Art and Design Career Day

Art and Design Career Day

April 8, 2016

Location: Finley Hall, first floor

Click here to register for Art and Design Career Day

Be sure to sign up today, as seating is limited!


9:00 - 9:30am Registration
9:30am We’re All Professionals Here: Artists and Designers, Entrepreneurship and Careers 
Meredith Halpern-Ranzer (Animation)
Iain Kerr (Art/Design)
Penny Jansens (Fashion)
10:30am - 11:15am   Workshop 1
11:15am -  11:30am Coffee Break
11:30am - 12:15pm  Workshop 2

12:30pm - 1:15pm

Studio Art Special Panel: Galleries and Curating

Workshop Breakdown

10:30am Workshops

Portfolio for the Workplace

(Rich Thrush )

Resumé and Cover Letter Writing 

(Courtney Fitzgibbons, College of the Arts Director of Career Services) 

Professional Branding and Marketing 

(Katrina Weber)

Portfolio for the Work place (for arts)

(Paolo Mele)
11:30am Workshops


(John Trigonis, Indigogo)

Budgeting Made Easy

(Ivan Gate)

Business Planning for the Creative Entrepreneur 

(Livia Alexander)


Art and Design Career Day


9:00-9:30am - registration

We’re All Professionals Here: Artists and Designers, Entrepreneurship and Careers

Three prominent panelists, through discussion, will take you through the lives of creative entrepreneurs and career-path focused artists, designs and creative professionals. Each driven individual will offer different perspectives on the breadth of possibilities that are available to individuals in the art and design fields.

Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, VP, Alternative Programming, Sprout

Penny Jansens, VP Womenswear Design, DKNY Jeans; Consultant, JC Penney

Iain Kerr, Co-Director of MIX Lab; Associate Professor of Innovation Design, Feliciano Center, Montclair State University

Meredith Halpern-Ranzer image final

Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, Sprout’s VP of Alternative Programming, joined the company just one month before the network’s launch in 2005. She is responsible for developing and overseeing quick-to-market original series, shorts, specials and original programming blocks, including Sprout’s live morning program Sunny Side Up and Sprout's signature bedtime block The Good Night Show. Prior to joining Sprout, Meredith learned the answer to the burning question of her childhood when she found out how to get, how to get to Sesame Street where she worked for eight years as a producer and editor. In this role, she was responsible for writing, producing and editing promos, public service announcements, image/brand videos, and live action films for Sesame Street and Sesame Street international. Prior to that, she was an editor of independent and documentary films. Meredith holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Delaware. She is a founding member and on the board of directors of Children’s Media Association. She lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband, her 7-year-old son, and a dog named Shuggie.

Penny Jansens is a British womenswear designer living in Brooklyn, NY. With 26 years of design experience, she has worked in London, Hong Kong and New York. A three-year stint in Hong Kong introduced Penny to the US market, where she created lines for Express, Bebe, Lane Bryant, and BCBG. As VP Design for a large wholesale company, Penny managed a team of designers and worked closely with the samples room and factory heads as well as a large production team. A move to New York landed Penny at Donna Karan, where she worked for ten years, creating DKNYC and DKNY JEANS. In between these two posts, Penny worked for Burberry, designing the London Lifestyle line, reporting directly to Angela Ahrendts, whom she met at DKNY. Penny then worked for Rebecca Taylor as head of design ensuring that each runway show and collection was a hit. Penny creates the initial design concepts and color stories, focusing and steering the designers. Introducing the line to the sales team was an integral part of her role. Back to DKNY to design the DKNY JEANS line, Penny re-aligned the brand to have a more contemporary sensibility and speak to a stronger denim message. Working closely with sales and merchandising, Penny would give regular presentations to support her work and aid in the representation of the product.

Iain Kerr

Iain Kerr is a designer, systems thinker, and social entrepreneur, working at the intersection of creativity, ecology, and emergent systems. With a background in Architecture, Design, Art and Philosophy, he brings a unique perspective to issues of social innovation, design and entrepreneurship. His work is focused on inventing novel creative processes to transform seemingly intractable problems into problems worth having. Iain has spent the last two decades developing and teaching unique transformative models of creative processes. As the co-director of the MIX Lab, Iain has developed new curriculum for using 3D printing to activate design thinking processes far from the normal realms of Industrial Design and Engineering. In addition to co-directing the MIX Lab, Iain is a co-founder of the boundary-blurring design consultancy SPURSE which has been at the forefront of ecological research, experimental design, and innovation leadership for the last 15 years. His work, and that of SPURSE, has been exhibited internationally: USA, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Mexico and Bolivia, as well as published in books and journals (Furnitecture, The Interventionists, New York Times, Elle, Art Papers, Interior Design, and Art Journal).

 10:30am - Breakout Workshops 1

Area 1

Portfolio for the Workplace (for designers)

Rich Thrush, VP Global Industrial Design and Innovation, Kaz Inc.

