ISU College of Design hosts curated "30 and Beyond" alumni exhibition Aug. 3-Sept. 26

AMES, Iowa - Thirty years ago, Iowa State University's College of Design opened its doors to thousands of students pursuing their passion to create. Now, under the direction of a distinguished curator, the college will exhibit 30 pieces of alumni creative work.

"30 and Beyond: College of Design Alumni Exhibition," curated by David Revere McFadden, chief curator and vice president for programs and collections at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, will be open Aug. 3 to Sept. 26 in Gallery 181, College of Design. A reception and a lecture by McFadden will be on Monday, Aug. 24. All events are free and open to the public.

"A Road to White Coral," Christine Simpson Forni (2008). Photo by artist

The 30 pieces in the exhibition range from fiber and metals to award-winning buildings and a 1,347-acre park. McFadden selected the works from 362 submissions by 206 alumni of the college and its predecessor programs. Graduation dates of the exhibitors extend from 1958 to 2007, although all work submitted must have been completed since 2003. One submission from each entrant will be included in an accompanying online show (starting Aug. 3 at ).

Curator McFadden, who has organized more than 120 exhibitions on decorative arts, design and craft, chose works "that were exceptional and memorable." He did not consider the entrant's discipline or graduation date.

"The 30 entries presented here encompass five broad themes that illuminate the design process and the ways in which design can enhance, enrich and enliven our environment," McFadden said.

The exhibition's five themes, which McFadden said "help focus attention on key aspects of the array of distinctive designs," are listed below with selected works.

Information, Language and Narrative

Ballyhoo Bay, Derek Anderson (BFA 1991 Art and Design)
Anderson, Minneapolis, Minn., has illustrated several children's books, including the award-winning, best-selling "Little Quack" series. He wrote and illustrated "Romeo and Lou Blast Off," which was named one of the best books of 2007 by Parent & Child magazine. Anderson's colorful, fun and engaging illustrations for "Ballyhoo Bay," a children's picture book by Judy Sierra, tell the story of an art teacher and her students stopping urban development on their beloved beach.

"Every Saturday Morning on Ballyhoo Beach," Derek Anderson (2007-08). Image courtesy of Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

St. Louis Rams 2008 Campaign, Aaron Evanson (BFA 1994 Graphic Design)
Evanson is creative director at White_Space in St. Louis, Mo. He has developed advertising campaigns for Coors Light, Tombstone and DiGiorno Pizza. His urban-looking graphic campaign for the St. Louis Rams highlights the intensity of a Rams NFL game experience. The use of a black and white palette and oblique lines of text enhance the visual impact, creating a strong, dynamic design appropriate for the subject matter.


Sanctuary, Julie Niskanen (BFA 2005 Integrated Studio Arts)
A professional artist and teacher in Raleigh, N.C., Niskanen has exhibited her mezzotints (a printmaking technique) and etchings in numerous national and international shows. Her work is included in public and private collections in the United States, Denmark, Italy and New Zealand. She will have a solo show at the Washington Printmakers Gallery, Washington, D.C., in August. "Sanctuary" depicts the beauty of a natural form--a decaying wasp nest. The delicate work conveys the complex but fragile paper nest as a safe refuge.

A Road to White Coral, Christine Simpson Forni (BFA 1989 Graphic Design)
Simpson Forni is a full-time studio artist in Chicago. Her work has been recognized globally for its inspired aesthetic combining various techniques. Her enameled jewelry has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions and in galleries from San Francisco to Glasgow. "A Road to White Coral," a pin/pendant, uses abstract forms to suggest living nature. The textured surfaces, which represent coral, are created from vitreous enamel-a demanding medium. Forms of copper, sterling silver, high-fired porcelain and 23k gold leaf entwine and support the piece.

