School of Art and Design News

Dr. Jessica Stephenson Appointed Interim Associate Dean of College of the Arts

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 1, 2019) — After a successful year serving as Interim Faculty Executive to the Dean, Dr. Jessica Stephenson has been appointed Interim Associate Dean of the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University (KSU), effective July 1, 2019, by Dr. Ivan Pulinkala, dean of the College of the Arts (COTA).  

Jessica StephensonDr. Pulinkala said, “Dr. Stephenson has been a valuable asset to COTA over the past year during our period of interim leadership in the College and I believe that she will continue to add great value to the work being done here. She will continue to foster greater faculty governance on the COTA leadership team and help facilitate more published research from both faculty members and our undergraduate students.”

Dr. Stephenson said, “During this coming year I will work to support faculty and undergraduate capacity for—and production of—research in the arts. In focusing on nurturing published research within COTA, we will make positive contributions to KSU's R2 Roadmap and bring research into closer dialogue with COTA's already strong creative activities.”

“We owe it to our students to offer top quality academic advising, clear navigable degree curriculums, class availability to keep them on track for timely graduation, and service learning/ internships through which to apply degree knowledge to workplace practice. I look forward to supporting and enhancing these areas of student success for all COTA students over the coming year,” she continued.

Dr. Stephenson received masters and doctorate degrees in African art history from Emory University in 2000 and 2006, with a minor in ancient Egyptian art and ancient American art. In 2003 she was appointed Associate Curator of African and Ancient American Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, and in 2009 promoted to Curator of African Art. She joined the School of Art and Design at KSU as full-time faculty in 2013 and served as Coordinator of the Art History program from 2015 to 2019. She has curated many exhibitions at leading venues including Michael C. Carlos Museum, Turchin Center for the Arts, Boone, North Carolina and the Zuckerman Museum of Art.  She has chaired numerous conference sessions and presented papers at national and international venues, including the College Art Association (CAA), South East College Art Association (SECAC), African Studies Association of America (ASA), and Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) and at more specialized conferences in Europe and Africa. Her publications include numerous reviews, encyclopedia entries and research articles on modern and contemporary African art. Her current publication project is the book Looking Both Ways: Carved Ivory Sculptures and Colonial Photography in the Congo (1880 - 1910) for which she is conducting archival and collections research in museums across the United States and Europe. 
  • Student: Alyssa Smith, senior in School of Art and Design
    Major: Sculpture with architectural minor; concentration in environmental studies
    Work: Assistant Shelter Manager at Georgia House Rabbit Society
    Passion: Combining sculpture and architecture to benefit animals



    When she was growing up, sculpture student Alyssa Smith thought she might want to be a veterinarian, but instead, she figured out how to turn her love for animals and her passion for sculpture and architecture into career goals. Working closely with School of Art and Design professors Debbie Hutchinson and Keith Smith, the senior designed and constructed bird baths and birdhouses and habitats for bats and squirrels.

    “My squirrel habitat wasn’t great; there were lots of learning curves. But the thought is there: it’s outside and standing, but I’m not sure whether or not the squirrels like it,” explains Smith with a laugh. For her next big project—creating a bat habitat—she began with research. “I looked at traditional designs like a nursery house, then I landed on a rocket house design because the bats go up inside to nest,” says Smith. Additional elements she researched included ideal temperature, paint choices, air venting, and even the best spacing between roosts—it’s ¾ inches, ideally.

    Her bat habitats are natural, animalistic pieces; she draws from her personal belief that nature is a heavy part of spirituality, that everything has a spirit inside and it doesn’t go away and is always there. “My favorite designs combine human and animal aesthetics. Humans and animals can live together and peacefully co-exist,” she says.

    Alyssa Smith with Bat Habitat

    She also designed a manhole cover featuring a skunk wearing a bandana to pitch to the City of Kennesaw through the Master Craftsman Program; she was inspired by her research of the Creek Indians in Kennesaw and the hog-nosed skunk native to the area. “The Master Craftsman program introduces you to art for public works; you submit your design to a board, create schedules, draft contracts, and more. I enjoyed the work because it was less conceptual and more real life,” she says. Completed projects for the City of Kennesaw by the Master Craftsman Program include a sundial, signage, a shade structure, and benches, along with the colorful manhole covers. Although her manhole cover was not ultimately chosen, she valued the experience and pledges to take it further.

    “My dream job would be to create my own designs for clients, especially working with aquariums or zoos to create animal habitats. It’s like civil engineering for animals,” says Smith with a grin. “I like making things. Designs become so much better once you create something, because you have confidence that you can do it. I want to do something monumental—something over 6 feet. I am already at that scale [with the bat habitats], so next I want to do something really big,” she adds.

    ––Kathie Beckett; photos by Shane McDonald

  • Railroad Rendezvous
    In partnership with Kennesaw State University School of Art and Design, the City of Kennesaw and the Southern Museum will host an iron pour as part of the museum's annual summer family event. Learn more.

  • mosaic-art-of-moroccoKennesaw State University’s Year of Morocco (YoM) seeks to bring people together to discuss and experience unique features of the country’s society and culture, and to bring an awareness and appreciation for Morocco directly to the campus community and beyond through numerous events and special courses. 

    One such course project was “Zellij: The Mosaic Art of Morocco,” developed by artist/professor-in-residence Mona Hussein from Alexandria University of Egypt in collaboration with KSU’s art education professor Sandra Bird. Sponsored by KSU’s Division of Global Affairs with additional support from the School of Art and Design, the art education course contributed to the internationalization of KSU’s curriculum by focusing on this the ancient art of mosaic.

