Author: Rick O'Toole

Graphic Design Program Takes Home 17 Awards From This Year’s CADC Design Show

At the 41st Annual Connecticut Art Directors Club Design Show UConn Graphic Design & Design Center Studio received an unprecedented 17 total awards in the categories of Digital, Motion, Animation, Poster, Book and Identity Design.

Here is a list of the all the awards our students and faculty received as well as links to the work.









BFA Exhibition / Identity Design

category: Student Print / Published
firm: Design Center Studio / UConn
client: UConn Art & Art History Department
creative director: Edvin Yegir
art director: Edvin Yegir
designer: Renald Louissaint, Joshua Gluck, Raeanne Nuzzo
printer: Various
paper stock: Various
The poster series in this entry represents but one component of the multi-platform design system [print, digital, motion] that was conceived for the 2016 BFA exhibition announcing and promoting this yearly exhibition.

King Lear / Poster Design

category: Student Print / Published
firm: Design Center Studio
client: William Benton Museum of Art
creative director: Edvin Yegir
designer: Franklin Canales
I wanted to create a more simple illustration that would capture the tragedy of the story. I use the skull of the fallen king as the main focus point of the poster wearing a three point crown that represents his three daughters who drove him mad.


Neighborways / Identity Design

category: Student Print / Published
firm: Design Center Studio / UConn
creative director: Edvin Yegir
art director: Edvin Yegir
designer: Carlos Dominguez, Kellie Pcolar, Sarah Williams
illustrator: Carlos Dominguez, Kellie Pcolar, Sarah Williams
Neighborways partners with communities to transform residential streets into low volume, low speed zones that are safe for children, pedestrians & cyclists. We were asked to design a modular mark & stencil system that could be developed over time.



Hello? / Animation / Motion Design

category: Student Online & Interactive / Published
firm: Canales, Franklin
client: University of Connecticut
designer: Franklin Canales
The animation is about using parts of the 1983 stamp to create a simple but emotional narrative depicting the form of communication. It relates to the stamp’s design in how it celebrates the year of telecommunication.

Expo '70 / Animation / Motion Design

category: Student Online & Interactive / Unpublished
firm: University of Connecticut Graphic Design
client: University of Connecticut, ART3132 Graphic Design: Motion Graphics
creative director: Mark Zurolo
designer: Ke Ding
Response to the brief Static-Kinetic. Deconstruct, then design and animate a narrative reveal for a two-dimensional stamp.



Morning/Night / Animation / Motion Design



Long River Review [LRR] 2016 / Journal Design

category: Student Print / Published
firm: Design Center Studio / UConn
client: UConn Creative Writing Program
creative director: Edvin Yegir
art director: Edvin Yegir
designer: Franklin Canales, Vanessa Hopkins, Hunter Kelley, Nicole McDonald, Raeanne Nuzzo, Brigid Reale, Samantha Weiss
copywriter: Various
printer: GHP Media
paper stock: Finch & GPA
LRR is a joint creative effort between the UConn Graphic Design and the UConn Creative Writing Programs. It features literary and art works by graduate and undergraduate students and is produced by an exclusively undergraduate staff.

Are We All Here? / Catalog Design

category: Student Print / Published
firm: Design Center Studio / UConn
client: MFA Program / Art & Art History Department / UConn
creative director: Edvin Yegir
art director: Edvin Yegir
designer: Franklin Canales, Vanessa Hopkins, Nicole McDonald
copywriter: Various
printer: GHP Media
paper stock: Finch
Are We All Here? catalog was designed for the MFA Exhibition 2016 at UConn. The design is but one component of a larger identity system that was established for the exhibition alongside other deliverables in both print & digital platform.

