College Night: Past Seasons

Poster House launched its College Night series for college and graduate students to explore opportunities in the worlds of art, design, and museums. As colleges and universities closed in-person facilities and moved to remote learning sessions in response to COVID-19, Poster House followed suit and College Night went virtual.

The concept: So many different fields and professions go into building and running a museum, but often that work is hidden or unseen. This series invites those professionals to shed light on their work.

The format: Each lecture in this series featured Poster House staff from two different departments and a professional contractor the museum has collaborated with, answering the basics about what their jobs entail and how they got there.

The goal: After sharing these experiences, Poster House led students in professional development sessions that helped prepare them to apply for a museum internship or other job in the field, including on-site headshots, resumé reviews, interview preparation, and one-on-one mentoring.

Watch Past Lectures

College Night aims to provide real resources to students who are interested in pursuing careers in art, design, and museums, with an emphasis on breaking down the pathways and barriers that can intimidate young professionals when planning for their futures. Our student programming provides professional development opportunities such as a lecture series of museum professionals across departments and throughout the world of design, as well as creative workshops, resumé reviews, and direct mentorship with our museum staffers.

College Night moved online in March of 2020, and is free of charge. To explore programs from the previous season, continue scrolling for additional information and links to available recorded programming.


Museum Basics

This first event of the series looked back at the foundational elements of the museum: its physical structure, its mission, and its outreach. Our speakers for the evening were:

Marc Tsurumaki: Principal and Founding Architect at LTL, the firm behind the award-winning design of Poster House.

Julia Knight: Poster House Museum Director talked about putting the museum’s mission in place and building the leadership team.

Samantha Hirsch & Sierra Van Ryck deGroot: Poster House Education Director and Education Programs Manager spoke about the role of education within the museum’s mission and its importance in community building.

Professional Development Exercise: Head shots! We took your pic so you could update your LinkedIn profile.

This session was hosted on-site and was not recorded.

Museum Mechanics

In this session, we focused on interactive installations, operations systems, and collections. Our speakers for the evening were:

John Kudos of KUDOS Design Collaboratory and KASA, responsible for the digital interactives within Poster House.

Colin Brady: Poster House Operations Director spoke about the building systems integrated into the museum and the Gallery Assistant and Security teams he put together.

Melissa Walker: Poster House Collections Manager reviewed her role as the keeper of the museum collection, and how it is managed and protected.

Professional Development Exercise: Resumé Review! We showed you the basics of resumé building and what we look for in the hiring process.


Promoting & Products

In this session, we learned the difference between PR, advertising, and marketing, and how that ties in with a museum shop. Our speakers for the evening were:

Ed Winstead, Director of PR firm Cultural Counsel, spoke about how to plan and promote an organization as a whole.

Bader AlAwadhi: Poster House Marketing Manager talked about the differences between PR and marketing, and how to strategize ad buys.

Molly McGeehan: Poster House Product Manager showed the basics of product development and how the shop can support and supplement museum functions.

Professional Development Exercise: Interviewing Basics! Make sure you’re grabbing the attention of your interviewer to land the perfect job.


Curation & Design

In our final session, we talked about what makes Poster House, Poster House: design, and its presentation through exhibitions. Our speakers for the evening were:

Steven Heller: The legendary design scholar spoke about the design field and its diversity and application.

Angelina Lippert: Poster House Chief Curator reviewed the process of putting together an exhibition season and gave an introduction to curation.

Ola Baldych: Poster House Design Director spoke to how she designed exhibitions and other materials for the museum.

Professional Development Exercise: We prepared for Speed Mentorship! Students worked with museum staffers to identify which departments they were interested in to prepare for our internship applications and their career goals.

Thinking Outside The Grid: Pt. 1

This event was sponsored by Creative Reaction Lab.

The first of a two-part student series, this event delved into the history of design as it relates to community organizing, the visual language behind powerful consciousness-raising designs, and the ways in which social media changes how we encounter, value, and communicate information. We heard from Rafael Esquer, Creative Director and CEO at Alfalfa New York, Matt Massara, graphic designer and illustrator, and Antionette Carroll, President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, in conversation with Poster House’s Chief Curator Angelina Lippert as we tackle the evolving mediums and functions of design.