    Hussein and Bird taught undergraduate art education students how to create a faux zellij project and also instructed students on the context behind the art form. The contextual instruction included architecture, music, traditional clothing and fashion, food and spices, languages, henna body ornaments, and more. Dr. Hussein ordered Moroccan zellij wooden molds to create faux zellij projects, and then the students constructed a curricular unit to present to middle school students.

    Lucky middle school students at Pine Mountain Middle School (PMMS) were the recipients of that knowledge as the undergraduate students led an introduction to Morocco as part of a service learning practicum in fall of 2018. 

    Participating undergraduate students included including Kelly L’Estrage, Chloe Redstone, Marni Roberts, Hailey Mitchell, Emily Spencer, and Amanda Williamson. Roberts presented the group’s work at the Georgia Art Education Association 2018 Fall Conference, and Mitchell led the process of creating the zellij project during the first lesson to 7th graders at PMMS.

    The second lesson featured leaders Williams and Redstone wearing traditional Moroccan clothing while leading an introduction on Moroccan music and fashion. Technical assistant Spencer managed the computer keyboard during the presentation.

    The third lesson, demonstrated by L’Estrange, involved filling the recessed section of the cast zellij pattern with gesso.  

    For lesson four, the middle school students (using a pathways approach) were able to choose between several different projects designed by the teaching team for lesson four, including painting the zellij projects, writing their names in Arabic using calligraphy, and tasting a “Poulet Beldi M’qalli,”(a tagine dish made with chicken, olives, and lemon), especially prepared for the students by L’Estrage.  Finally, the undergraduate students assessed the completed zellij projects using a team-developed rubric. 

    Photos by Sandra Bird
    Professor | Art Education 

  • Dr. Geo Sipp - South Cobb Rotary Club presents KSU Arts & Nursing ScholarshipsPictured from left are South Cobb Rotarians John Collar; Bob Prillaman; Dr. Geo Sipp, chair of the KSU Department of Visual Arts in the College of the Arts; Dr. Mark Tillman, dean of KSU’s WellStar College of Health & Human Services; Lil Prillaman; Eloisa Gallegos, Visual Arts scholarship recipient; Albert McRae, president of the South Cobb Rotary; Lisa Onokalah, Nursing scholarship recipient; and Dr. Yvonne Eaves, director of KSU’s WellStar School of Nursing. Photo special to the MDJ.

    In celebration of their 80th anniversary, the South Cobb Rotary Club awarded scholarships to two students from Kennesaw State University (KSU).

    This year’s scholarship recipients were Eloisa Gallegos and Lisa Onokalah. Gallegos is a student in the Visual arts department and was presented her $2,000 by Rotarian John Collar. Onokalah is a student in KSU’s WellStar School of Nursing and was presented her $5,000 scholarship by Rotarian Bob Prillaman.

    The South Cobb Rotary Club first awarded scholarships in 1972, to students in KSU’s Art Department. Two art students received a scholarship for their entire tuition for that year, according to South Cobb Rotary historian John Collar.

    Featured in the Marietta Daily Journal

  • Join us for the "Empty Bowls Project" on Nov. 7th

    11th Annual Homelessness Awareness Week November 3-10, 2018

    Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. KSU CARE is excited to bring Empty Bowls to our 11th Annual Homelessness Awareness Week event.

    We invite you to have lunch and fight hunger by purchasing a handmade ceramic bowl designed by our current KSU Ceramics students and alumni and the Mudslingers' Ceramics Club! Bowls will be filled with lunch provided by KSU Dining Services.

    During lunch, there will be an informational program about sustainability and food waste. The program will raise money to help KSU CARE fight hunger, raise awareness about the issues of food insecurity, and help bring about an attitude that will not allow hunger to exist.

    Participants will select a bowl when they arrive at the event. Lunch will be served in your personal bowl in which you will take home afterwards. The lunch will be gluten-free and bowl selection will be first come-first serve.

    Participants will select a bowl when they arrive at the event

    Advance sales only! $15.00 - KSU students and $30.00 - Staff, Faculty. Alumni & Community. Wednesday, November 7th, 2018, 11:30-1pm at The Commons. To purchase tickets or for more information on Homelessness Awareness Week events, please visit
    Seats are limited!

    Photos by David Caselli

  • Ayokunle Odeleye Ascension to a Higher State of Being, reaches 30 feet into the sky, as it to defy gravity and escape the earth’s forceful pull
    Ayokunle Odeleye is an imposing figure. Tall and lanky, the professor of sculpture commands a presence inside and outside of his classroom at the School of Art and Design. That formidable presence is readily evident in his emboldened, multi-dimensional public art.

    His most recent commission, Ascension to a Higher State of Being, reaches 30 feet into the sky, as it to defy gravity and escape the earth’s forceful pull. Located off a quiet street in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, the cold steel stands in firm resolve, providing a stark contrast to the clear blue sky.

    The five-piece installation, including the four concrete structures leading to the steel sculpture, was installed in November 2017 and revealed to the community in February of 2018 as part of a Martin Luther King Day celebration. Ascension is dedicated to the downtown community off Church Street in Norfolk, as well as to the greater black community of Norfolk.

    Odeleye said, “This area around Church Street was built and financed by black people; it was a very self-sufficient community, yet they were still fighting for basic rights, especially in the 1950’s.” The sculptor delved into the rich history of the area by interviewing eight different groups and asking what was significant to them, and why.

    He then took those ideas and incorporated them into all five pieces, including the smaller, concrete pieces. These smaller structures act as a pathway to the main piece and are inscribed with various community statements.

    For example, one of these pieces represents the Attucks Theatre (named after the first African American killed in The Revolutionary War, Crispus Attucks) from 1919, which was designed, financed, and operated by African Americans. “The concrete forms act as signage and allow the community to have a voice on historically important items,” said Odeleye.

