I am the Executive Director of MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships. Together with the CACP team we partner with people and communities within and beyond MassArt to radically expand access to transformative creative experiences. “Ceci Méndez-Ortiz (she/her) is an artist and educator whose creative voice and community building practices advance cultures of belonging, justice, and joy. Ceci is the Executive Director of the Center for Art and Community Partnerships (CACP) at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she collaborates with the CACP team to partner with people and communities within and beyond MassArt to radically expand access to transformative creative experiences. She is also Co-director of the Radical Imagination for Racial Justice regranting program in Boston, a collaboration between MassArt, City of Boston, and the Surdna Foundation designed to support BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists in imagining and creating justice in collaboration with their community/ies. Ceci’s artistic practice centers on drawing, collage, and stop motion animations; her work reflects issues of identity, culture, consumption, invention, collective action, and play.
Hi, I’m Emily! I’m from Terryville CT and I’m a sophomore at MassArt majoring in Painting. This year I started as a manager at the ReStore, and it’s one of the most fulfilling roles I’ve ever had. After volunteering last semester I grew to love the re store and all that it does for the community and for sustainability. It’s amazing being able to provide students with the materials they need, especially when it’s used to create beautiful artwork!
I am a sophomore industrial design student from Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m interested in simplicity and sustainability throughout the design process, especially in the built environment of the city.
I’m a lgbtqa+ illustrator who works mainly about botanical and zoological subjects in traditional and digital mediums and often will focus on plein air paintings, landscapes or interests in certain video games.
James Mason is a designer and educator with a history of academic leadership. Prior to his current role as the Interim Provost and Dean of Faculty, James served as the Local Chapter President of the Massachusetts State College Association, the Chair of Liberal Arts, and as a professor of Fashion Design. James is active on MassArt’s Foundation Board and teaches with MassArt’s Artward Bound program. In the private sector, James managed retail and merchandising operations for the regional operations of several national apparel brands.
Mary Grant was appointed President of Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) effective in July 2021. Dr. Grant brings to MassArt nearly 30 years of experience in public higher education, including significant leadership positions as President of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Asheville. Dr. Grant served as the President of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and as Senior Administrative Fellow for Civics and Social Justice at Bridgewater State University, leading the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice and serving as Co-Chair of the President’s Special Task Force on Racial Justice. Dr. Grant earned a Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, a M.S. in Public Affairs from University of Massachusetts Boston, and a B.A. in Sociology from MCLA/North Adams State University.
Julian is a designer at Bruner/Cott Architects passionate about design and its implications on the human connection with shared spaces. Historic Preservation is at the forefront of Julian’s work. He is a key member on several of BCA’s ongoing preservation projects including Arlington Street Church, the Blackstone Steam Plant at Harvard University, and the Moderna Forbes Hill Mansion. Julian is active in a variety of local and national industry organizations such as the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and its Boston Chapter, BosNOMA, where he serves as Executive Secretary and program coordinator for Project Pipeline. He is currently on the Boston Society of Architecture Membership Committee, is a Young Advisor Board Member for the Boston Preservation Alliance, and a Youth Programs Instructor for the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. As a resident of the Fenway neighborhood, Julian serves on the Board of Directors for the Fenway Community Center and is a member of the Fenway Community Advisory Committee.
Patricia Seitz is Professor and Chair of the Architecture Department at MassArt and a licensed architect teaching studios within the BFA and M.Arch degree programs. She is also a co-Chair and one of the Founders of the Global Design Initiative for Refugee Children, a Knowledge Community within the Boston Society of Architecture and the Boston Society for Landscape Architects that won a 2020 Collaborative Design Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Established in 2016, it facilitates through partnerships with global NGO’s, the design and construction of communal public playspace for refugee children and their families living in contemporary encampments globally and in diasporic communities locally. www.GDIRC.org She is also on the Council of Native Plant Trust, a local entity conserving and promoting New England’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes and native plant education. https://www.nativeplanttrust.org.
Emily Cobb is a jewelry designer and maker living in Providence, Rhode Island. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM from Tyler School of Art in 2012. Her work has been featured on the cover of Metalsmith Magazine and in publications such as Digital Handmade: Craftsmanship in the New Industrial Revolution, and exhibited internationally in museums such as the Racine Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, and HOW Art Museum. Emily is currently an Assistant Professor of Jewelry and Metals at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.