Rafael Esquer is the Creative Director and CEO at Alfalfa New York. He received his BFA in graphic design from Art Center College of Design and has lived in Manhattan since 1996. A native of the Sonora desert of Mexico, Esquer established Alfalfa New York on November 1 (Day of the Dead) in order to emphasize its connection to the rich tradition of Mexican graphic arts. He is the designer behind NYC’s “Dial 311” brand identity.

Matt Massara is a graphic designer and illustrator currently based out of Charleston, South Carolina, known on Instagram as @broccoli__boy. He holds a BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design and is currently a freelance graphic designer. Before moving to Charleston, he was a lead designer at A&R creative group, an in house design studio for a restaurant group in Columbus, OH. Massara also works heavily in screen printing and hand illustration.

Antionette Carroll is the President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit educating and deploying youth to challenge racial and health inequities impacting Black and Latinx populations. Within this role, Antionette has pioneered an award-winning form of creative problem solving called Equity-Centered Community Design (named a Fast Company World Changing Idea Finalist). Creative Reaction Lab was founded in support of the Uprising in Ferguson. Today, Creative Reaction Lab is building a youth-led, community-centered movement of a new type of Civic Leader: Redesigners for Justice. Creative Reaction Lab’s mission combines education and civic engagement for racial justice & healthy living. Creative Reaction Lab’s work is based on the belief that systems of oppression, inequality, inequity are by design; therefore, they can and must be redesigned.

Angelina Lippert is the Chief Curator of Poster House in New York City, the first museum in the United States dedicated to the history of the poster. She holds an MA in the art of the Russian Avant-Garde from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and a BA in Theology and Art History from Smith College. She is the author of The Art Deco Poster, and has lectured at SVA, The Cooper Union, Columbia University, and The Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She is a contributing writer to The Muse by the Clio Awards, where she focuses on the history of advertising design, and is an editor for Vintage Poster magazine.


Thinking Outside The Grid: Pt. 2

The second of a two-part student series about the history of design as it relates to community organizing, this event brings the theories of Part 1 into practice.

Through our hands-on workshop led by Isometric Studio, students will gain the knowledge and resources to begin designing their own informational graphics on voting to disseminate among their social circles, both online and through the power of the street-facing poster.

Using digital tools or paper and markers, participants will design their own graphic posters while learning about type, color, and communication.

Isometric Studio unites graphic design and architecture to create empowering visual identities and spatial experiences. Based in New York City, Isometric collaborates with cultural institutions, universities, tech companies, and nonprofits to reinvent the way they present themselves visually and strategically. Isometric clients include the USAID, Google, Museum of the City of New York, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Princeton University.

Additionally, Isometric works with a variety of organizations that represent marginalized and underserved populations, including civilians in zones of conflict, subjects of human trafficking, and the beneficiaries of chlorine and deworming programs.


Due to the interactive and experiential nature of the event, this event is not available as a recording. 

Behind the Job: Exhibition Design

This lecture explored the lifespan of an exhibition at a museum, from inception and design, to installation and documentation. We heard from Ola Baldych, Poster House’s Design Director, and John Lynch, Poster House’s Exhibition Manager, about how they work together to build something that supports the museum’s vision within the museum’s physical capabilities. Then, we heard from Stephanie Powell, a photography professor and Poster House consultant, about her documentation of exhibitions and how her images can be used for years to come through museum-related initiatives.

Ola Baldych is a graphic designer, photographer, and visual artist living in New York where she is currently the director of design and exhibitions at Poster House, a partner at a multimedia production outfit oljo creative minds, and a frequent collaborator with Putty Dance Project in Philadelphia. Her recent collaborative project with Poster House, Print Magazine, and Times Square Arts has resulted in a large PSA campaign featuring fellow designers including Paula Scher, Milton Glaser, Maira Kalman, Edel Rodriguez, Gemma O’Brien, Emily Oberman, Matt Dorfman, and others to be screened on 1,800 Link NYC kiosks as well as on electronic billboards in Times Square, New York City, Chicago, Boston, and LA with messages of love, support, and gratitude to health care and essential workers. Ola studied at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in Philadelphia and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She is also an alumna of Gdansk University’s School of Law and Administration.