    Symbolism plays a large part in the steel piece as well, including a female climbing the upper part of the structure to “symbolize [how] immigrants from all over the world had to figure out how to move up the social structure; this was particularly true of blacks and women,” said the artist.  An image of a man holding a hammer symbolizes the working class. Many in the Norfolk area work for the U.S. Navy, so navigational guides called sextants are prominent. The African mask at the top of the piece “symbolizes the contribution of African Americans,” said Odeleye.

    “The community indicated that spirituality sustained them, so I used a symbol of a church; the raised fist indicates activism and fighting for civil rights against the massive resistance of politicians of Virginia to defy racial integration in the schools in the 1950’s. Rather than integrate, they just closed the schools,” explained the artist.

    A professional sculptor for almost forty years, Odeleye typically maintains two to three art projects at a time and creates public projects at his Stone Mountain studios almost every year. For the Norfolk project, three Kennesaw State sculpture students (Megan Pace, Andrea Stocker, and Tiffany Hoffl) and faculty/staff members Page Burch and Chris Dziejowski assisted in casting, welding, and fabrication over the two-and-a-half-year project. Much of his work may be seen across the country, including his renowned 2013 bust of W.E.B. Du Bois at Clark-Atlanta University. 

      • Ayokunle Odeleye | In the studio - #1
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | In the studio - #2
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | In the studio - #3
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      • Ayokunle Odeleye | In the studio - #6
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #1
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #2
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #3
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #4
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #5
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      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #7
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #8
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      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #10
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Installation Nov.11th 2018 - #11
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #1
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #2
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #3
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #4
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #5
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #6
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #7
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #8
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #9
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #10
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Ascension to a higher state of being - #12
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Dedication Jan. 15th 2018 - #1
      • Ayokunle Odeleye | Dedication Jan. 15th 2018 - #2


  • Soap Box Term:

    1. A carton or crate used for holding soap.
    2. A temporary platform like a shipping crate on which one stands while making a spontaneous and often impassioned public speech or call for action.
    Submission Form & Instructions

    The deadline for entries to arrive is September 28, 2018. Mail your package in plenty of time for snail delivery, Peachtree City is considered rural Georgia and mail takes a few extra days!

    The American Print Alliance in conjunction with the Art Department of Kennesaw State University is asking artists to create prints in a major tradition of our art – commentary on politics and the impact of printmaking on actual events.

    Note that the title for this Soap Box portfolio is comprised of three words. “The” is the definite article, emphasizing that democracy can survive only with freedom of speech and a free press. The “little d” of “democratic” indicates that we are advocating for this specific form of rule: a democracy with three independent branches of government, in opposition to a dictatorship or oligarchy or anarchy. “PRESS” of course refers to the physical equipment used in so many techniques of printmaking as well as the right to express one’s political opinion, one’s hopes and dreams, disappointments and calls for action to remedy wrongs – in a way that reproduces and disseminates that speech in multiple copies to be seen by a wide audience. In addition, the pressure of “press” reiterates our resolve and the critical need for immediate and substantive action.

    The news reports widely contrasting views of our current political state. Artists have an obligation to question current events and respond to them. Transgressive work is relevant to protect one of the most important rights that supports democracy: freedom of the press. As artists we are called to action through our artwork. Let us embrace the traditions of printmakers and poster artists and use our graphic imagery to share our individual opinions of current events, politics, elections and change. Our messages will certainly differ, but through our prints we can stand united to voice our certainty that the freedom to express those views is essential to our democracy! This is your opportunity to submit art relating to the political themes about which you feel most passionate, and have your work widely seen. Get on your Soapbox!!

    As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the American Print Alliance may not campaign for or against candidates for elected office, and we will not accept any work that incites people to break the law (except the proud tradition of non-violent civil disobedience). Although the appropriation of imagery is a frequent component of contemporary printmaking, please be sure that the work you submit does not violate any copyright. We recommend viewing the Alliance’s previous Soap Box Prints portfolios online at

  • Every artist has a unique story.
    Can you briefly walk us through yours?

    Chris Hall Art Work News Photo
    I was born on December 16th, 1975, miraculously with a crayon in my hand… born to paint!  But I didn’t know I wanted to pursue art as a career until one particular moment while I was in high school.  I picked up some skills from my visual arts teacher, but I don’t think I got much more than that. My music teacher, however, had a lasting impact on me.  I was taught the value of hard work and of developing a passion for what you do. I played trumpet at the time because I wanted to play the loudest instrument in the symphony.  I had something to say and I wanted people to hear me! Well, we were playing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, the Allegro non Troppo.  There was a quiet part in the middle, so I took a look out into the audience, and there, in the front row I saw an old woman crying. I thought to myself, “We did that!” I knew what I wanted to do for my career after that: make old women cry!

    I decided to go back to my first love, visual art, for my undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia.  I think I felt most confident in that medium, though music and writing were close runner-ups. In fact, I fronted a few bands during this time and pursued some experimental sound art (which I continue to do).  I also pursued an English Literature minor (English Romantic poetry, Shakespeare, Melville, Hesse, and Cervantes were favorites) and I had my first writings published. I’ve always been on the border between the stereotypes of the wild Dionysian rock star spouting ecstatic poetry and the more critical life of the mind experiences that come with my academic background.

