Category Archives: Student Acheivements

End-of-the-Semester Kudos to SVA Students

A number of majors in the School of Visual Arts had significant achievements this semester.  Hats off!


Ashley Strazzinski.

  • Ashley Strazzinski, who is graduating with an emphasis in Photography this fall, received a Work Scholar Internship at Aperture magazine in New York City.  She starts her internship in January.
  • Several students had their work selected by faculty to show at a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities alumni event in Saint Paul in December.  The students were:  Marissa Van Vleet, Katelyn Hanson, Shalene Cole, Kai Paulus, Brooke Stewart, Becca Larsen, Chai Vang, Yvonne Wegscheid, Katie Mikkelsen, Cara Allbee, and Jesse Suppa.
  • Bertha Vasquez (Sculpture), Takara Geck (Photography), Chantel Fugere (Illustration), Shannon Hokstad (Art History), and Linnea Fittererand (Art History) presented papers at the Red River Women’s Studies Conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on October 4. (For the full story, click here).
  • Jesse Suppa (Sculpture) is serving on the College of Arts, Media, and Communication Student Advisory Board to the Dean.
  • Courtney Johnson, who is graduating with an emphasis in Photography and a minor in Business Management this fall, had two pieces accepted into the national juried exhibition, Reflections of Autumn, in Romeo, Michigan. Her work, Red Sweep, received second place in the exhibition.
  • Meghann Hlibichuck (Painting) and Megan Brabec (Painting) participated in the Autumn Art Auction at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks.  Their works were featured in the color catalog.
  • Sam Williams

    Samuel Williams.

    Samuel Williams (Illustration) is working as a freelance illustrator for Institute of Domestic Violence in the African American Community in Minneapolis.

  • Painting students Alex Nelson, Carly Lengstorf,  Meghann Hlibichuk, Megan Brobec, Katelyn Hanson, Megan Quiring, and Cara Allbee participated in 2013 Annual Area Invitational Show at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls.  Katelyn Hanson received Merit Award.

SVA students and faculty present at conference

Pseudo film still by Takara Geck titled, "Beauty."  This was one of several pieces Geck discussed in her presentation.

Pseudo film still by Takara Geck titled, “Beauty.” This was one of several pieces Geck discussed in her paper, “Photographic Commentaries.”

On October 4, five School of Visual Arts majors presented papers at the 13th Annual Red River Women’s Studies Conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  As MSUM art history professor Dr. Anna Arnar points out, this conference presents a unique opportunity for students. Unlike student conferences in which students present only with other students, the Red River Women’s Studies Conference is a “challenge because students are presenting material along side professors and independent scholars.”

Although challenging, presenting at a conference can be a very rewarding experience for students. Chantel Fugere, who presented a paper titled, “The Art and Critical Reception of Mary Cassatt,” commented:

It was exhilarating and exciting to speak in front of a room full of people you don’t know that are generally interested in what you’re speaking about. I think the best thing about it was how accomplished I felt after presenting.  

Additional art history papers were presented at the conference by students Shannon Hokstad (“Women in the Posters of Alphonse Mucha”) and Linnea Fitterer (“Vivienne Westwood: Harnessing Rebelliousness and Femininity for Success”).  Art historian Dr. Holly Silvers also presented her paper, “A Monstrous Regiment: Interpreting the Stigma of the Feminine through Re-gendered and De-gendered Bodies in the Middle Ages and Beyond.”

Ber Vasquez and her piece, "Infertility," which she discussed as part of her paper, "La Silueta."

Ber Vasquez and her piece, “Infertility,” which she discussed as part of her paper, “La Silueta.”

Students in the studio areas of the School of Visual Arts also presented at the conference in a session titled, “The Art of Identity.” Ber Vasquez, a candidate in the Certificate in Studio Research program, discussed her sculptural works, which she defines as “political action” informed by her culture and life experience.  Photography student Takara Geck presented her photographic commentaries about women and their prescribed social roles. Drawing faculty member, Sherry Lee Short, also participated in the session, presenting a paper titled, “The Ethics of Pedagogical Power: Masculinist ideologies at play in women students’ works exploring identity in the visual arts.”

Students who are interested in presenting at conferences should discuss opportunities with their professors and advisors.  The Student Academic Conference, which is held in April each year at MSUM, is a great opportunity for students.