Rich will focus on identifying goals for your portfolio (cascading from your career goals) and thinking critically about how to achieve this. The later portion of the workshop will shift to execution and story-telling by portfolio. Please come prepared with a printed version of your portfolio as it stands today.

Bring: your existing portfolio.

Rich Thrush

Rich Thrush is a proven industrial design leader adept at utilizing consumer research, analysis, design and innovation skills for the identification, conceptualization and design of consumer product. His diverse history includes working with products such as mobile devices (Motorola) to toys (Hasbro). He is passionate about problem solving, design thinking and delivering solutions that make an impact on the market and in people's lives also resulting in 30 patents and design awards. Rich is VP, Industrial Design and Innovation at Helen of Troy, responsible for the Braun, Honeywell, Vicks, Pur brands and many more. His team’s focus is on elegantly designed innovative products with simple stories based on strong consumer insights to delight consumers.

Area 2

Resume & Cover Letter Workshop

Courtney Fitzgibbons, Career Development Director, College of the Arts, Montclair State

It's been written that recruiters spend an average 6.25 seconds reviewing a candidate's resume before deciding the candidate's fate for a particular job. If you are wondering how your resume can make its way into the "interview" bin in those 6.25 seconds, then this workshop is for you. Whether you are a freshman or senior, you will learn how to build a resume that pops! You will also learn how to draft an effective cover letter through a step-by-step outline approach. See you at the workshop!

Bring: a cover letter and your existing resumé.

Courtney Fitzgibbons headshot

Courtney Fitzgibbons is the Director of Career Services for the College of the Arts. Courtney advises College of the Arts students on career preparation strategies, resume development, internship readiness, and professional development-related areas. She also conducts workshops, plans professional development programs, and cultivates relationships with potential employers. Prior to coming to Montclair State, Courtney worked in higher education in various capacities, most recently as the Senior Director of Professional Development and Recruitment at New York Law School. Prior to that, she was the Director for Employer Relations and Private Sector Programs at Golden Gate University School of Law. In addition, she has held positions at legal organizations in California. Courtney holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in Film Studies from Dartmouth College. She is enthusiastic about bringing her career services skills to benefit students in the arts.

Area 3

Professional Self-Branding and Marketing

Katrina Weber, Director FITZ & CO 

This conversational workshop will provide participants with an Introduction to media/communications for art and design professionals. Workshop will include basic tools for effectively dealing with the press, leveraging the media to promote your work and navigating social media.

Katrina Weber

Katrina Weber Ashour, Director at FITZ & CO, a leading strategic communications, marketing, audience development, and events firm specializing in contemporary arts and culture. Founded in 2995, the firm represents a diverse, global roster of clients including leading museums, art fairs, galleries, and cultural organizations. In this role Katrina is responsible for implementing strategic public relations campaigns in the US and internationally, including overseeing media strategy and implementation for such clients as Art Basel, Sharjah Art Foundation, National Pavilion UAE at the Venice Biennale in 2015, Art Jameel, Edge of Arabia, the Brooklyn Museum, and Performa. Prior to joining FITZ & CO, Katrina was an independent communication and strategy consultant for international arts organizations, providing strategic planning, targeted media outreach, and oversight of all aspects of external communications. This included leading the strategic international communications for Cai Guo Qiang's solo exhibition at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, as well as Gwangju Biennial in Korea, Art Dubai in the UAE, Alaan Artspace in Saudi Arabia, and the National Pavilion UAE at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Before her work as an independent consultant, Katrina worked in the arts sector in Dubai, U.A.E., for four and a half years. She graduated with Honors from Wellesley College and is a member of the Young Collector’s Council (YCC) at the Guggenheim and the Junior Associates at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). 

Area 4

Portfolio for the Workplace (for arts)

Paolo Mele, Director and Curator,Ramdom (Italy); Curator in Residence, Residency Unlimited, New York

A portfolio is an important first impression. A functional and well presented portfolio means that an artist has a complete idea about his or her work and demonstrates abilities, skills and development. This workshop will provide students with useful and practical tools to create successful portfolios that clearly convey and communicate their vision, creativity and talents. Topics covered will include principles of a well done portfolio, visual language, and catering your portfolio to different types of audiences/needs.

Bring: your existing portfolio

Paolo Mele 

Paolo Mele is a curator, cultural and digital project manager. From 2013-2015, Mele was Visiting Researcher at the New School for Public Engagement in New York City and he is currently curator in residence at Residence Unlimited. Mele is the founder and director of the arts organization Ramdom located in the heel of Italy’s Apulia region (Gagliano del Capo, LE). RAMDOM promotes residencies, creative and innovative practices in the field of culture and art with initiatives such as “Investigation on the Extreme land" and “Default" Mele collaborates frequently with a wide range of international organizations. From 2008 to 2012 he worked as project manager for the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and Mediterranean (Bjcem).