    Read More >

  • KSU - COLLEGE OF THE ARTS Carole Mauge-Lewis

    Carole Maugé-Lewis, tenured professor in the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University, boasts an impressive record of teaching excellence. For the past 23 years she has been the driving force in developing the Graphic Communication concentration in the School of Art and Design at Kennesaw State University. An award-winning designer, she has been recognized for several print publication designs, namely the Aegis, Cindy, Telly and AiMe Awards; presented at several major conferences; and has twice received the Distinguished Teaching Award in the College of the Arts at KSU. Under her tutelage, the students’ accomplishments have been significant and they have won awards at local, national and international levels, including several from GDUSA and most recently from the 48 Hour Re-Pack competition.

    Maugé-Lewis’ sustained quest is for excellence in teaching and student learning, backed by her teaching philosophy of building a strong foundation in graphic design fundamentals, problem-solving and design-thinking. She aims to motivate and empower students to meet the demands of the ever-changing technological and diverse world, and to ultimately find rewarding careers. Maugé-Lewis is well-respected by her students and peers and is known for her direct, no-nonsense stance in the classroom. She sets a high bar.


    My career as an educator took root during my undergraduate years. With excellent professors and rigorous work, students participated in and grew from the constructive demise of their work, during brutal class critiques. Within this environment we thrived, produced our best works, and realized that it was not how good one was, but how good one can become. I held both Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Assistantships, and after receiving my MFA, that of Assistant Professor. For five years I shared my knowledge and fell in love with teaching as I developed young minds for the future. My design career as an educator had begun.


    The challenge for professors is in first building a strong foundation of graphic design fundamentals, problem-solving and design-thinking skills that rise above mediocrity. Along with technology skills, students also need to develop excellent research, oral and written skills, that help to empower them to function fearlessly in our ever-changing media-driven, technology world and its diverse culture. As future leaders, imagemakers and messengers for local, national and international issues, we should provide students with the tools necessary to move beyond individual client relationships, to define and address social issues that test their design thinking and creativity; and make a difference.

    Read More >

  • Students Angelica Montealegre, Cindy Jodesty, Mitchell Douglass, Preston Luk, and Jessica Fields with their award for the 48-Hour Repack Contest of the Institute of Packaging Professionals Southeastern Chapter.
    (from left: Angelica Montealegre, Cindy Jodesty, Mitchell Douglass, Preston Luk, and Jessica Fields)

    Students Mitchell Douglass, Jessica Fields, Cindy Jodesty, Preston Luk, and Angelica Montealegre won second place and an award of $2000 for their teamwork in re-designing a package in the “48-hour Repack” 9th annual contest of the Institute of Packaging Professionals Southeastern Chapter.  IoPP Southeast chapter invited Professor Carole Maugé-Lewis' top students among students from other schools in this by-invitation-only event to highlight the skills and talents of tomorrow's design professionals.

  • Throughout the fall and spring semesters, the School of Art and Design hosts various guest artists, scholars, and lecturers.  This Spring, we've scheduled the following guests:

    • Chris Reynolds, Sculptor: Wednesday, February 14
    • Peter Bahouth, Photographer: Friday, February 23
    • Dr. Sethuramen Suresh, Scholar: Sunday, March 4
    • Andrew Hayes, Sculptor: Tuesday, March 20
    • Rachel Garceau, Ceramics Sculptor, March 26
    • Peter and Donna Thomas, book artists, April 13
    • Joe Thomas presented "Esthetic Conflicts and Conservative Dissent: The Statue of Liberation Through Christ" at the American Studies Association meeting in Chicago.
    • Phil Kiernan and two SOAAD students attended the 20th International Congress on Ancient Bronze at University Tubingen, German. His presentation was titled: "The so-called Mithrassymbole in Context."  Chloe Redstone and Savannah Winn presented a poster entitled: "Hamlin’s Bronzes: Antiquity Collecting in an Early 20th Century American Universal Museum."
    • Students Maria Shah and Emily Wilder presented Art History papers at the 2018 NCUR conference at University of Central Oklahoma. Diana McClintock attended the conference.
    • Dan Sachs received promotion to Associate Professor and a sabbatical for spring 2019 to complete his book on historical studio practices.
    • Jessica Stephenson received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor and a Dean's Travel Award to conduct research on colonial-era postcards from the Congo at the Smithsonian, Washington DC.
  • A strong group of five KSU Art History students will be presenting their papers at the 
    Seventeenth Annual Art History Forum at Lamar Dodd Art Center, LaGrange College, Friday, March 2, 2018, 9:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

    • Presenting Student: Maria Shah
      “Influences on Native American Art and the Question of Authenticity”
      Mentor: Dr. Jessica Stephenson

    • Presenting Student: Michelle Colbert
      “How the South Rose Again, Problems of Symbolism and Memory in Confederate Statues”
      Mentor: Dr. Diana McClintock

    • Presenting Student: Alyssa Woodall
      “The Concept of Ma’at and Women in Ancient Egypt”
      Mentor: Dr. Jessica Stephenson

    • Presenting Student: Cassie Espinoza
      “New Perspectives on Ancient Egyptian Tattooing”
      Mentor: Dr. Jessica Stephenson

    • Presenting Student: Emily Larson
      “Transitional Magic: Apotropaic Wands as an Allegory for the Middle Kingdom”
      Mentor: Dr. Jessica Stephenson
  • The Graphic Design USA organization awarded Kennesaw State University students for designs submitted into their 55th Anniversary American Package Design Competition.

    • "It Could be You" Opioid Addiction Awareness; DESIGNERS: Kira Kowolik, Preston Luck and Eryn Speer
    • "From War to Work" Non-profit campaign for social change; DESIGNERS: Jessica Fields, Cindy Jodesty, and Dean WIlliams
    • "Mission Monarchs" Awareness of monarch butterfly population reduction; DESIGNERS: Liz Jones and Crys Newberry

    The goal of the competition is to focus attention on areas of growth and opportunity for graphic design professionals, to recognize the best work being done in those arenas, and to emphasize the value that graphic design brings to business and society. 