Cobb’s jewelry illustrates emotions, experiences, and relationships through the abstraction and reconstruction of animal forms. By imagining alternative realities in which animals grow and age in unusual ways, she develops beautiful yet haunting physical transformations by combining both metalworking and digital fabrication techniques. Birds unravel like ribbons as they grow older until they completely become undone. Fish dry up over time, their body’s surface cracking apart like riverbeds during a drought. Frogs slowly thaw like icicles on a warm day, their skin succumbing to gravitational pull. Through juxtaposition, metamorphosis, and abstraction of representational forms, Cobb considers both the appealing and damaging results of the passing of time.
I teach classes in the Jewelry and Metalsmithing area of the Fine Arts 3D department. Last semester I taught a course, Radical Jewelry Makeover, that is an international community jewelry mining and recycling project focused on education and collaboration. In the introductory courses I teach in jewelry and metals, I teach student show to reuse metal by melting down their scraps and forming them into new metal sheet and wire. Students also learn how to properly dispose of any chemicals we use in the studio, and best practices when it comes to their own health and safety as well as the environments.
I started MassArt in Fall 2021, and as a non-traditional student, I am someone coming from a different perspective than a traditional one. I have my B.A. in Psychology and have also attended a web development bootcamp. I have worked in research, mental health, and in the tech field. Throughout my time in and out of school, I have always been very focused on understanding what I can do better to fight climate change. I am planning on starting up my own business and would love to know what I can do as an entrepreneur to practice sustainability and be as ethical as possible.
Ryan Hacker, BFA ’12, is an architectural project manager at UMass Chan Medical School, where he has worked in the Engineering & Construction Department since graduating MassArt with his degree in Architecture. During his time at UMass, Ryan has contributed to, designed and overseen numerous, high-profile projects for the Commonwealth. Ryan also holds a Master of Science in Facilities Management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
When he’s not working on projects at UMass Chan, Ryan serves as the President of the Board for ArtsWorcester, a local nonprofit championing contemporary art. There, he was tasked with designing and overseeing a new $800,000 gallery buildout, later helping to lead the organization through the pandemic. Outside of the arts, Ryan serves as an election warden for the City of Worcester Election Commission, and volunteers as a member of Box 4 Special Services, which provides emergency incident support to first responders throughout Central Massachusetts.
Karen Hampton is a conceptually based fiber artist, addressing issues of colorism and kinship. She is recognized as a figurative storyteller weaving together textures and colors of the ancient world with an imagined future. Material and imagery are part of her methodology to access her ancestral and personal heritage. Using her training in the fiber arts with her training in anthropology, she synthesizes the weaver’s role with that of a griot, the storyteller. Hampton’s art practice easily flows between different fiber surfaces and materials. Hampton’s life experience spans from the farm where she has raised her own animals, dye plants and spun their fleece to the classroom where her students have dyed with her dyes.
Fibers classes; weaving, dyeing and surface design processes. I incorporate sustainability into my lesson plan by speaking about the different cultures, processes and histories of world textiles. I address how and where materials are found and contextualize how they are used. As well as address the means of production and labor as sustainability issues.
Haley is in her third year at MassArt pursuing a degree in painting with a minor in sustainability. She is the founder and president of the MassArt Bird Club and a student representative on the Sustainability in the Curriculum Committee. Her work pertains to the human experience in the environment, with a focus on her passion for wildlife and ecology.
My name is Clara, and I’m an animation major who’s minoring in sustainability. I also attend sustainability committee meetings, and I like to garden on my free time.
My background in creative practice stems from collaborations with traditional glass artisans in India since 1998, on research and design initiatives aimed at socio-economic empowerment.
I studied Accessories’ Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi, hold a BFA from Alfred University, New York, and completed my graduate studies from Rhode Island School of Design in 2007.
I teach a range of required and elective courses (studio and seminar) in the glass program + 3D courses within the fine arts 3D department such as studio practice, professional practice, advanced sculpture studio, making it! : methods and materials + occasionally I teach graduate and first-year students.
Sustainability topics are included in my courses via lectures, assignment parameters, discussions and specific PoV to offer critique from.
I live and work between India and the United States, as Associate Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, and Director at ChoChoMa Studios, Bangalore.” Carrying long histories across many cultures as well as deep implications in current cutting edge technologies, glassmaking poses significant challenges towards positive climate action. I will share a 5-minute presentation that highlights initiatives in the field that respond to these challenges by way of innovations in process and/or ethical design practice.