John F. Lynch is the Exhibitions Manager for Poster House. Since receiving his MFA from Pratt Institute in 2011 he has held many positions with galleries and exhibitions around New York City. He was the Director of Operations for Elizabeth Dee Gallery in Harlem, the Lead Installer for the internationally touring exhibition Art of the Brick. Lynch has been integral in the development of hundreds of contemporary art exhibitions, art fairs, and private collections, as well as planning and executing the installation of public and corporate art. He developed and co-ran Botanic Gallery in Bushwick, is the former Visual Arts Editor for Apt Literary Journal, and currently has a studio art practice in Brooklyn.

Stephanie Powell is an interdisciplinary artist who works in photography, video and sculpture. Recent exhibitions include Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Sgorbati Projects, NYC; Mallorca Landings, Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts. She has received grants and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, apexart, the Jerome Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Pratt Institute. Powell has been a freelance photographer in Chicago and New York City for over 15 years. Freelance clients have ranged from the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and Poster House. She is also the current advisor for the Made in NYC photography initiative which offers photographic support for NYC based manufacturers.

College Night: Women in Design

This lecture highlighted the career paths of three accomplished women in design, all hailing from different backgrounds and current positions in the design world. Participants learned about each of these designer’s career trajectories, from college to where they find themselves now, and had the opportunity to ask questions so as to feel better equipped to continue pursuing their own professional futures.

Hear from Poster House’s Designer, Mihoshi Fukushima Clark; graphic designer, writer, and educator, Gail Anderson; as well as artist and design educator, Elizabeth Meggs, as they recount their experiences as students and their journeys to success in the arts.

Mihoshi Fukushima Clark is an experienced graphic designer and artist who specializes in product design, branding, social design, motion graphics, and poster design. She moved to the United States from Kanazawa, Japan in 2010, where she attended Maryland Institute College of Art and then moved to New York City. Her graphic design work has been featured in the New York Times, and her social design work for the Baltimore City Health Department won The Core 77 Design: Notable Strategy & Research Award and a GDUSA: Health + Wellness Design Award.

Gail Anderson is a New York-based designer, writer, and educator. She is a partner, with Joe Newton, at Anderson Newton Design. From 2002 through 2010, she served as Creative Director of Design at SpotCo, a New York City advertising agency that creates artwork for Broadway and institutional theater. From 1987 to early 2002, she worked at Rolling Stone magazine, serving as designer, deputy art director, and finally, as the magazine’s senior art director. And early in her career, Gail was a designer at The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and Vintage Books (Random House).

Anderson’s work has received awards from major design organizations, including the Society of Publication Designers, the Type Directors Club, The American Institute of Graphic Arts, The Art Directors Club, Graphis, Communication Arts, and Print. In addition, it has also been included in the permanent collections of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, the Library of Congress, and the Milton Glaser Design Archives at the School of Visual Arts.

Anderson teaches in the School of Visual Arts MFA, undergraduate, and high school design programs, and has served on the advisory boards for Adobe Partners by Design and the Society of Publication Designers. She currently serves on the board for the Type Directors Club, and is a member of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for the US Postal Service.

Elizabeth Meggs is a Brooklyn-based artist, illustrator, writer, and designer, whose most recent work includes paintings, photography, and hand-bound artist books. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University on a full academic scholarship, graduating summa cum laude with a BFA in Communication Arts and Design. She received her master’s degree with distinction in Painting from Pratt Institute.

In the past decade, she has had five solo shows of new work, and exhibited in 70 group shows, including Go Brooklyn! with the Brooklyn Museum, Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center, Hudson River Park in Chelsea, Sweet Lorraine Gallery, ISE Cultural Foundation, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Mariner’s Museum, Firehouse Art Collective, Anderson Gallery, Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory, Galapagos Art Space, Edward Hopper House, Pratt Institute’s Steuben and Dean’s Galleries, Gravity Racers at Pierogi Gallery, and more.

Grad School Night

When making any decision about your education, it can help to consult a wide array of resources and perspectives. Whether you are considering graduate school or are a current graduate student, this event was for you! We heard from multiple speakers in the design world who hold Masters Degrees, including Poster House Director Julia Knight, professor and artist Clara Lieu, private art consultant Sarah Stein-Sapir, and curator, educator, and filmmaker Katherine Cheairs, who all discussed their educational journeys and what they learned about the cause and effect of going through graduate programs.

The final half-hour of this program will feature the Poster House Education Team, who will lead participants in a professional development session focusing on continuing education post-school and resources for professional networking and involvement during and after your formal education.