    • PROJECT: "Awareness of Unemployed Veterans with Service Dogs;" DESIGNERS: Dean WIlliams, Cindy Jodesty, and Jessica Fields
    • PROJECT: "Mission Monarchs" Awareness of monarch butterfly population reduction; DESIGNERS: Crys Newberry and Liz Jones
    • PROJECT: "It Could be You" Opioid Addiction Awareness; DESIGINERS: Eryn Speer, Kira Kowolik and Preston LuckPROJECT: "It Could be You" Opioid Addiction Awareness; DESIGINERS: Eryn Speer, Kira Kowolik and Preston Luck
    • PACKAGE DESIGN PROJECT: "It Could be You" Opioid Addiction Awareness; DESIGNERS: Kira Kowolik, Preston Luck and Eryn Speer. Winner of 2018 Graphic Design USA American Package Design Award.
    • PACKAGE DESIGN PROJECT: "From War to Work" Non-profit campaign for social change. DESIGNERS: Jessica Fields, Cindy Jodesty, and Dean WIlliams. Winner of 2018 Graphic Design USA American Package Design Award.
    • PACKAGE DESIGN PROJECT: "Mission Monarchs" Awareness of monarch butterfly population reduction; DESIGNERS: Liz Jones and Crys Newberry. Winner of 2018 Graphic Design USA American Package Design Award.

  • Open Studios Event 5-8 p.m. Feb. 15, 2018
    Get more information, including parking!

    The Open Studio Event gives the community and prospective students the opportunity to walk a self-guided tour of the Visual Arts Building while classes are in session.  

    • Visit the studio classrooms
    • Meet students and professors
    • Listen-in on class discussions and learn about the resources our studios provide
    • Watch KSU students work on their projects and ask them questions about their process and experiences at KSU
    • Show your portfolio (drawings, small paintings, prints, or photographs of artwork) for review by our faculty!
  • Two custom sculptural benches designed by Kennesaw State University students were recently installed on the Southern Museum walkway in a collaboration between Kennesaw State University School of Art and Design and the City of Kennesaw. The benches were designed by students in the Master Craftsman program under the direction of Page Burch. Burch emphasized the win-win nature of the partnership, and said, “We believe the benches will complement and enhance their surroundings.”

    Two years ago, Economic Development Director Bob Fox approached Geo Sipp, the Director of the KSU School of Art and Design, with the idea of a joint public art project with art students. The two met to discuss how they could work together on original art for Kennesaw’s downtown that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing. “We wanted to give art students a real-world opportunity to go through the public art commission process, including selection, fabrication, and installation,” said Fox. “The city would provide financial support.”

    With Sipp onboard with the concept, the next step was to draw up an agreement between the city and the Board of Regents on behalf of the KSU. The agreement specified that the School of Art and Design would submit designs and complete fabrication while the city would underwrite the material cost. An art review committee consisting of city staff and members of the Art and Culture Commission was established to evaluate the designs and choose winners.

    The first pieces that were commissioned were benches to be placed on the Southern Museum walkway and at the City Hall Plaza currently under construction. Students researched relevant material and aesthetic choices, taking into account city codes and accessibility requirements and submitted their designs. Eight designs were submitted. Once the final choices were made, they began fabrication by cutting, bending, grinding, and welding the benches in preparation for installation. The Downtown Development Authority funded the cost of materials and the city’s Public Works Department did the installation. 

    A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, November 3, 2017, to recognize Fox, Burch, and Sipp, as well as artists Megan Pace and Thomas Daniel, both students in the Master Craftsman Program. In the next phase of the partnership, design proposals will be requested for the city’s new Gateway Park on Main Street at Sardis Street.
    Burch said, “The thing that excites me most about this program is allowing students to be the driving force behind it. Being able to help artists progress on a professional level is an extremely important step forward, and I find it tremendously exciting.”

    Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - Photo Gallery


  • The KSU Mudslingers Ceramics Club, advised by School of Art and Design faculty members Jeff Campana and Keith Smith, has been busy throwing, glazing and firing bowls to help KSU fight hunger as part of the Empty Bowls Project with KSU CARE. 

    An international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger, the Empty Bowls Project will be featured as part of KSU CARE’s 10th Annual Homelessness Awareness Week event. This event will raise money to help KSU CARE fight hunger, raise awareness about the issues of food insecurity and to help bring about an attitude that will not allow hunger to exist.

    Attendees purchased tickets that allowed them to choose a handmade ceramic bowl; the bowls will then be filled with a lunch provided by KSU Dining Services. Participants may then take their bowls home.

    The students began planning the project when they returned to class this fall. Campana said, “They were very excited about the whole idea of this project; they were fully on board.”

    The students used three different clay bodies: porcelain, stoneware, and a special one for soda-firing. “In addition to the charitable cause, there is a valuable experience for students to make work and put it in the public realm. They had the opportunity to fire in all of the varieties that our studio can offer, that were suitable for the function. The bowls were fired three ways: oxidation, reduction and soda fire. It was a very good event in the studio for our students,” said Campana.

    While some seasoned pottery students participated, other artists had only done sculptural work, so it gave those students a chance to try something outside of their expertise. Other benefits included working together as a group, learning how to meet deadlines, and even how to calculate “survival” rates.

    Campana explained, “Not every bowl that we make survives; some have glaze problems or cracks in drying, so the group planned on roughly 15% not being up to standards. This project gave them a chance to experience more of the professionalism side than would be normally seen in just a class project.” The students fired a total of 90 bowls, resulting in 75 available for the Empty Bowls Project

    See KSU News Story with Video!