First Year Writing Program / Identity Design

category: Student Print / Published
firm: Design Center Studio / UConn
client: Department of English / UConn
creative director: Edvin Yegir
art director: Edvin Yegir
designer: Renald Louissaint, Olivia Narciso, Bruno Perosino
illustrator: Renald Louissaint, Olivia Narciso, Bruno Perosino
The visual identity presentation, as outlined in this document, established a very concise verbalization and visualization of the concept representing a new mark for the FIRST YEAR WRITING Program at UConn.

MFA Art Auction Benefit / Poster Design

category: Student Print / Published
firm: Design Center Studio / UConn
client: MFA Program / Art & Art History Department / UConn
creative director: Edvin Yegir
art director: Edvin Yegir
designer: Kellie Pcolar, Jacob Rochester, Samantha Weiss
copywriter: Various
printer: DPC
paper stock: Cougar
The poster series along with other related collateral [both print & digital] were designed to promote a yearly auction that benefits the incoming MFA graduating class. All art auctioned was donated by student & faculty.

For It Felt Like Power / Poster Design

category: Student Print / Published
firm: Design Center Studio / UConn
client: Counterproof Press
creative director: Edvin Yegir
art director: Edvin Yegir
designer: Renald Louissaint, Sydney Roper
copywriter: Carl Phillips / Poet
illustrator: Renald Louissaint, Sydney Roper
printer: Wallace Stevens Poetry Program & Counterproof Press
Each year, the Wallace Stevens Poetry Program is gifted with a new unpublished poem by a visiting poet which is designed & published by the Counterproof Press in a limited edition of 100 commemorating the event and the series.


UConn Today Features the MFA Exhibition: Are We All Here?

Amanda Bulgar, Disc 1, Archival Inkjet Print, 2016
Amanda Bulgar, Disc 1, Archival Inkjet Print, 2016


The 2016 Masters of Fine Arts Exhibition: Are We All Here? opened on April 9th featuring work from our current Graduate students in The Department of Art and Art History. UConn Today wrote a piece about the show highlighting Sculptor Amanda Bulger and Painter Kamar Thomas, and exploring the differing inspiration behind their work. The article also mentions video work by Don Burton, installation pieces from Neil Daigle-Orians, and drawings by Kacie Davis.

To see the article in its’ entirety go to UConn Today.

2016 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition Opening Reception – 4/14/16

The day is almost here! The 2016 BFA Exhibition begins tomorrow with an opening reception from 6pm-8pm in Artspace Windham Gallery at 480 Main St, Willimantic, Connecticut 06226. 

There will be work on display from our graduating seniors in Sculpture/Ceramics, Photography/Video, Painting/Drawing, Illustration/Animation, Graphic Design, and Printmaking, as well as food donated by local restaurants, and great music. Come out and support our Seniors, and enjoy projects that they have been working on all year.

See the Facebook Page for all of the details!

Here’s a look at our seniors setting up their work.

UConn Alum, Matthew Jensen, receives Guggenheim Fellowship

UConn MFA Alum, Matthew Jensen, has just received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work in multiple disciplines, which include photography and sculpture. Here is what the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation had to say about his work:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 10.57.03 AM

Artist Matthew Jensen’s multi-disciplinary practice combines walking, collecting and rigorous site-specific explorations of landscapes. His projects strive to connect people to places by expanding the traditions of landscape photography to include a range of mediums and actions. Each body of work develops from time spent in publicly accessible landscapes or by examining the way different technologies transform this experience. 

Jensen received his MFA from UConn in 2008. Since then he has become a MacDowell Fellow, participated in residencies at the Queens Museum, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Wave Hill, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. He has had exhibitions in The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has been featured in The New Yorker.

Click here for more information on his Guggenheim Fellowship. To see more of his work, visit his website at

Alum Nicole Horsman Featured in The 40th Anniversary Atlanta Film Festival


2015 Graduate of the School of Fine Arts, with a concentration in Illustration, Nicole Horsman has been featured in the 40th Anniversary Atlanta Film Festival. She screened her stop-motion animation “Klaus” on April 6th. “Klaus” began as her Senior Project work, completed for the April 2015 BFA Exhibition. “Klaus” was featured in a showcase entitled “Touch of the Puppet Head” which featured live puppetry performances alongside several films.

