Art alumni

Recent alumni

  • Clove Ellis

    Clove Ellis

    (BFA 21) Fine Arts
    Founder of Peachfuzzums

    Ellis is a mixed-media and installation artist who self describes as a queer, neurodivergent trans artist. Since graduating, they have built a successful business called Peachfuzzums, creating unique one-of-a-kind wearable animal ears.

  • Kelsey Tucker

    (BFA 19) Fashion Design
    Co-Owner and Operator of Deviate Fashion

    Deviate is a Detroit-based fashion label designing unisex collections situated at the intersection of fashion and art. Deviate uses American-made and ethically sourced materials and we have complete collections that are entirely manufactured by the hands of Detroit artisans.

  • Justine Ross

    Justine Allenette Ross

    (BFA 17) Graphic Design
    Freelance Illustrator and commercial artist
    Multimedia Designer for University of Michigan Medicine

    Multimedia Designer for University of Michigan Medicine Ross creates work for University of Michigan Medicine Department of Communication (DOC) and I also work for CHEAR: Child Health Evaluation and Research Center. For the DOC, she creates editorial illustrations for their health blog. For CHEAR, she works on various graphic design and animations. Her freelance clients include Clienta University of Michigan, Hour Magazine / DBusiness Magazine, MetroTimes Detroit, Rent Party Detroit, Pontiac Creative Arts Center, FreeLife Productions, BLAC Detroit Magazine.

    Her successes include two cover page illustrations for MetroTimes, Detroit.

  • Paola Buitrago

    Paola Buitrago

    (BFA 18) Graphic Design
    YouTube Creator

    Known on all platforms as 'Paola Kassa' is a Youtube Creator who has amassed a following of 79,000 subscribers online curating graphic design, art, and lifestyle content.

  • Alex Shammami

    Alex Shammami

    (BFA 18) Graphic Design
    Designer, Campbell Ewald

    Shammani is former Integrated Design Lead at Hour Magazine, covering branding, event design, and advertising, developing design systems, collateral, and identities for all of our regional markets, including Detroit, L.A., and Minneapolis. He also worked as Associate Art Director for DBusiness Magazine, Michigan BLUE, and Detroit Design.

Notable alumni

  • Desir√©e Kelly

    (BFA 11) Graphic Design
    Independent Muralist + Portraitist

    Desiree Kelly is an award winning artist and a native to Detroit. The former Production Manager/Senior Graphic Designer for The Detroit Metro Times weekly is now known for her work as Detroit’s premiere Portrait painter. While at Metro Times she won her first national award for Best Cover illustration featuring a painting of author Dan Savage from the (AAN) Association of Alternative Newsmedia in 2012. In 2019, she was named by Crain's Detroit Business as a "Twenty in their 20's" honoree, which highlights outstanding young leaders in business. Subsequently making her the first Visual Artist (Painter) in history named to the list. Kelly’s work can be seen in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building (Mayor's office), dPoP!, Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles, Eastern Market & the historical Alger Theater in Detroit. Her work is also in Permanent Collections of museums such as Charles H Wright Museum of African American History and Flint Institute of Arts. She was resident artist in cycle 5 of Red Bull House of Art (now RedBull Arts) in Detroit- Eastern Market in 2013. Since she has traveled the US featuring her work in numerous Art Fairs such as Millennium Art Fair (Chicago), DIY Street Fair (Ferndale, MI), South Haven Art Fair( South Haven, MI) and opened a Pop Up Gallery during Art Basel (Miami) 2017 in Wynwood. Commissions have included: Pepsi, Pandora (jewelry), The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Converse, Jack Daniels, Kroger, City of Royal Oak(MI), Beaumont Health, Atwater Brewery , FootLocker INC, PUMA and more.

  • Bianca Ibarlucea

    (BFA 15) Graphic Design
    Faculty at Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall

    Bianca Ibarlucea is an independent designer, and researcher. She uses participatory processes to design with people, instead of for, and is interested in inclusive design practices which center people who are normally marginalized by design.

  • Eva Zielinski

    (BFA 13) Graphic Design
    Digital Designer at The Mars Agency

    Eva Zielinski has worked locally in Detroit and internationally in Warsaw.

  • Nancy Barr

    (MFA) Art History
    Dept. Head, Prints, Drawing and Photographs and James Pearson Duffy Curator of Photography at Detroit Institute of Arts
    Nancy Barr has have worked at the DIA for 25 years. She studied photography at the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, where I received a BFA before receiving her MFA from WSU.