Julia Giangrande is an apprenticed metalsmith studying Jewelry and Metals with a minor in Sustainability at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has an interest in creating sustainable and ethical works of art that are free from animal products and inspire people to protect our planet.
Ava Fedorov is a visual artist, writer, and educator. With a background that also includes design and film, she pulls from all realms of her creative knowledge to portray disappearing wilderness, haunted geographies, and the implicit nexus that connects internal and external landscapes. Ava’s work has been exhibited, collected, and published internationally and she has been honored to collaborate with artists and art institutions across the world. Ava teaches studio art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and is also the founder and president of CICADA (cicadaartists.org), an organization committed to amplifying the creative response to environmental justice and the climate crisis.
I teach Drawing, Visual Language, TIME: Disruptive Design, and TIME: Open Theme. I incorporate aspects of sustainability and climate crisis awarenss into all my classes. Especially in Visual Language and TIME, where there is a lot of thematic leeway, I encourage students to explore personal narratives that respond to this call to action.
Yvette Perullo is a designer, educator, and author. She has lectured internationally about sustainable design and her work has received numerous awards. Yvette is co-founder and partner at Re-nourish, an independent nonprofit organization that provides resources and tools to help advocate awareness and action for sustainable communication design. Yvette’s book “Design to Renourish: Sustainable Graphic Design in Practice” addresses the real life challenges of working with clients to create responsible solutions to climate change by outlining various approaches, pitfalls, and real-world case studies.
Luanne E Witkowski is Assistant Design Studio Director at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, designer/instructor of “Basic Training: a program of holistic education in the studio arts” and the travel course “Nepal: Art and Social Practice” (with the late Denise Marika;) adjunct faculty, MassArt Interdisciplinary Mini-Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, LR-MFA Mentor and 2019 A-I-R. She teaches Creative Thinking in the Critical & Creative Thinking (CCT) graduate program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
In her studio practice as a process artist Luanne works in a wide range of materials, media and reflective social practice. Her works are reflections on her curiosity and interest in ephemera vs eternal, and observations of the natural world and humanity through her experiences creating environmental and site-specific installations.
Valuing strong community connection, she is affiliated with several galleries and arts organizations and has been a member of the Kingston Gallery in Boston since 2005. Witkowski is a recipient of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Lifetime Achievement in Art & Commerce Commendation.
I teach “Basic Training: a program of holistic education in the studio arts” workshops and the travel course “Nepal: Art and Social Practice.” Both are centered around artist responsibility, sustainability and community. I manage the DS9 (Design Studio 9): the shared studio space for Communication Design and Illustration Majors and I am a member of the Sustainability in the Curriculum Committee.
John Kenneth Melvin (MFA-SFAI, BFA-MassArt), is a multi-disciplinary Eco-Artist inspiring cultural exchange via commissions and exhibitions internationally. A born & raised Bay Area native, he divides his off-project time between the USA and France, where he holds an ‘artist visa’ granted by the French government. He taught graduate level Art for 5 years and worked 10 years in the corporate world. He achieved over 20 funded ‘artist in residencies’ at institutions internationally from Cambodia to Colorado, 15 years of consecutive professional exhibitions including over 22 solo exhibitions and collaborates with both non-profits and ultra-luxury hotels, from Missouri to Maldives.
As a sculptor / site-specific installation artist, Janna has had her work published and shown both nationally and internationally. She has received numerous grants including from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artist Foundation and is on the Board of Directors for Transcultural Exchange and The Quarry, Contemporary Art Center, and is a member of the International Ceramics Academy (IAC) and the NCECA Green Task Force.
Raised on a small farm with traditional life methods and materials, Janna has embraced every opportunity to explore the world. Her curiosity started in 1973, at 21 years old, she drove the length of Africa; since then she has had direct cultural experience in 48 countries. As an explorer, Janna absorbs history, culture and science which she reflects upon in her work
As Professor at MassArt, for 45 years, Janna developed her courses to combine technical instruction with cultural, environmental, and social issues. Since 2009, her course Objects that Change Lives, has addressed problems / solutions related to food, water, sustainability, health & shelter, as does the student club, Clay for Change, she also started in 2009. Since 2000, Janna has given students direct cultural contact while teaching her courses in Cuba, Vietnam and Brazil.