    Empty Bowls Project - Photo Gallery


  • Senior students of the art education program posed with some of their artwork on Monday night, October 30th during the reception of their senior "capstone" exhibition.  They are exhibiting their artwork in the Fine Arts Gallery of the Wilson Building on the Kennesaw campus through November 9th.

    • Phyllis Fulp
      Rebecca Holbrook
      Lisa Sponsel
    • Senior student Phyllis Fulp of the art education program exhibit their artwork in their capstone exhibition.
      Phyllis Fulp
      senior art education major, Rebecca Holbrook
      Rebecca Holbrook

      senior art education major, Lisa Sponsel
      Lisa Sposel


    • Kate Thiel
    • Rositsa Aseuonova
    • Brittany McFetters
    • Brittany McFetters
    • Kate Thiel
    • Kate Thiel
    • Kate Thiel
    • Kate Thiel
    • Kate Thiel

    Four student winners of the GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards are:

    Two of the awards under the tutelage of Professor Hwang in the Design Practicum course.

    Two awards under the tutelage of Professor Maugé-Lewis in the Advertising & Packaging course.

    • Rositsa Aseuova,
      Tyra Bullock, & Eric Liu
      Brittany McFetters
      Kate Thiel
    • 1 award:
      Resono Children Center newsletter

       Rosono Newsletter designed by student, Rositsa Aseuova

      1 award:
      Ad and logo design for Solis perfume

      Ad and logo design for Solis perfume by Brittany McFetters


      2 awards:
      Genziai branding/student graphic design

      Genzai stationery branding by Kate Thiel

      Year of India Brochure

      Year of India Brochure designed by student, Kate Thiel

  • Part-time Assistant Professors Marc Brotherton and Chris Hall are exhibiting their work in the upcoming show "40 over 40" in the Chamblee Gallery, EBD4, November 11 - December 16, 2017.

    • Marc Brotherton
      Chris Hall
    • killskreen, mixed media by Marc Brotherton
      Amor Fati, 60x72 in. mixed media by Christopher Hall 2017
  • School of Art and Design Open Studio Event

    Each semester the School offers an open house visiting opportunity for high school students and the community to learn about our programs. We appreciate the visitors who participated during the evening of Thursday, October 26th, 2017. Students and their families from surrounding communities were able to:

    • bring their PORTFOLIO for REVIEW by our faculty
    • browse the ARTISTS' MARKET where students and staff have artworks for sale
    • "Come as Your Favorite Artist" Party sponsored by the Art History Club
    • visit studios of the Visual Arts building and watch college students work in our studio classrooms and ask them about their process
    • watch a collaborative effort of students, staff, and faculty to contribute to the "Empty Bowls" project for Homeless Awareness Week.
  • “If you live your life in fear, then you are going to be more constricted instead of being open to the arts and realizing it’s not a threat.”

    By actively promoting diversity through the Arts, the College of the Arts continually contributes to Kennesaw State University’s diversity in education and the college environment. “From Mecca to America: Crosscultural Exchange in the Art Classroom” is COTA’s most recent initiative promoting cultural diversity. Project facilitators are Dr. Sandra Bird and Dr. Mona Mohamed Ibrahim Hussein, a Professor in Art Education, formerly at Umm Al Qura University in Saudi Arabia through the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Professor Debbie Hutchinson and two student small sculpture assistants provide technical support for participating Art Education 4410 students in the Islamic Metal Ornamentation Workshop. This collaborative journey began almost two years ago when Bird recognized that Metro-Atlanta’s art curriculum could benefit from Hussein’s local, technical, and academic knowledge of Islamic metalwork because, as Bird states, “Visual arts content bridges cultures.” The project became possible with a Kennesaw State University Division of Global Affairs International Community Engagement Grant. Through the Islamic Metal Ornamentation Workshop (Fall 2016) and the Islamic Art and Architecture course (Spring 2017), Bird and Hussein are building a cultural bridge benefitting art education pre-service teachers and those they are teaching along with Hussein’s Alexandria University students who have contributed examples of their metalwork designs.

    From Meca to America Page Banner

    In the Islamic Metal Ornamentation Workshop, Bird (as primary investigator) emphasizes the principles of design while Hussein (as secondary researcher) teaches how to read Islamic design. Hutchinson helps students develop ideas and solve design problems. Teacher training and student learning are emphasized as students work in the small metals studio located in the School of Art and Design. By planning for teaching visual arts with interdisciplinary connections, art education students are creating intercultural curriculum through a model focusing on global perspectives of under-represented art resources. Implementing visual arts learning to other participants––including KSU students, staff, and administrators–– students are learning to teach about diverse societies and cultures. Professors and student teachers are keeping artbased journals recording the developing model through the collection of art content research, video, and participants’ personal commentary and artistic expressions in photography, drawing and metalwork. This work will culminate in a book. The necessity of teacher training in diversity and inclusiveness in local schools is obvious and, as Hutchinson said, “Broadening peoples’ views seems to always start in the arts.”

    “Our students need to know how to teach about diverse societies and diverse works that emerge from these societies in order to help bridge the cultural divides that we still experience in the twenty-first century,” added Bird. Bird, Hussein, and Hutchinson pointed out that cultural divides are based in fear: “If you live your life in fear, then you are going to be more constricted instead of being open to the arts and realizing it’s not a threat.” Hutchinson said. “It’s an opportunity to grow, evolve, and become better people. There are many things we can learn from non-western cultures that would make our lives so much better.” Bird continues. “Fear makes the person weak and so we want to teach our students to be strong. … Fear makes us freeze. We must be strong to be creative,” Hussein finishes. The project continued through Spring 2017 when Hussein and Bird co-taught the Islamic Art and Architecture course. KSU’s Wilson Gallery will be exhibiting participants’ art works through July 30, 2017. v Image, opposite page, left to right: Lu Freitas, Phyllis Fulp, Jeanette Wachtman, Lisa Kastello, Sandra Bir, and Mona Hussein. Photos by April Munson.