To see “Klaus” and more of her work go to

Congratulations Nicole!

Professor Laurie Sloan exhibition @ EBK Gallery in Hartford


Professor Laurie Sloan, printmaker and founder of our own Counterproof Press, has a great show of images fusing digital technology and traditional screenprinting for the month of April (in Hartford, at EBK Gallery). Plus she’s getting some serious ink (pun intended) in “Two Coats of Paint,” Sharon Butler’s well-respected blog about fine arts. Check out more Professor Sloan’s work here.

Sharon Butler from EBK Gallery writes about Sloan’s work:

Sloan says her process, which involves fusing digital technology and traditional screen printing techniques, is like that of a naïve (or irresponsible) scientist who tests hypotheses, executes experiments, and injects random occurrence into established order. A fragment may become a tail, a claw, or an ear depending on the context. At first glance, the black and white images, loosely conjuring woodblock prints from medieval manuscripts, seem abstract and graphic, but over time, they gain resonance as steady, accusing eyes seem to emerge from the dark masses. Sloan works the images until, as she says, they have the odd quality of agency but also feel like victims. Sloan’s monsters, like Grendel in Beowulf are powerful and dangerous but at the same time targeted and vulnerable.

Laurie Sloan,” curated by Sharon Butler. EBK Gallery, Hartford, CT. April 1- April 30, 2016. Opening reception Saturday, April 2, 6-9pm.

Art History Major, Brandon Smalec Receives National Science Foundation Fellowship

Our very own Brendan Smalec was one of ten UConn students and alumni to receive a fellowship from the National Science Foundation. UConn Today writes this about the award,

Regarded as one of the premier awards in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines, the NSF awarded 2,000 fellowships this year to support students in the early stages of their research-based master’s or doctoral careers. The fellows will receive an annual stipend of $34,000 for three years and $12,000 support for tuition and fees. The awardees also qualify for international research and professional development opportunities. The total value of the fellowship exceeds $138,000.
For this highly competitive award, applicants must submit research proposals, which are reviewed by expert scientists in their field. NSF fellowship recipients, as well as honorable mentions, represent the most promising young scientists in the nation, and the awards are seen as “investments that will help propel this country’s future innovations and economic growth,” according to a statement released by the agency.

Brendan’s research consists of examining cancer susceptibility and progression in a non-traditional mammalian model, specifically, the Peromyscus leucopus, or white-footed mouse. Working with an inbred line of P. leucopus found to be highly susceptible to developing an adenocarcinoma (cancer from a glandular origin) of the Harderian gland, the project seeks to determine what genetic signatures are present in the inbred mice line that predispose them to developing this cancer, and also what makes it so highly metastatic, since metastasis is usually the cause of death in most cancer-related fatalities.

Along with a BA and MA in Biology, Brendan is also receiving a second degree in Art History from the UConn School of Fine Arts.

See the full story in UConn Today

Artist Talk – Glen Baldridge on 4/1/16

Artist Glen Baldridge will be visiting UConn on April 1st, 2016 to give a talk at the School of Fine Arts in Art Building Room 109 at 1pm

A native of Montana, Baldridge lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His work often satires the mainstreaming of countercultures and the glorification of escapist entertainment. Printmaking and photography dominate Baldridge’s work methods where process often acts as a foil within the narrative.

For more information on Baldridge and his work click here


SNEAK PEAK: Upcoming Exhibition in the Contemporary Art Galleries by Jong Oh

Artist, Jong Oh prepares for the opening of his show in the Contemporary Art GalleriesSotto Voce. Oh identifies his primary medium as space. His sparse constructions sculpt their environments by employing negative spaces, lighting effects and cast shadows to alter viewers’ perceptions of their surroundings

Oh states about his work:

“Responding to a site’s nuanced configuration, I build spatial structures by suspending Plexiglas and painted strings in the air. These elements connect or intersect with one another, depending on the viewers’ perspectives. Viewers walk in and around these paradoxical boundaries constituted by three-dimensionality and flatness, completion and destruction. The viewers’ experience becomes a meditation on perception’s whim.”