The course Objects That Change Lives is particularly includes a lot of sustainability content. Students learn about issues related to water and food crisis / solutions. They also learn about how ceramics studios are addressing issues related to environmental impact.
I am a Masters student in Design and Innovation at MassArt, and previously graduated from the Fashion Certificate program. I was very inspired by the sustainable fashion course I took, and my experiences in the travel course to Laos with Professor Jenn Varekamp working with artisans. Early in my career, I worked closely with artisans and weavers in India as a partner in a small handmade clothing business. I plan to start my own social enterprise that makes garments that are not just good to the planet but features and uplifts the people who create them. I am a mom of three kids here in Brookline, MA.
Jennifer Varekamp is a Professor + Chair in the Fashion Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is a Costume and Clothing Designer committed to sustainability. Jennifer received her ED.M from Harvard University and her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has also studied at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, and at the London College of Fashion. Jennifer designed the costumes for HoverDive, a collaborative dance project that focused on fluid dynamics and ocean science, including the impact of climate change on ocean life. She was a Professional Fellow through Nest and worked in Laos with the social enterprise, Ma Té Sai and a group of TaiLeu women artisans. She has led sustainably focused travel courses to India and Laos. Jennifer has participated in numerous conferences and workshops on sustainable fashion in the US, Europe and Southeast Asia. She was an invited guest lecturer at NIFT in Delhi, India on this topic and was a guest presenter at the RSA Student Awards in New York. Jennifer was featured on Chronicle Channel 5 Boston in a segment on sustainable fashion.
Some of my classes are specifically built around sustainable fashion or different aspects of sustainability. I try to embed it into all of my teachings as it has been a central part of my personal research and development over the years. I want our students to understand the many facets of sustainability and how they can become sustainable practitioners in their own art and design fields.
Stephanie Cardon is an artist from France and the United States, who lives and works in Boston. She is Associate Professor in Studio Foundation at MassArt and has been teaching at the College since 2011. She is currently the Director of the Colleges of the Fenway Center for Sustainability and the Environment. Stephanie’s creative work is preoccupied with the emotional and social impact of ecological loss and climate change. Her most recent pieces exist as exercises in building power and resilience through the repetition of fundamentally practical and humble gestures such as sewing, pouring concrete, or crocheting nets. Through the repetition of line, volume, shape and action, these pieces speak to the acquisition of techniques and skills. In their color, scale, and use of multiplication they become efforts in loudness and amplification.
In addition to Environmental Forum I team Time, Form Study and Visual Language. I teach students about material sourcing and circularity, toxicity, upcycling. I approach teaching sustainability in an intersectional way, engaging in discussions around environmental racism, economics, gender, cultural perspectives and knowledge.
Sebastian Gonzalez’s work focuses on climate change and environmental issues using moving image, site-specific interventions and performance. He was raised in Bogotá, Colombia and holds a B.A. in psychology, a graduate degree in photography and is currently an MFA Film & Video candidate at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Named one of Boston’s “Top 50 Power Women in Real Estate” and the 2016 President of the Boston Society of Architects, Tamara has designed over a dozen visible projects in Boston that speak to her passion for joyful architecture, sustainability, community engagement, and affordable housing. She helped the Urban Mechanics Lab write Boston’s Compact Living Policy, to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of residential living. She was the first female architecture Principal at the Boston office of Stantec.
Tamara teaches design studios at MassArt, sharing her business network with her students to help diversify the pipeline of architecture graduates, and she is an outspoken advocate for women and minorities in Boston. She has been married for 30 years and is the proud mother of two young adults, Teo and Via. Via graduated MassArt in 2021 from the Oil Painting department.
Joanne Lukitsh is a Professor Emerita in the History of Art Department. In collaboration with Jane Marsching, Lukitsh has worked for over a decade on the Sustainable MassArt Initiative, including the establishment of the Colleges of the Fenway Minor in Sustainability at MassArt. Lukitsh has taught “HART 314: issues of Climate Change in Contemporary Art” since the spring 2019 semester and will be teaching the course this fall. Lukitsh has published extensively in the history of photography; her most recent book is the anthology, “Photography and the Arts: Essays on 19th Century Practices and Debates,” co-edited with Juliet Hacking, published by Bloomsbury in 2020.