    By Jane Custer

  • Bench Project News Article Photo Collage

    The complaint often leveled at academic arts programs is that they are one-dimensional— an ivory tower exposition of theory in the university setting or a crass fixation on commercial viability in for-profit institutions. The criticism, sound or not, depends upon the premise that the work of a professional artist entails a complex set of negotiations between aesthetic and practical concerns, personal expression and social maneuvering. Needless to say, there isn’t a “Client Relations 1101” to be found in the course catalogue. The Master Craftsman program was therefore created to address this challenge, while — as de facto program director Page Burch puts it— “filling any gaps in knowledge that normal university curriculum wouldn’t cover.” By taking on real-life professional projects, the program allows students to gain not only an ability to express their creative vision, but also experience in harnessing that vision for the needs of clients. The goal is for students to emerge as both accomplished artists and polished professionals.

    The Master Craftsmen program, which began in January, provides Kennesaw State student artists the opportunity to work with outside clients on custom commissioned projects. This initiative, which Burch describes as being in its “fledgling stage” after two years of planning, has nonetheless already paid dividends: The awards distributed at this year’s Southern Graphics Council International Conference (hosted by KSU), were designed and fabricated by students. Likewise, the city of Kennesaw recently accepted a student proposal for custom sculptural seating in the city’s historic downtown district, most notably outside of City Hall and the Southern Museum. The five benches— designed to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing— will be installed early this summer, constituting the first official completed project of the Master Craftsman program.

    While it’s possible to simulate professional working conditions within the classroom via imaginative exercises in project pitching, it’s difficult. Geo Sipp, director of the School of Art and Design and a self-described advocate for the Master Craftsman program, emphasizes that nothing replicates the ever-changing environment of a professional design studio like working with a client from project pitch to final fabrication. Sipp explains that, “the possible range of projects [within this program] are diverse, and each opportunity is therefore unique. There is not apt to be much redundancy in what is done, since each job…will help dictate what a proposal should be.

    Burch agrees, distinguishing between the limitations of static academic course design and the dynamic process of professional work. “Generally speaking, art students are assigned open-ended projects that ask them to problem-solve by finding technical solutions with their own artistic voice. This program will ask them to problem-solve to a client’s specific desires. They might be asked to learn a completely new skillset that would not be taught in their ordinary course of study,” said Sipp.

    Ultimately, each faculty member emphasizes, the task variation and professional opportunities are two functions of one of the program’s primary goals: an increased sense of student autonomy. “The thing that excites me the most about this program,” Burch elaborates, “is allowing students to be the driving force behind it. Being able to help artists progress on a professional level is an extremely important step forward…and I find it tremendously exciting.

    City of Kennesaw Seal

    The goal of the recent public art agreement between the city of Kennesaw and KSU’s college of the arts is

    twofold: allow students to complete real, commissioned work while providing decorative, yet useful artifacts for the city’s public spaces. Page Burch emphasizes the win-win nature of the partnership— which will officially begin with the impending installation of sculptural benches near Kennesaw’s city hall— saying, “we all believe that the benches will complement and enhance their surroundings.

    Further collaboration is already being planned in the form of contracted projects that will compliment the continued development of Kennesaw’s historic downtown depot district. Valerie Dibble emphasizes the breadth of partnership opportunities on the horizon: “there are many new projects coming up for the Kennesaw downtown development and the city is excited about making things that are utilitarian very beautiful for the residents, as well as making the city a destination that people will come to and enjoy.

    By Keaton Lamle

  • The School of Art and Design’s annual student juried show had its reception on January 18th. Organization of the show is a collaborative effort between Visions: the Student Art Society and the Zuckerman Museum of Art. Exhibited in the Joe Mack Wilson building’s Fine Arts Gallery, this 34th annual show features some of the best artwork by students of the School of Art and Design.

    Every year in late November, a call for entries is announced. Open to all Kennesaw State University students, the submission process involves the uploading of digital images of the artist’s original artwork with a small entry fee. The entries are juried by a different person selected from recommendations by School of Art and Design faculty and staff of the Zuckerman Museum of Art.  This year’s juror was Tori Tinsley, renowned Atlanta artist.

    Selected artists received cash prizes for first, second, and third place. Three Purchase Awards were also chosen by the College of the Arts Dean, School of Art & Design Director, and through a University donation. Recipients’ art work will have been purchased for the prestigious KSU Campus Collection.

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition (Thanks to student Ashi Bhatti for taking photos!)

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-photo1
    1st place, Eloisa Gallegos for My Spirit Yasu

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-photo2

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-photo3
    2nd Place, Agata Magelis for Almost on Stage

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Photo4


    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Photo5
    3rd Place, Chase Lawrence for Revelation 6

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Photo6



    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Phioto7
    University Purchase Award, Linda Teachey for The Demise of the Honeybees

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Photo8



    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Photo9
    Deans Award, Dia Webb for The Little Girl in Rainbows

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Photo10



    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Photo11
    Directors Purchase Award, Jess Ellen May for The Rogue

    Congratulations to the prize winners of our 34th Annual Visions Student Juried Exhibition-Photo12

  • Kennesaw State to offer Digital Animation Degree
    Program supports workforce demands in digital entertainment industry

    KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 9, 2016) — A new digital animation degree at Kennesaw State University will soon prepare students to creatively work in Georgia’s fast-growing entertainment industry. Today, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Animation.                  

