 10th finalist since the 2005-2006 academic year – Campelli joins an impressive lineup of students who have gained the attention of the Marshall selection committee. Of the 10, he is the first to have graduated from the School of Fine Arts: the others have come from a variety of majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.

The Marshall Scholarship is Britain’s flagship government-funded program for American students who represent some of the finest and brightest college graduates in the United States. It is named after former Secretary of State George C. Marshall, and was established as a gesture of gratitude to the people of the United States for the assistance the U.S. provided after WWII under the Marshall Plan.

Congratulations Antonio!

See the UConn Today article in its’ entirety here

Applying to UConn Art? Upcoming Portfolio Review Session, 12/05/15!

Portfolio Review, Saturday, 12/05/15, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

Anyone interested in becoming a BFA in Art student at UConn must submit a portfolio for consideration. After filling out the Common Application, students can upload a portfolio to Slideroom. Alternatively, students can present a physical portfolio in person to our UConn faculty reviewers!

Portfolio Requirements
Application FAQs

Faculty reviewers will look at work and offer some feedback. If you’re a Senior and applying to UConn, this can constitute your official portfolio review!


Join us in the Art Building at the Storrs Campus, bring your portfolio, and don’t forget your sketchbook!

Election Day Printmaking Workshop for High School Educators

Fresh experiences (and the opportunity to explore letterpress) as well as techniques and projects to take back to the high-school studio (including programs with little or no printmaking equipment)!

Participants will create letterpress prints using wood and metal type on the Vandercook proof press. Polymer plate letterpress will be introduced. We will also explore the use of PVC foam board to make plates that can be used to create both relief and intaglio prints.

“Printmaking Studio” will include: morning instructional workshop, 10:00 am-12:30 pm; lunch 12:30-1:30 pm; and optional afternoon studio time, 1:30- 3:30 pm.

The maximum size for this workshop is 12 people. Participants will work directly with UConn Printmakers Laurie Sloan and John O’Donnell.

Tuesday, November 3rd. Register through the Department of Art & Art History, 860-486-3930 or The cost, including materials and lunch, is $25.00.

A boxed lunch will be provided. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary needs.

Erin Wiersma, Visiting Artist – 10/29/15 at 3:30 p.m.

Visiting Artist Presentation:  Erin Wiersma

Thursday, October 29, 2015, at 3:30 p.m.

Arena Gallery, Art Building, Storrs Campus



Erin Wiersma is an artist, born in Somerville, New Jersey. She received her Master of Fine Arts from University of Connecticut, Bachelor of Art degree from Messiah College, and studied at Instituto Lodovico in Orvieto, Italy.

Wiersma’s work explores the intangible aspects of the human presence using her own being as a point of reference. Through her drawings she seeks to discover a confluence of the spiritual and material.

Wiersma has exhibited throughout the US, including recent exhibitions at Mallin Gallery at Kansas City Artist Coalition, Kansas City, MO, Soho20 Gallery, NY, NY, Sarah A. Coyne Gallery at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, CA and Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC. Wiersma’s drawing practice is included in publications including OnVerge – CUE Foundation, Art21Online Magazine and Two Coats of Paint. Currently Wiersma’s work is being represented in Brooklyn, NY at A.I.R. Gallery and she lives in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wiersma is an Assistant Professor of Art at Kansas State University. Images of her work are at

Please contact Professor Judith Thorpe at with any questions.



Design Students Study Abroad in London and Explore the UK Design World

Junior-year Communication Design students are spending their Spring Semester studying at Central St. Martins in London, one of Europe’s premier art schools.  In a unique curriculum, they undertake projects collaboratively with their UK counterparts.  The program also incorporates an ambitious schedule of visits to design studios and museums.  To find out more, visit the UCdesignUK blog.

Our Best Advice for Building a Career in Art History

Prospective and current students often have questions about building a career in the arts and the choices they should make as undergraduates:

Should I apply for internships?
Is a Minor important?
How do I find that first job in the arts?
How do I format a resumé?

