Tag Archives: conferences

Printmaking students attend international conference

From left to right: Katie

From left to right: Sasha Bitzer, Katie Mikkelson, Jennifer Junker. San Francisco 2014.

In late March, School of Visual Arts students Sasha Bitzer, Jennifer Junker, and Katie Mikkelsen spent four days in San Francisco attending the Southern Graphics Council International Conference.  The conference provided myriad opportunities for exploring the diverse intersections between traditional and emerging technologies in printmaking, building connections with other artists in the national and international printmaking community, and exploring the print as a tool for social change.

Jennifer Junker reflects, “I attended the Southern Graphics conference because it was an opportunity to meet other printmakers and see other types of artworks and processes. There are many demonstrations, speakers, papers, exhibitions, etc. that go on throughout the conference so you can see and learn a lot of different things in a small period of time. ”  She adds, ” Overall, I feel as if SGCI is something any printmaker should go to at least once. You learn quite a few things, and see a lot of art, and meet other artists just like you.”


Sasha Bitzer showing her work at the Southern Graphics Conference International 2014.

One of the opportunities that Sasha Bitzer took advantage of was participating in the Student and Emerging Artist Open Portfolio Session.  The Open Portfolio Session allows students to showcase their work and creates opportunities for networking with other printmakers.  Collectors and curators also attend the Open Portfolio Session, which can open up very exciting connections for emerging artists.

SVA Printmaking Professor Patrick Vincent and Gallery Director Lauren Kinney also attended the conference.  Professor Vincent sees attending professional conferences as beneficial for both students and professors.  Vincent says, “For me as an instructor, working with these advanced students, it’s a way to give them ideas for their creative lives beyond college and possibilities for outside of the Fargo-Moorhead region (for those thinking about graduate schools). Or it’s a way to bring those new ideas back to the Fargo-Moorhead region.”

The 2015 Southern Graphics Council International Conference will take place in Knoxville, Tennessee, March 18-21.  For more information: SCGI 2015.




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.