  • Tracee Glab

    (MA 10) Art History
    Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at Flint Institute of Arts

    Tracee Glab joined the FIA in 2009 as assistant curator after working for ten years at the Detroit Institute of Arts in multiple roles. Today, she is the FIA’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions overseeing the vast FIA collection and organizing current and future exhibitions. Since graduating from WSU, Traces Glab as developed a strong record of developing and implementing innovative research and organizational strategies within multiple departments, including curatorial, exhibitions, publications, and education. She manages projects from concept through finished product, with close attention to budgets, deadlines, and quality, with well-honed research skills within museum and academic fields.

  • Michael Hill

    (BA 06) Art History
    Program Coordinator at Detroit Institute of Arts

    Michael Hill has been with the DIA for over 14 years. His work as program coordinator includes researching and hiring performers, artists, and lecturers and developing and supporting museum programs for multiple departments including Audio Visual, Visitor Services, Museum Operation, and more.

  • Darryll DeAngelo Terrell

    (BFA 15) Photography
    Digital Content Creator at MoCADA - Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art

    Darryl DeAngelo Terrell is a Detroit Based Artist, Curator, and Organizer. They are a Master of Fine Art graduate from the Prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where they studied Photography. Darryl is the 2019 Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow, 2018 LuminArt Fellow, and the 2017 Edes Award Finalist. Darryl has also exhibited across the US at galleries and Museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL), The Museum Of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (Brooklyn, NYC, NY), The John F Kennedy Center(Washington DC) , University of Chicago Arts Incubator (Chicago, IL), Hunter Museum of American Art (Chattanooga, TN) as well as Xpace Cultural Centre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).

  • Aleksey Kondratyev

    (BFA 14) Photography
    Photographer-in-Residence at Clark Construction Group, LLC

    Aleksey Kondratyev also holds an MFA in Photography from UCLA. Prior to his residency at Clark, he worked as a freelance photographer and  has been published on CNN.

  • Morgan Bouldes

    (BFA) Photography

    Morgan Bouldes is also a recent graduate of Cranbrook Art Academy. She is also a recipient of the AICAD Post-graduate Teaching Fellowship at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Her recent work focuses on her role as an  interdisciplinary artist and an “experience curator,” making immersive, experience-based work. The foundation of her practice is deeply rooted in sharing her personal narrative through experimental storytelling.

  • Nour Ballout

    (BFA) Photography
    Artist, Curator, and Creative Director

    Nour Ballout  also received their MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. They are the Founding Director of the Habibi House Full-time, a neighborhood-based community art space and social engagement residency in Detroit. They are also the Co-Curator & Creative Director of ARAB: A Real Arab Blueprint which is an exhibition & event series, funded by Knight Arts Foundation, presenting unique perspectives & and expressions from the Arab World and Diaspora. Selected works from Noura’s Photo Journalism project, Humans of Detroit, is featured in the Metro Times. They also are a recipient of the 2019 Gilda Award, awarded by Kresge Arts in Detroit, a program of The Kresge Foundation and the Applebaum Fellowship.

  • Emily Linn

    (MFA 07) Fine Arts
    Co-Owner and Creative Director, City Bird and Nest

    City Bird is a retail store located in Cass Corridor in Midtown, Detroit, carrying housewares, jewelry, paper goods, apparel, accessories, and home decor by hundreds of independent artists and designers and feature work from Detroit and Michigan. Emily and her business partner (also get brother) produce a popular house line of products celebrating Detroit and Michigan and show case more than 200 other retailers throughout the Great Lakes region.

  • Megan Robitalle

    (BFA 12) Industrial Design

    Creative Operations and Resourcing for Amazon, Cross-Channel Marketing (XCM)

    Megan Robitalle has experience in art production, project management, operations, creative resourcing, and talent acquisition. Prior to joining Amazon in 2020, she worked for Cambell-Ewald, Doner, and Organic focus on art direction art buying, and creative direction. Today she manages timelines and budgets for projects including large scale commercial photography shoots, illustrations, CGI, print, social, digital, and integrated campaigns.

  • Dave Lentz

    (BFA 96) Industrial Design
    VP, Executive Creative Director - Events & Experiences at Salesforce

    Before joining Salesforce, Dave Lentz was a SVP of Creative at Sparks.

  • Angela Bell

    Angela Bell (BFA 10) Industrial Design and Photography
    Color and Trim Designer at Ford Motor Company

    Prior to joining Ford, Angela Bell worked as a Design Program Manager for Eagle Ottawa, a Stylist for Elise Mesner, and a Designer for SEE Eyewear.