To help answer these questions, the Art History faculty have put together a new guide to entry level art history. It provides insights and guidance specific to UConn Art History students about resources both on- and off-campus.

Studio Art Student Wins Prestigious Mitchell Fellowship

Senior Julianne Norton, who is minoring in Studio Art, has received a prestigious Mitchell Scholarship to study in Ireland and work on a graphic novel next year. The George J. Mitchell Scholarship is awarded to applicants with unusual depth in their academic interests and exceptional records of focused contributions to society – those identified as having the potential to become national leaders.

Julianne Norton gives her Holster First Year Projects presentation at Konover Auditorium on Sept. 20, 2012. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

At UConn, Norton is completing an individualized major in international relations with a concentration in cross-cultural relations and a minor in studio art. In Ireland, she plans to earn a graduate degree in creative writing as she continues work on a graphic novel that includes a cross-cultural comparison with postmemory of the Holocaust and the Irish Famine.

Early on Norton cultivated her interests in the analysis of artwork. As a freshman in the honors program, she received funding as a Holster Scholar for a project that examined postmemory in five generations of her family’s artwork and included original paintings. Building upon this work, last year she presented at the U21 International Research Conference in Amsterdam and has since received a UConn IDEA Grant and a SURF Grant to fund work on her graphic novel.

Norton also earned a SHARE Grant in 2013 to work with Kathryn Myers in the Department of Art and Art History, researching Jewish Indian art and culture. She spent time in Israel during her Holster project and later studied abroad in the Czech Republic. On campus, she is active as a UCAELI Volunteer, HIPS Volunteer and event coordinator for the International Relations Association.


Freshmen Students Visit New York City

Professors Deborah Dancy, Ray DiCapua and John O’Donnell led a group of 35 freshmen students from the Foundations class on a fantastic day trip to New York City’s Chelsea gallery district. They visited an amazing slew of exhibitions, including Louise Bourgeouis, Neo Rauch, Judy Pfaff, Arturo Herrera and many more. Along the way, they made time for a short stop in at Printed Matter, a walk on the High Line, and a lunch break. The art was challenging and inspiring, and a fabulous group of students totally rocked it!

Education Abroad Expands Creative Vision and Enhances Professional Readiness

Higher education has embraced rigorous education abroad programs to encourage students to think like global citizens. The Institute of International Education notes that international experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education.

Globalization is changing the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and experience. Alum Shane Milano (BFA Studio Art: Communication Design ’12), a designer at national ad agency Hill Holiday, notes that during job interviews prospective employers asked many questions both about his internships and also about his study abroad experiences. Art history students aiming to build careers in museums and non-profits need global experience to complement their studies.

Our Study Abroad programs are faculty-led and provide classroom and experiential learning opportunities that are directly integrated with our curriculum. The semester-long program in Florence, Italy, focuses on observational drawing, painting, and photography, and uses the city and its art traditions for inspiration.  The semester-long program at Central St. Martins, London, takes students to a leading European art school to study design, typography, and book arts alongside their English counterparts. Art History students often participate in UConn’s Florence and Paris programs, both of which offer specialized art history courses. Learn more by visiting UConn Education Abroad.

Arts Internships: Laying the Foundation for a Career in the Arts

Internships are an excellent way to gain an inside view of the student’s chosen field, learn about different career paths, and start to build a network of professional connections. Internships can also provide valuable work-related experiences that give students a head start when they are ready to launch their careers.

Most AAH students undertake at least one internship, and many do two or more. Sometimes internships are taken during the academic year for credit, or they can be undertaken during the summer as independent professional-development experiences.

Students should consult their faculty advisors and the UConn Center for Career Services about internship opportunities. Career Services can provide assistance with resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn and other social media and networking tools, and interviewing skills.