Clara Lieu is the founder of Art Prof, a free website for learning visual arts. From 2007-2020, she was an Adjunct Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design where she taught in the departments of Foundation Studies, Printmaking, Painting, and Illustration. She has written for the New York Times and given lectures at Brown University, the National Art Education Association conference, and in Vancouver and China. Her work has been profiled on WBUR, Artsy, Hyperallergic, Inside Higher Ed, WCVB’s Chronicle, and KPCC. Her work has also been exhibited at the International Print Center New York, the Danforth Museum of Art, the Currier Museum of Art, and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center.

Sarah Stein-Sapir is a private art consultant that specializes in contemporary and emerging art. She studied art history at Columbia University and received a Masters in Contemporary Art from the Sotheby’s Institute in New York. Upon graduating she began working at Gagosian Gallery’s flagship space on West 24th Street and then went on to work with the World Wide Head of Contemporary Art at auction house Phillips de Pury. After her time there, she joined Philippe Segalot at esteemed art advisory firm Giraud Pissarro Segalot. Along with partners Lionel Pissarro and Franck Giraud and with offices in New York and Paris, GPS dealt primarily with late 19th , 20th and 21st century art. In 2012, Sarah was hired by former auction house expert Guy Bennett and serves as Director of Pelham Holdings. At that time, she also began advising independently for both private clients and developers through her company Stein-Sapir Art. Her major development projects include Extell Development’s ONE57 and their forthcoming Central Park Tower in Manhattan on what is commonly referred to as billionaire’s row. Sarah is also the founder and chair of the Madison Square Park Art Council.

Katherine “Kat” Cheairs is a curator, educator and filmmaker. Ms. Cheairs leads the conceptualization, development, and implementation of art education programs at Howl as the director of education. Kat’s areas of interest include: HIV/AIDS; visual culture; media arts therapy; community arts; and, critical race theory in art education. Katherine has a ten-year track record of working with a wide range of art education programs in media and interdisciplinary arts for both K-12 and adult populations. Her programs have served over one thousand individuals and include work with youth and adults experiencing incarceration, social and emotional learning difficulties, and trauma. Ms. Cheairs has designed and taught media arts programs for organizations such as, BRIC, Tribeca Film Institute, Film Society of Lincoln Center and Four Freedoms Park Conservancy. Kat has appeared and presented on panels at the Tribeca Film Institute, BAM, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Aperture Foundation and UnionDocs. Ms. Cheairs has a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.


The Future of Museums

During 2020, museums have worked to find footing within many complex and widespread challenges, including a global pandemic and the ongoing civil rights movement. As museums continue to adapt to meet the world where it is today, we are tasked with considering how museums can continue to change and grow into the future, and who their audience and supporters are. How do you imagine the museum of the future, and how can we build it together? In our final roundtable of the season, these are the questions that were discussed by our esteemed panelists including curator and design historian Michelle Millar Fisher, cultural organizer and curator La Tanya Autry, and educator and writer Nico Wheadon.

Michelle Millar Fisher is a curator and an architecture and design historian. The recipient of an M.A. and an M.Phil in Art History from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, she received an M.Phil from and is currently completing her doctorate in architectural history at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY). She is currently the Ronald C. and Anita L. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

As a cultural organizer in the visual arts, La Tanya S. Autry centers social justice and public memory in her work. In addition to co-creating The Art of Black Dissent, an interactive program that promotes public dialogue about the African-American liberation struggle, she co-produced #MuseumsAreNotNeutral, an initiative that exposes the fallacies of the neutrality claim and calls for an equity-based transformation of museums and the Social Justice and Museums Resource List, a crowd-sourced bibliography. Autry has curated exhibitions and organized programs at Yale University Art Gallery,  moCa Cleveland, Artspace New Haven, Mississippi Museum of Art, Tougaloo College, and the Crane Art Center.

Nico Wheadon is an adjunct assistant professor of Art History and Africana Studies at Barnard College, and Professional Practices at Hartford Art School. Wheadon is an independent writer with her first manuscript, On  Museum Citizenship: A Toolkit for Radical Art Practice, Pedagogy and Participation, slated for publication by the American Alliance of Museums Press and Rowman & Littlefield Publishers in 2021. She’s the former Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2014-2019), and Curatorial Director of Rush Arts Gallery (2007-2010). Wheadon holds an MA in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmith’s College, and a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University.

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