    Offered within Kennesaw State’s College of the Arts, it is the first bachelor’s degree program of its kind among USG colleges and universities. The program will launch in fall 2017.                  

    “Kennesaw State’s new digital animation degree is a fine example of how higher education best supports the region’s economy and meets marketplace demands,” said Kennesaw State President Sam Olens.  “The University continues to be a strong leader in creating innovative programs that serve our students and the state’s thriving entertainment industry.”                  

    Georgia has the second-highest concentration of animation jobs in the country and  is one of the largest employers in the gaming and digital entertainment industries. According to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, the industries have a $7 billion economic impact and employ more than 25,000 people in the state.                  

    To better serve the state’s fast-growing entertainment industries, Kennesaw State’s digital animation degree program will provide intensive discipline-specific training and prepare students for a variety of animation and animation-related careers.                  

    The innovative degree will combine rigorous coursework in general studies, balanced with courses in computer gaming, engineering, music, graphic communications, and theatre and performance studies.            

    “By intentionally designing this program in a way that blends the institution’s collaborative strengths, we are able to increase and enhance the academic opportunities for our students,” said Ken Harmon, Kennesaw State’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The addition of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Animation is a paragon of our growing unique professional offerings.”                  

    Patricia Poulter, dean of the College of the Arts, added, “We are very excited about the degree, and are confident it will serve many Georgians (and beyond) as they prepare to enter this highly creative and in-demand field.”

  • Realist Artist Joe Remillard-Photo1

    A painter for almost 30 years, Remillard has taught at KSU for 16 years. He is always painting and keeping his personal skills sharp, but teaching his students inspires him on a daily basis. Photo, above, by Erik Meadows.

    Kennesaw State University’s Joe Remillard has won first place in the Portrait Society of America’s Landscape Competition.  A former attorney, Remillard makes his home in the School of Art and Design as a professor of drawing and painting. “I’m humbled because the quality of the participants, in my mind, was very high. On a national level, they are some of the best.”


    Remillard’s winning painting, Crinums and Blue, above, depicts a home in Atlanta’s very own Cabbagetown. Remillard worked on site to capture the scene on canvas. A contemporary realist artist, he tries to accurately paint the world around him. “I saw this house one day in Cabbagetown, and it reminded me of a Tiffany box, like a little jewel among all the clutter, which is pretty in its own way. That’s what attracted me to painting the house.”

    Prior to joining KSU, Remillard quit practicing law, moved to Georgia, and obtained his master’s degree in painting. “I finally realized you only have one go-around in life, so you better do what you love. You don’t want to wait.”

    A painter for almost 30 years, Remillard has taught at KSU for 16 years. He is always painting and keeping his personal skills sharp, but teaching his students inspires him on a daily basis. “I came here and said to myself, ‘I’m going to teach my students everything I wasn’t taught in college.’ I want my students to have the skills to go on and create beautiful work.”

    Remillard also looks forward to the growth and progress happening in the School of Art and Design. “I’m so happy with the direction the visual arts program is headed in right now. I’ve wanted to see the concept art side take off. Our new department chair, Geo Sipp, has done that by reminding us that there’s room at the table for lots of different art forms.”
    See more of Remillard’s work at

  • Graphic Design Students Shine for SGC International Conference Terminus

    By Stevi Dinizio; photos by Shane McDonald

    Graphic design students at Kennesaw State University have created the branding for the Southern Graphics Council (“SGC”) International conference. Led by School of Art and Design professor Carole Maugé-Lewis, the students worked together to design the conference logo and other materials for the event to be held in March 2017.

    School of Art and Design professor Valerie Dibble is the committee chair for the SGCI conference, and she relished the chance to showcase student work.

    “We needed branding and a visual presence, so I reached out to all the graphic design professors at universities in metro Atlanta. Maugé-Lewis agreed to make it a class project for her students. It’s a wonderful real-life experience for our students, and they have done a spectacular job.”

    The SGC International conference, entitled Terminus: Arrivals and Departures and taking place in part at Kennesaw State, stretched the creativity of the students as they walked through the designing process together.

    Student Mark Stanley says, “We were given full reign to bring our best designs to the table without any instructor direction. In previous classes, we were told exactly what to produce and then received a lot of feedback before the final presentation. We had to do this among our groups and make decisions on our own.”

    This freedom gave the students a taste of what it takes to work as a professional designer.  For this project, they worked for a client, the Southern Graphics Council International, and not just their professor.  

    Student Hannah Fortune said, "We had to work with the changes being made and, of course, had to satisfy the client. I learned that 20 different people can create very different things and it’s always surprising what the client will pick. It made me want to think outside of my comfort zone and design something I typically wouldn’t do.”

    Since the beginning of the spring 2016 semester, Maugé-Lewis has worked on this project with her class, and will continue to support them as they complete the project in 2017.
    “It was important that students got a sense of what is required of them in the real workplace and the importance of the team concept in order to work with the client. In a team environment, students must learn to assign roles and to stick to assigned tasks and deadlines so that all parts of the branding and campaign come together flawlessly.”

    Student Eric Liu created the winning logo design that was chosen by SGC International. Now, the students are working on various other items for the conference, including the program cover and a logo for a growler that will be produced by Atlanta’s Orpheus Brewery. With so much ahead for these students, Dibble remains confident.

    “The service this class has provided is wonderful. Carole always provides her students with real world experiences that shine the best light on KSU.  We will be known among all of the thousands of members of the council for this work.”