MassArt Illustration

March 9, 2018
by alice.stanne

The Journey So Far

On March 15th several Illustration alumni will be returning to campus to speak with current seniors about their experiences after graduation. The Journey So Far event will be held in the the Kennedy Conference and Lounge (K280) at 2:00 pm.

The following alums will be joining the panel:

Krista Perry is an illustrator and designer from Massachusetts. She received a BFA in Illustration (with honors) from MassArt in 2015. In 2016 Krista was recognized by the Society of Illustrators Student Competition, and was her artwork was printed on the cover of their student catalog! She loves F-U-N! She thrives on color and pattern and holds a special interest for pop culture, kitsch, music history, mid century design, classic American culture, and silliness. Hand lettering, pattern making, and big explosions of color make her world turn. When she isn’t illustrating, she loves people watching, seeing live music, an​d daydreaming about fabulous Italian dishes.

Becca Cahan graduated from Massart in 2013 and has been freelance illustrating ever since. Some fun projects she has worked on since graduation have included creating wall art for Target, greeting cards for Trader Joe’s, calendars and planners distributed at stores such as Barnes and Nobles, illustrations for craft books with Klutz Scholastic and other illustrated stationery goods such as journals and illustrated gift books. Becca’s work all starts by hand with watercolor paintings that are digitized to create flexibility when it comes to client revisions. Most of Becca’s illustrations are colorful hand lettering pieces filled with decorative florals and geometric patterning.

Steve Mardo is an Illustrator from Rhode Island. He has been commissioned by an array of clients ranging from Boston publications to galleries in Los Angeles. Steve also self-publishes his own graphic novels and comics under his creative endeavor Angry Baby Comics. He has studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his B.F.A. in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012.


Marc Roulstone, a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (1997) with a BFA in Illustration, worked for many years as a staff graphic designer and product developer. In 2009 he went out on his own as a freelancer and also began offering his personal work for sale at art shows and high end artisan open markets.

October 16, 2017
by alice.stanne

Kingdom Animalia: Illustrations from New England Exhibit

by Professor Suzanne BarnesThis month, I had the unexpected pleasure of being invited to exhibit in “Kingdom Animalia: Illustrations from New England” at the art gallery at Eastern Connecticut University, August 31, 2017 – October 12, 2017. Included in the exhibit were two of my former students, Skarlett Prittie and Liveta Lapinskaite, as well as my colleague Prof. Scott Bakal. The FAIC gallery is brand new, impressively designed, and spacious, with high ceilings and lots of floor to ceiling glass.

Emily Handlin, coordinator for gallery & museum operations at Eastern, beautifully curated the exhibit. “The motivation for the exhibition was Eastern’s new illustration concentration, which began last year,” said Handlin. “I hope that the exhibition would introduce illustration students to the wide range of media, techniques, styles and markets within the field. New England is home to so many wonderful illustrators, many of whom are dedicated educators themselves – I also wanted to showcase their work.”Here’s something about art education. I could lock a student in a room, throw away the key, and keep slipping sandwiches under the door until they’d made one hundred drawings or paintings. By then, they’d be pretty good, even though I’d never said a word. Who among us would want to do that though?

What happens instead is that we spend several hundred hours together over the span of three years. A student listens to me talk about art in general and their work specifically, while I poke them to try a particular thing that they might not want to try or think they can’t do. Then maybe they try it and maybe it turns out great, or maybe it doesn’t, and we pick up from there. While I am talking, listening, poking, my colleagues are doing the same, and by the time we have passed a student along our line, they’ve produced a body of work they could not have made on the day they entered MassArt. That is a teacher’s real pay.