11:30am Breakout Workshops 2

 Area 1

From Artist to Artrepreneur: Crowdfunding to Sustain Your Creative Future

John Trigonis, Campaign Strategist, Indigogo

Bring: ideas for crowdfunding, and projects that need crowdfunding support.

Artists of all kinds have taken to the crowd to fund films, art exhibits, albums, and other creative endeavors that matter most to them. Through the process, most discover that the days of the quiet artist are all but numbered, and that to really succeed in art and crowdfunding, one must adopt the moniker of the artrepreneur. Crowdfunding has become an open field in which one can sow the seeds and cultivate themselves to grow a bright future where all their creativity can shine forth and prosper.

John Trigonis

A behind-the-scenes consulting machine, John T. Trigonis has mentored hundreds of filmmakers and other content creators worldwide to create compelling crowdfunding experiences that not only reach, but often exceed their goals. An indie filmmaker and successful crowdfunder himself, Trigonis has literally written the book on Crowdfunding for Filmmakers, (and is currently rewriting it as a second edition) and after spending a few years as a private consultant, he puts his prowess to its ultimate use as Indiegogo’s head Film Campaign Strategist.

Area 2

Budgeting Made Easy

Ivan Gaete, Director, In2Numbrs

At the most basic level, a budget is simply a plan by numbers. A blueprint that maps the financial future of a project or a business during a specific period of time given its current cash position and goals. Preparing a budget will help you determine your cash cycles and future cash position, thus evaluating your capital needs. This short workshop will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of budgets and outline the steps necessary for preparing one.

Ivan Gaete

Ivan Gaete is a seasoned accountant with a talent for listening. He has been serving small businesses in New York City since the late nineties with a special focus in the arts & creative sectors, particularly nonprofit organizations. Combining financial expertise with practical know-how, Ivan delivers relevant data analysis powered by innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. He excels at building comprehensive accounting solutions that are custom-tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals and business owners. He is the founder of IN2NUMBERS and career highlights include serving as the Director of the Chelsea Art Museum during 2010-2011.

Area 3

Business Planning for the Creative Entrepreneur

Livia Alexander, Adjunct Professor Montclair State and International Arts/Design Management Consultant 

Dabbling with the idea of launching your own business after graduating? This workshop will introduce students to the main principles that go into researching and developing a solid plan that will allow you to start up your business. You will learn how to hone in on your product or mission, analyze your competition, identify your market niche, and estimate your costs and revenue.

Bring: an idea for a business.

Livia Alexander

Livia Alexander is a curator, scholar and management consultant to international art organizations, art galleries and design companies. She teaches arts management, theory and practice at Montclair State and is co-producer of Katamon in Color (working title), a cross-platform digital project to be released in early 2016. Alexander is the co-founder of ArteEast, a non-profit organization established in 2003 to support and promote artists from the Middle East, North Africa and its diasporas, which she directed until 2013. Dr. Alexander holds a Ph.D. from New York University and lectures and publishes extensively about art economies, cultural politics and Middle East cinemas.

12:30-1:15pm Studio Art Special Panel: Galleries and Curating

This panel will give students a sense of how galleries work, how relationships are created between artists and gallerist and some "rules of the road." Part of creating a relationship with both the art community and the network of galleries in a community can come from independent curating. On the panel will be several artist who also have extensive experience curating shows, and they will talk to you about some of the ins and outs of that.

Christopher Schade

Christopher Schade was born and raised in Austin, Texas and spent much of his childhood living throughout Latin America. Schade received his Masters in Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University. This month he had a solo exhibition at Kai Matsumiya gallery in New York and his work has been reviewed in the Interview Magazine, The Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Dallas Art Revue, Austin American-Statesman and The Austin Chronicle. He is a founder of the Artist Lecture Series in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and has curated numerous group shows including Prime Matter at the Teckningsmuseet (Museum of Drawings) in Laholm, Sweden.

Alyssa E. Fanning

Alyssa E. Fanning was born in Teaneck, NJ. She received her BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY and her MFA from Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ. Fanning has exhibited at spaces including White Box, New York, NY; Momenta Arts, Brooklyn, NY; Newark Museum, Newark, NJ; Mortville, Chicago, IL; Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA, and internationally at Teckningsmuseet, Laholm, Sweden and artQ13, Rome, Italy. Fanning’s curatorial projects include exhibitions at ABC No Rio, New York, NY; Silent Space Gallery, Kingston, NY; Radiator Gallery, Queens, NY; and Eagle Studio, Brooklyn, NY, among others. Fanning has written for BOMB Magazine and

Julie Heffernan

Julie Heffernan is a Professor of Fine Art at Montclair State University. She is the recipient of numerous awards including an NEA and Fullbright Fellowship. She is represented by PPOW in NYC, Mark Moore Gallery in LA and Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco. Her work has been reviewed in many prominent publications including The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America and The New Yorker.