  • Richard Ganas

    (BFA 09) Industrial Design
    Founder and CEO, GANAS MFG

    GANAS is a Detroit-based company specializing in architectural millwork and bespoke furniture. Since 2015 GANAS has been bridging the gap between design and craftsmanship, utilizing traditional and modern processes from the ideation phase of a project, to the CAD engineering, making, delivery to the customer. Prior to forming GANAS, Richard Ganas worked as a product designer and prototype shop manager for Quirky, Inc.

  • Christen Morris

    (BFA) Industrial Design
    Founder and Owner of Dirt Label

    Dirt Label was founded by Detroiter Chris Morris in 2007. Morris’ designs feature an array of streetwear, including T-shirts, hoodies, hats and more, many embossed with one of the brand’s signature bear logos.

  • Eva D. Smith

    (BFA 17) Graphic Design
    Designer & Founder of Odd Poppy Brand Co.

    Eva Smith specializes in brand design, strategy, lettering, and mural painting. Her focus is on creating lasting impressions with target consumers. Prior to forming her own business, she worked as a designer for Doner and Aramark.

  • ¬†Kathryn (Kat) Goffnett

     (MA 20) Art History
    Assistant Curator of Collections at Cranbrook Art Museum

  • Hrioko Lancour

    Fine Arts (MFA 14) Fine Arts

    Hiroko Lancour is a Michigan-based multi-media artist, who creates both two and three-dimensional works. Born and raised in Japan, her original artistic sensibility was developed in the eastern world. Having lived in the United States most of her adult life, this sensibility has become a hybrid between east and west.

  • Christopher Olszewski

    Christopher Olszewski

    (MFA) Fine Arts

    Christopher Olszewski creates site-specific, interactive installations and invites people to make their mark. Participants write their ideas / feelings / insights / emotions / statements onto his “canvases” – which are protective car covers that he then transfigured into objects resembling ceremonial animal skins. Since 2016, Christopher has been producing a variety of socially engaged creative projects using the vehicle as a mobile vessel for concepts, beliefs, opinions and theories. In his creative project "The Rustbelt Mobile Exchange Center", Christopher tries to combat the years of negative public relations, cast a positive promotion of the region, rediscover the rich history and document the spirited people of the American Rustbelt. 

  • Mee Shim

    (MFA 00) Fine Arts, Painting
    Artist/owner at Mee Shim Fine Art

    Mee Shim’s accomplishments include instructing in Art at Indiana University. She is internationally recognized and has shown her work at art museums and galleries in the US, South Korea, and Europe. Her works have been collected by many private art collectors and art museums.

  • Shiva Ahmadi

    (MFA) Fine Arts

    Shiva Ahmadi borrows from the artistic traditions of Iran and the Middle East to critically examine global political tensions and social concerns. Having come of age in the tumultuous years following the Iranian Revolution and subsequent Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, Ahmadi moved to the United States in 1998, and has been based in California since 2015. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Asia Society Museum, New York, NY; Grey Art Gallery, New York University, NY; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL; Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE; TDIC Corporate Collection, Abu Dhabi, UAE; and the private collection of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, among others. 

  • John Merigian

    (MA 03) Fine Arts
    Consultant/ part time Faculty at the University of Michigan

    John Merigian’s principle focus as an artist is public sculpture, with an emphasis on figurative site responsive work. Examples of major site specific public works include “Plaza Promenade” 2009, and “A Four Phrase Movement” 2010. Two monumental sculptures were permanently installed in 2011: “A Time to Rejoice” 37’ tall, in Cassopolis, MI, and “Be Still and Know IV” 32’ tall, in Lacks Park, Grand Rapids, MI.  A multiple figure work - "Visitors" -  was installed in the Town of Cary, NC.

  • Ryan Standfest

    Ryan Standfest (BFA 02) Fine Arts, Printmaking
    Publisher and Editor and Chief of Rotland Press
    Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Oakland University

    Ryan Standfest has an active studio practice, actively publishes, presents / lectures and teaches. He is the Publisher and Editor and Chief of Rotland Press which is a small publishing house, founded in 2010. Recent solo exhibitions include There's Nothing So Bad That It Can't Grow Worse, Hatch Art (Hamtramck, MI), 2022, Dumpster Fire, Southeastern Community College (Burlington, IA), 2022, I Went to Work But I Did Not Get There, Simone DeSousa EDITION (Detroit), 2020, This Must Not Be The Place You Thought It Would Be, Art Department Gallery, Wayne State University (Detroit), 2018.