Consequently, I felt exceptionally rich and extraordinarily proud at this exhibit. My twig sharing green herons hung to the left of Prof. Bakal’s fat red and tiny blue birds, both of our birds beneath Liveta Lapinskaite’s colorful toucan tunnel book.
My series of small books about claws and snouts was displayed in a plexiglas vitrine directly in front of Skarlett Prittie’s monumental passenger pigeon, a piece I’d watched Skarlett work on in the ninth floor studio hallway for two months. Now here we were.Decades ago, my teacher Barney Rubenstein, who studied with Oskar Kokoschka, taught me things that Oskar taught him. I teach these same things to my students, and some who are now teachers pass Oskar’s knowledge to their students, along with their own accumulated wisdom. This is how artists have taught one another for centuries, in a long chain that stretches back to French caves. As artists, we make art in part to leave something of ourselves behind. As teachers, we leave something equally important behind in our students, who become working artists and links in the chain, and continue to pass us all forward. It’s a pretty noble profession.

June 13, 2017
by alice.stanne

Professional Artist Magazine Featuring Faculty and Alumni

The June/July issue of Professional Artist Magazine features an article by Visiting Lecturer John Roman, “Go for the Gold: The Artist as Athlete.” The article focuses on the challenges a freelance artist faces in a variety of markets and the satisfaction achieved by reaching a successful goal.

The article also features work by several MassArt illustration alumni, who have gone on to work in a variety of fields.Becca Cahan (BFA ’13), Illustrator Specializing in Illustrated Lettering

Laura DeDonato (BFA ’08) , Mural Artist

Leah Klein (BFA ’11), Graphic Designer

Frank Koran, Gallery Artist

The June/July issue of Professional Artist Magazine is now available online and at your local bookstores.

November 18, 2016
by alice.stanne

Student Awards

As we get near the end of 2016, we’ve been looking at some of the achievements of our illustration students.

We are proud to see our students get the nod this year from so many respected national competitions which have included the Society of Illustrators, 3×3, Creative Quarterly, Communication Arts, World Illustration Awards and the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles.

The Illustration Department is also incredibly proud that one of our students, Krista Perry, graced the cover of the Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition this year. This is the second year in a row that one of our students were selected for such a competitive placement!

Other highlights include student Elise Guillen won a $1,500 scholarship from the Society of Illustrators and Dominic Civiello was profiled in Communication Arts and won a Bronze Medal from 3×3.

Below you will find some of the great art that was represented in these competitions. Congratulations to all of the students!


Alexis DeLeon, Society of Illustrators


Caitlin Mavilia, Creative Quarterly


Tosh Spencer, Society of Illustrators


Dominic Civiello, Creative Quarterly


Caitlin Mavilia, 3 x 3


Victoria Maxfield, Society of Illustrators


Dominic Civiello, Creative Quarterly


Caitlin Mavilia, Creative Quarterly


Dominic Civiello, Creative Quarterly


Dominic Civiello, Creative Quarterly

November 7, 2016
by alice.stanne

Alumni News!

Illustration alum Dimel Rivas (BFA’16) and current Illustration senior Alexa Gustafson were chosen to participate in a Día de los Muertos exhibition at 13 Forest Gallery to celebrate Capitol Square’s annual Day of the Dead festivities in Arlington.img_4221

Dimel Rivas with her three-dimensional installation about the joyous reunion between family members, both living and dead, that is celebrated on Día de los Muertos.static1-squarespaceAlexa Gustafson‘s lithograph references much of the iconography of Día de los Muertos, especially the marigolds that are laid out to attract the souls of the dead.


Alum Amanda Gibson (BFA’16) took a strong interest in building three-dimensional work in her time in the Illustration program. She has recently channeled that passion into creating and building puppets with Puppet Showplace Theater for the Franklin Park Zoo’s Midnight Zoo show.