Domestic Structures: Furniture, Fiber and Form

West Des Moines Christian Church Chancel Furniture, Cameron Campbell (BArch 1997, MArch 2003 Architecture)
Campbell is an associate professor of architecture at Iowa State and owner/principal of Integrated Studio, an architectural design and photography firm with clients nationwide. He designed the new worship space and chancel furniture for the West Des Moines Christian Church. The furniture-a lectern, pulpit and communion table-reflects the sanctuary's spare but dynamic architectural space. Campbell drew inspiration from geometry and the relationship of the many physical and conceptual viewpoints of the congregation.

You are Young Again, You Live Again, Sally (Johnson) Smith (BS 1958 Applied Art)
A textile artist in Scotland, Smith worked many years promoting the country's crafts for the Scottish Development Agency, and later managed visual arts projects for the Scottish Arts Council and National Museums. She created the poetic textile wall hanging, "You are Young Again, You Live Again," to explore the possibility that a popular quilting technique-log cabin piecing-was derived from Egyptian mummy wrappings.

Space and Architecture

Felsennelkenanger Student Housing Complex, Rainer Hofmann (MArch 1995 Architecture)
Hofmann is co-founder and principal of Bogevischs Buero: Hofmann Ritzer Architects and Urban Planners in Munich, Germany. He has directed projects for government, corporate and institutional clients, winning several competitions.

"Felsennelkenanger Student Housing Complex," Rainer Hofmann (2005). Photo by Florian Holzherr

This award-winning, student residence complex houses 545 students in a three-story hall and five multi-story towers. It is asymmetrically divided into three sections by roads running across the complex. Yet, with its bold coloring and sophisticated simplicity, the complex appears as one large unit. The facility uses geothermal heating and solar hot water.

Orange County Great Park Comprehensive Master Plan, Ken Smith (BS 1976 Landscape Architecture)
Smith's practice, Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, is based in New York with an office in California. Much of Smith's work pushes beyond traditional landscape typologies-plaza, street and garden-to landscapes that draw on diverse cultural traditions and influences of the contemporary urban landscape. The 1,347-acre Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif., will feature a constructed 2.5-mile canyon, daylighted existing stream, large lake, cultural terrace, aviation museum, conservatory/botanical garden, promenade of senses and sports park. Smith's overarching vision is to achieve the most environmentally sound and sustainable space possible.


The 9/11 Memorial at LAX: Recovering Equilibrium, BJ Krivanek (BA 1975 Applied Art)
Krivanek is a public artist/designer, principal of Krivanek+Breaux/Art+Design, professor of visual communication at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and artistic director of Community Architexts, all in Chicago. His work has been widely published and honored. In his 9/11 memorial for Los Angeles International Airport-where three of the hijacked flights were headed-Krivanek created a moving artwork that explores the private and public nature of memory, loss, recovery and salvation. The design appropriates and adapts an existing fountain now sheathed in two elements, which shift and interact to suggest the national dialogue that has ensued.

Clarinet Player, Maria Lux (BFA 2006 Graphic Design, BFA 2006 Integrated Studio Arts)
Lux is an instructional development specialist and designer for Iowa State's agronomy department, and will begin graduate study in painting at the University of Illinois in the fall. In her paintings of commonplace scenes and ordinary people, Lux gently applies the humor, irony and satire of memory. Marching bands and instruments often appear in her work. In "Clarinet Player," she is drawn to the sense of awkwardness and earnestness that the young musician embodies. The result is both tender and absurd.

"30 and Beyond: College of Design Alumni Exhibition," will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Aug. 3 to 23. Beginning Aug. 24 until Sept. 26, it will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. On the Sundays of Aug. 30, Sept. 13 and 20, the exhibition will be open 1 to 4 p.m.

The public reception will be 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24 in Gallery 181 and the Lyle E. Lightfoot Forum, College of Design. McFadden's lecture, "The Blur Zone: Art, Craft and Design Today," will be at 7:30 p.m. in Kocimski Auditorium, 101 College of Design.