WMU News

Three art alumni to be first inductees in new academy

March 18, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The new Western Michigan University Art Alumni Academy will induct three distinguished artist and designers Monday, March 25, at 4 p.m. as part of the Department of Art's Annual Art Student Scholarship and Awards Ceremony at the Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Art alumni Michael Sims, B.S. 1968, Kansas City, Mo., Tiit Telmet, B.S. 1966, from Toronto, and Jan Yager, B.F.A. 1974, Philadelphia, will be inducted into the academy. Fred Dobney, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will begin the 4 p.m. awards ceremony by honoring the three alumni. An illustrated talk, "A Closer Look," by Yager and presentation of student awards and scholarships will follow. A reception follows the awards ceremony. The public is invited to attend and there is easy access for the handicapped.

Sims, Telmet and Yager also will present a panel discussion earlier on March 25 in the Atrium Lobby at Gilmore Theatre Complex. The topic of their 11 a.m. panel discussion will be career paths of artists.

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Michael Sims received the B.S. in Art with majors in graphic design, painting and printmaking in 1968 from Western Michigan University. Sims established The Lawrence Lithography Workshop in 1979 in Lawrence, Kan., as a contract printing and teaching facility for local and regional artists. It provided a place where artists with little or no printmaking experience could collaborate with a master printer to produce original lithographs. It was one of the very few independent presses in the Midwest. Over time, the workshop expanded its operation beyond contract printing for local artists to an increased emphasis on publishing regional and national artists. Today most projects are done on an invitational basis with TLLW acting as the primary publisher or co-publisher with the artists, though contract printing remains a significant part of the business.

Sims earned an M.F.A. in printmaking in 1971 from Ohio University and began teaching lithography and drawing at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Also, he has done brief teaching stints at Western Michigan University, Centro de Ensenanza Graficas (Center for the Study of Graphic Arts) in Caracas, Venezuela, and Western New Mexico University. In 1978, he left the University of Kansas to work as an assistant at Landfall Press in Chicago. He returned to Lawrence the following year with a number of lithographic stones and a small Fuchs and Lang press.

In the summer of 2001, TLLW made a move. With the generous support of the John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation, the shop has moved to a spacious new facility in Kansas City, Mo. The 3,600 square foot space houses a gallery, large curating and storage room, an artist's workroom, a reception area and two offices. The 1,800 square-foot pressroom accommodates two large electric flatbed litho presses and an etching press with considerable room to expand.

To date, the Lawrence Lithography Workshop has collaborated with over 120 artists from New York to California and New Mexico to Montana. Among them are Ed Paschke, Robert Stackhouse, William T. Wiley, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Nick Bubash, Edward Henderson, Benito Huerta, Luis Jimenez Jr., Elizabeth "Grandma" Layton, Alden Mason, Zigmunds Priede, Miriam Schapiro, Roger Shimomura, Robert Sudlow, Akio Takamori, PaulBrach, Theodore Waddell, Susan Davidoff, and Sandy Winters.

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Tiit Telmet was born in Tallinn, Estonia, emigrated to the United States in 1950 and has lived and worked in Toronto since 1971. He received his primary education in Michigan and after studying architecture at the University of Michigan, he received a B.S. degree in graphic design from Western Michigan University in 1966. Telmet has worked as a designer in Michigan, Los Angeles and Minneapolis prior to emigrating to Canada in 1971, when he joined Gottschalk+Ash International, becoming a partner in 1978.

Telmet is the principal of Telmet Design Associates, a design communications consulting firm he established in 1985. Telmet Design clients are primarily corporate and services include identity, print, packaging, interior graphics and signage.

Telmet is a professional member of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, formerly the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, in Ontario. He has been actively involved in the GDC since the mid-1970s and has held various executive positions in Ontario and as vice president of the National Council. He was awarded the Honour of Fellowship in 1988, the society's highest honor.

In 1996, Telmet received the icograda Excellence Award, in recognition of consistent, outstanding achievement in practice, education or promotion of graphic design. He is the only recipient of this award in Canada. In 1998, he was inducted into Alliance Graphique Internationale, which is comprised of 300 individuals from 27 countries. Telmet is one of seven Canadians so honored.

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Jan Yager is an independent studio artist creating a unique series of jewelry since 1973. Born in Detroit, she earned a B.F.A. in jewelry and metal smithing from WMU in 1974 and a M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1981. She has received numerous grants and awards including ones from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rhode Island and Pennsylvania State Arts Councils, and the Anonymous Was A Woman Foundation. Since 1983, she has lived and worked in Philadelphia. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Yager's address, "A Closer Look," chronicles her journey as a contemporary jeweler and the process that led her to create "City Flora/City Flotsam," work rooted in history, yet undeniably of this time and place. It explores the potential and power of jewelry, and ponders why since time began humankind has been compelled to make, wear, give, and keep it. Her presentation includes scenes of the urban landscape that provided inspiration, and a photographic study of ordinary people wearing any type of ornament. This research culminated in a solo show at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

For additional information, contact the Department of Art Exhibitions Office at 269-387-2455.

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Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, 269 387-2455, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

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