Sotto Voce opens on March 26th, 2016 with an Artist Talk at 5pm and the Reception will follow from 6pm-7pm

The show will be open from March 26th – May 6th

BFA Student, Raeanne Nuzzo Receives IDEA Grant

Junior BFA student concentrating in Graphic Design, Raeanne Nuzzo of New Haven, CT has received an IDEA Grant for a project that she is working on along side Professor Mary Banas, entitled Fear.  The project is set to be shown in the Fall in the Visual Art Installation Space at the School of Fine Arts.

This is what Raeanne has to say about her project:

Fear: The Culture is an interactive poster design project, featuring the phrase “Something really dangerous is going on,” a quote from Donald Trump, paired with the hashtag “#FearTheCulture” printed over a variety of images from sensationalized media as a method to critique the American culture of fear. The posters will be hung publicly over the summer, and reactions will be documented and catalogued along with the original source materials, culminating in a complete documentation and exhibition of the work in VAIS Gallery in Fall 2016.

Visiting Artist, Ted Efremoff – 3/4/16

Ted Efremoff, assistant professor of art at Central Connecticut State University and a 2006 graduate of the UConn MFA Studio Art program, will discuss his artist work on March 4, 2016 at 12:00pm at the MFA Graduate Studios (VARC) on the Depot campus.

Efremoff born in Moscow, Russia, is a cross-disciplinary artist engaged with performance, video, installation and social practice. Spurred by his personal interest in social justice, he envisions collaborative activity as an instrument that builds critical relationships between people. His art explores the personal and cultural constraints ingrained within prevailing political, economic, and social power structures.

Efremoff has performed and exhibited nationally at Chashama performance spaces, Sideshow and PSII Galleries in New York City, The Museum of American Art in Philadelphia and the Benton and Mattatuck museums in Connecticut. Internationally his work has been seen at the Gongju National Museum in South Korea, The National Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia and The National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. His work is in the collections of the Sound Museum of Rome, The Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts and the Culture House of Bad Sobernheim, Germany.

Printmaker, John Shultz Visits

John Schulz, artist/printmaker who teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, gave a great lecture and showed prints to students in the printshop. He was a 2015 Counterproof Press visiting artist. Schulz worked with Counterproof Press to create and edition a suite of five wonderful letterpress prints.

Turning to cast-off images from books, magazines, comics, catalogues, and printed detritus, Jon Schulz’s work investigates and transforms common symbols and images from the “low” end of visual culture via chance operations, cut-ups, and an ironic visual language, conveying a sense of loss and psychic anxiety that reflects the uncertainty of memory and contemporary life.

Counterproof Press Publishes Broadside

A limited edition letterpress broadside of visiting poet Susan Stewart’s poem, “Atavistic Sonnet” was published under the Art and Art History department’s Counterproof Press.  Design Center students designed and helped to print the edition. Susan Stewart gave a poetry reading as part of her visit to the university, sponsored by UConn’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Program.

Recent MFA Graduate, Micah Cash, to Have Book Published

2014 MFA Graduate, Micah Cash, has recently announced that he will be publishing a book on a project he worked on while at The University of Connecticut. His website states the series Dangerous Waters investigates the landscapes and contemporary social impact of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) hydroelectric program. These photographs explore the tenuous balance between landscapes designed for hydroelectric generation and public recreation. While these dams have become symbols of social and economic prosperity, they also remain visual reminders of loss, population removal, and eminent domain. The ecological and personal sacrifices are privately internalized and the social benefits publicly celebrated.

To see more of Dangerous Waters see Micah’s feature on The Bitter Southerner or got to his website

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

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.