These are some places that AAH students have interned:

Lego Winterhouse Studio ESPN The Magazine
Artefact The Taunton Press Curbstone Press
Real Art Ways Wadsworth Atheneum Florence Griswold Museum
Conde Nast Milestone Graphics Threads Magazine
Frick Collection Denver Art Museum Once + Future (NYC)
Hartford Courant Studio of Barbara McClintock, Illustrator Studio of David Johnson, Illustrator
9 West Center for Contemporary Printmaking

Careers in the Arts: Where Are AAH Alumni Now?

One of the persistent myths about arts education is that graduates will not be able to build satisfying careers or enjoy job security, benefits, and financial success.  The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project has interviewed over 90,000 arts alumni and gathered data about occupations, income, student debt, professional satisfaction and more. It’s a useful resource for all arts students and their families.

But what kinds of professional careers are our alumni pursuing? Many different ones! An arts degree is like a fan – there’s not one path forward, but many paths forward, based on the student’s interests, talents, and choices.

Here are some of the different professional titles held by our BFA Studio Art alumni:

Graphic designer Medical illustrator Cinematographer Graphic Novelist
Web designer Photojournalist Animator Art conservator
Stop-motion animator Advertising director Brand identity director Display designer
Jewelry designer Studio art professor User interface designer Editorial illustrator
 Art teacher Ceramicist Web developer Photography editor
Textile designer Fashion designer Interior designer Cartoonist
Art therapist Exhibition designer Architect Marketing director

And these are professional titles held by our BA Art History alumni:

Gallery director Museum curator Museum educator Archivist
Fundraiser Research librarian Museum registrar Gallery manager
Arts administrator Public programs director Art history professor High school teacher
Journalist Auction house specialist Visual resources librarian Art appraiser

These are some of the companies and institutions where our BFA and BA alumni work or have worked:

Pixar Metropolitan Museum of Art The New Yorker Magazine
Google Creative Labs Philadelphia Museum of Art Yale University Press
Ideo Real Art Ways Sol Lewitt Studio
Wolff-Olins Mystic Seaport Museum Hill Holiday
Crispin, Porter, & Bogusky Princeton Architectural Press Ogilvy & Mather
Coach Stoopid Buddies Studios Alice + Olivia
Twitter Lego Anthropologie

New Stop-Motion Labs Open This Semester

Our new Stop-Motion Labs in Bishop Center are open and Professor Alison Paul is teaching her first classes there.  The students will experiment with a range of materials and methods in creating their stop-motion animations. The shooting stations in the lab are state-of-the-art and were built for maximum installation flexibility and image quality. Graduate students in the class have a separate lab.  Demand for the course is high, with students from Puppetry and Digital Media joining our Art & Art History students.


Contemporary Art Galleries Recognized as Top Ten Place to View Contemporary Art

The Culture Trip, an influential website, has named the Department’s Contemporary Art Galleries as one of the Top Ten places to view Contemporary Art in Connecticut.  The article notes that CAG focuses on “forefronting the biggest trends in contemporary art and exploring interdisciplinary crossover. Architecture, design, photography, performance, music, film, video and fine art all rub shoulders within and on its walls, and series of artists talks and art criticism also provide debate and discussion.” CAG is in good company on this list, which also cites the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and Real Art Ways.

AAH Students Win Major Awards At Connecticut Art Directors Club

Our BFA students won several major awards at the Connecticut Art Directors Club Awards Night. Recent graduate Mikey Karpiel earned the Judge’s Choice Award and a Gold Award for “Dog Days,” and a Silver Award for “New Appliance.” Juror Aaron Goodman said, “The combination of style and substance made it one of my favorites in the show.” Current students Fei Fei Luo and Haley Taylor also accepted scholarship awards for Illustration and Graphic design, respectively.

The Connecticut Art Directors Club is  the leading independent professional organization serving the Connecticut creative community.

Congratulations, UConn artists!