Exhibits > in Ankara + Duluth

In March 2008, work from the Turkish American Projects by University of Minnesota Duluth students was exhibited at Baskent University in Ankara, Turkey. Congratulations to students whose work was included in this international exchange!


Tulip & Arabesque Online Exhibit


Over the past few years, I have integrated several large assignments into my teaching which address cultural complexity in design, specifically related to the Turkish American Exchange projects. My goal has been to introduce students to aspects of global culture, identifying traditional formal roots in contemporary design. I have created projects that are appropriate to our digital design curriculum and integrated Turkish design influences into foundations courses. More advanced students have been asked to delve a bit deeper into contemporary Turkish design and to draw off of traditional literature. In each case, students benefit by expanding their their awareness of how culture travels across borders. Students begin to make connections between the visual culture they live in and the traditions and cross-fertilizations that feed it. This global and historical sensitization is crucial for any artist or designer today. Design is a richly diverse activity that springs from all corners of culture and a vital tool for building bridges between diverse groups. One creative approach to teaching includes the evolution and re-integration of traditional culture, and influences from global culture, into art foundations curriculum, Ours has been a creative process… introducing students to cultural artifacts as a first step in stimulating curiosity and formal invention.

-Joellyn Rock


More Carpet Designs > Fall 2007

In the Fall 2007, another group of 2d Digital Design students have completed the Digital Carpet Project.

Here are some of their designs, and their reflections on the project:


This original design by Amara Barthelemy has a traditional, folk art symmetry.

This carpet by Jane Olila has a more contemporary, asymmetrical design.

Art Education Lesson Plans

Art Education students at UMD developed art lessons to integrate the Tulip and Arabesque curriculum into projects with elementary and middle school classes.


Downloadable PDFs of lesson examples:

Magic Carpet Lesson Plan
Download file

Ceramic Tile Lesson Plan
Download file

Printmaking + Calligraphy Lesson Plan
Download file

Art of Turkey Lesson Plan
Download file

View Art Ed students working with children in the schools in the Tulip & Arabesque Online Exhibit:

Tulip + Arabesque Online Exhibit

Today I am announcing the launch of the Tulip and Arabesque online exhibit:


This website showcases the work of several hundred art and design students who have participated in the Turkish American Projects at the University of Minnesota Duluth in collaboration with students and faculty at Baskent University in Ankara Turkey.

It’s great to have the chance to share what happens in an evolving international educational exchange like
this… Enjoy the Online show!

Dijital Pasaj comments

Hi Joellyn, this is Matt Mulliner. I just took a look at some of the
comic book work you had linked onto your blog from the Turkey students.
There is a ton of work! WOW!

I noticed a few of them were similar to some of the stuff in our class.
One I saw that had the word/name (I’m not sure which) Can Aygun on
it, was very similar to some of the work that Ben from our class was
doing. It reminded me of the Fitger’s brewhouse video.

Ben Luoma’s Brewhouse image

Also the one with the shopping at the Duluth Pack store from my class is similar to
the one that looks like a girl shopping at a record store? It is cool
to see similarities in illustration style across the world… some may
be from photoshop effects but still very cool! It might be
interesting to organize the two sets (ours and theirs) together somehow
to suggest some similarities.

Dijital Pasaj Website…

More comments by UMD students…

My favorite is the out of focus one, it is so mysterious and I really
wish I could read it, but I might get more out of it because I can’t…

I think if you did want a video made of some of their work it might be
fun to put some of these in there too as moving stills keyframed around
with final cut.

One last comment, the one that is actually on the blog – the second
one, is very interesting to me. It is also pretty mysterious and it is
kind of strange to see those really graphic circles come into the
design because I see a lot of that style in American, new corporate
design. Very cool to see that style being incorporated in a more
graphic and interesting way. It pushes the average corporate design a
bit farther into something a little more deep.

Thanks for telling me about these.

P.S. One of the downloads didn’t work. Maybe it was just my computer,
just thought I would let you know.

Dijital Pasaj > Başkent

How exciting to receive PDFs of art work by Murat’s students in Ankara Turkey for their own version of Dijital Pasaj. They have created comic books and movies that tell stories about their daily lives in Ankara. I will post a few jpgs here to give you an idea of their work. Students at UMD will be inspired by the concept and craft of these digital narratives!


A few examples of work by students of Murat Devrim Alilgan at Başkent University >>



a common theme in the work of both Turkish and American students is sleep…


PDFs of comic books / resize in your PDF window and zoom in to view>>>

Download file

Download file

Download file

More images in extended entry…