Department of Art and Design - Spring 2015


News Highlights . . .

Welcome to the Department of Art and Design's Spring 2015 newsletter.

Juniors in the Industrial Design major completed another design project sponsored by Movado Group (MGI). The collaboration between the Swiss watchmaker and the department is in its third year. MGI owns seven brands and, so far, Industrial Design students have designed watches for the Movado brand, Tommy Hilfiger, Ferrari and, this fall, for the Hugo Boss Orange brand. The class is nothing short of a real-life, design-for-hire project. Students must satisfy stakeholders’ needs and present the progress to Movado’s senior designers and brand VPs. At the end of the semester, MGI will select the three best projects to be presented to the CEO, CFO and Executive Panel of Movado Group at their U.S. headquarters in Paramus, N.J. The three finalists receive a financial award towards their tuition for the next academic semester.

During Spring Break, 12 Fashion Studies students spent the travel segment in Paris as part of an elective course that provides in-depth study of an important non-US fashion center, combining study seminars and the travel experience on site. Among the exciting activities planned were the exhibitions "Fashion Mix" that investigates the contributions of non-French designers to Paris haute couture, at the Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration, and "Déboutonner du mode" at the Musée de la mode et du textile, at the Louvre. They also visited the new Fondation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry, in the Jardin d’Acclimation.

Students enrolled in Modern Architecture ARHT-361-01 (Prof. Sabine Eck) will be working on an exciting local project: Lackawanna Plaza. This former train terminal is on the national and state register of historic places (NRHP and NJRHP) and will be renovated in the near future. In consultation with the project developer and architect, students will document and discuss the site’s history, development, urban fabric, current and future use, historic preservation aspects, and suggestions for improving the venue's interior and exterior, including landscaping and traffic flow.

Continuing a long tradition of providing our students with an opportunity to meet with leading artists and learn about their practice first hand, guests for Art Forum, our speaker series, this spring include prominent art curator and former Dean of Columbia University’s School of the Arts, Bruce Ferguson, Indian-Canadian artist Jaret Videra, Critic, Curator and Artist Iftikhar Dadi, and many more.

Our MFA students are busily gearing up for their final thesis exhibition, which will be taking place at a Lower East Side gallery in June, while our undergraduate seniors prepare for presenting their final projects in the George Segal Gallery on campus. We have study abroad trips in Paris for our Fashion Studies majors, and a summer course in Nice for those seeking to hone their drawing skills immersed in the French landscape.

In October, BFA Studio Art alumna Megan Piontkowski visited our Senior Seminar to discuss her post-BFA experiences, and her ongoing collaborative project, "Feminist Tea Party," at the Abrons Arts Center. N.Y.
Following a successful launch this fall, the Department is preparing for a spring iteration of Art and Design Day on March 20. Aimed at high school juniors and seniors, we are lining up a day full of art and design workshops, talks and presentations to introduce future students to the extensive possibilities of a career in this rapidly expanding field.

Dr. Aissa Deebi


Photography Alumni Reunion

Twenty-five alumni from the Photography program gathered for a reunion on February 21 despite a major snowstorm and horrendous driving conditions. Joining them for an evening of networking and reminiscing in the photo lab were more than 30 undergraduate students.

Faculty Spotlight

Klaus Schnitzer is one of nine renowned New Jersey photographers selected by the Drumthwacket Foundation, the non-partisan, non-profit organization entrusted with the historic preservation of Drumthwacket, the Governor’s residence in Princeton, NJ, to participate in “Inspire: Everyday People Changing New Jersey,” an exhibition at the governor’s residence in the fall of 2015. Each photographer is to photograph two individuals who have made major contributions to New Jersey. Prof. Schnitzer was recommended for this project by James Steward, executive director of the Princeton Art Museum. Among other accomplishments, Prof. Schnitzer recently exhibited his work in "Observing Connections: Photographs from the Teaching Collection & Invited Photographers" at the CVA Gallery, Brookdale Community College, N.J.; "Legends of Rock, Jazz and Folk" at Red Eye Café in Montclair in September and October of 2014; and at 70 South Gallery in Morristown, N.J.  Prof. Schnitzer has written and photographed extensively for Bimmer Magazine, including coverage of three new automobile introductions that took place in Germany and Spain in May of 2014. His work in the magazine appeared in recent issues as follows: 2015 F26 BMW X4 35i (December 2014);  cover photo and article on Alpina B6 (November 2014); “Thrill of the Chase” on the BMW E46 project car (April 2014); and 2015 BMW 4 series Gran Coupe (February, 2015). 

Catherine Bebout's work was shown and reviewed in the recently published Woman and Print: A Contemporary View, an exhibition and eponymous catalog edited by Mary Davis MacNaughton, with essays by Sienna Brown, Margaret Mathews-Berenson and Mary Davis MacNaughton and published by Scripps College, Claremont, Calif. (2014). The book features the work of more than 30 international artists and currently is housed in MSU's Sprague Library.