The Midnight Zoo surrounds visitors with never-before-seen creatures from the farthest realms of the imagination. This haunted habitat features over 20 fantastical creatures ranging in size from tiny to over 8 feet tall.amandagibsonAmanda has also been performing in the show as one of the stilt walking Rutach creatures! In addition she continues to design, develop and build her own unique 3-D creatures.amandagibson2

October 17, 2016
by alice.stanne

Boston Campaign Headquarters: In Nothing We Trust

Boston Campaign Headquarters: In Nothing We Trust
Pat Falco’s Campaign Headquarters at Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Summer 2016
by Professor Suzanne Barnes


Since graduating from Massart’s Illustration department in 2010, Pat Falco has been busy ascending the art ladder of recognition. After running the Lincoln Arts Project gallery in Waltham, he went on to direct the Distillery Gallery in South Boston. His work was selected for the prestigious DeCordova Biennial in 2013, and in 2014, he was artist in residence at Boston Center for the Arts, creating a different site-specific public art installation around Boston each day during the month of November. In the summer of 2015 he created a block of painted store fronts on Georges Island in the Boston Harbor, poking wry dry fun at a variety of urban establishments.


Pat’s most recent project, “Boston Campaign Headquarters”, was installed this summer in an empty storefront in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, in the heart of historic Boston. The headquarters is dedicated to the election of candidate Nobody, filled with low budget office items like folding chairs and tables, a beat up copy machine, cheap landline phone, vintage television, jars of pens, an assortment of office supplies, and discarded take out food boxes.


Displayed within this setting is a large collection of red, white, and blue banners and signage, hand-painted in the distinctive Falco typeface with slogans like: “Yes We Can’t”, “Vote Lesser Evil”, “Nobody Cares About You”, “Good Enough for Someone”, “Even You (well maybe not you) Could Be President”, “With Liberty and Justice for Some”, “Together We Can Make America Better Wider Great Not That Bad”, “Pretend to be Heard”, and “The Silent Majority: Because It’s Too Embarrassing to Say Out Loud”. There’s even a shelf of familiar red baseball caps that read “Make America Great For the First Time”.


In making slight revisions to typical campaign slogans, Pat reveals the untruths of the originals, in the same way he’s previously applied his painted voice to the art world, relationships, and an assortment of social issues. His observations are funny, irreverent, melancholy, and true. Pat’s installation is a contemplative experience as well. Nothing is happening and literally, nobody is there. Pat’s headquarters project received some great reviews, including The Boston Globe, WBUR, and Big Red and Shiny. Although the headquarters are now closed, you can see pictures on Pat’s website.


September 30, 2015
by alice.stanne

Alumni News: Star Wars Artwork

One thing that we’re proud of in the MassArt Illustration Department is the diversity of what students go on to do and create after they graduate. Children’s book illustrators, editorial artists, cartoonists, graphic novel artists and so on. The possibilities are unlimited as long as students have a vision of where they want to go after they leave.

We’d like to highlight some recent illustration graduates who longed to work in the entertainment design field.
Alumni China Blue Rockett (’12), Anthony Feliciano (’11) and Indigo Moorhead (’11) all eventually found work in Boston’s Pilot Studio and have worked on the artwork for the recently released toys and action figures for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie!

Recently, the Boston Globe published an article about the work Pilot Studio has done on the Star Wars franchise.
In a serendipitous turn, another Illustration graduate Kim Buhler (’12) found work at Hasbro in Rhode Island. The results of Kim’s work is in the boxes that China, Anthony and Indigo helped create! Kim is a Model Artist/ Prototype Painter at Hasbro and worked on the prototypes for many of the Star Wars products. The prototypes are blueprints for the factories that manufacture the toys. Some prototypes that she worked on were sent out for promotion and have been on display at San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con and toy fairs.
Fast Company also recently did a story about Hasbro and the Star Wars line including great shots of some of the prototype sculptures.

We are constantly hearing back from alumni about their successes as artists and are proud of the hard work and dedication to their chosen art. If you are an alumni and would like to feature some of your successes and work, please send us a note!

November 25, 2013
by alice.stanne

Mural by Illustration Alum TJ Kelley

Over the summer alumni TJ Kelley III (’13) was commissioned by Canto 6 Bakery and Cafe in Jamaica Plain to create a mural for the front of their building. Their only requirement was the phrase ‘Keepin’ It Local’ with a few elements, the rest was entirely in TJ’s hands. The end result was this gorgeous mural:

See more of the process behind creating the mural on TJ’s blog.