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



Tulip and Arabesque is an international collaboration that was initiated by:

Alison Aune, Associate Professor of Art Education at the University of Minnesota Duluth
Joellyn Rock, Assistant Professor of Art + Design at the University of Minnesota Duluth

This collaboration has included:
Art Education and Digital Design students and faculty from the University of Minnesota Duluth
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grantees, Natalie Patrick and Amber Szerpicki
Elementary and Middle School age children from Duluth Minnesota

Graphic Design students and faculty from Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Special Thanks to our Turkish colleagues, professors Halime Fişenk and Murat Devrim Atilgan, and Dean Dr. Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu of Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

This project was made possible with support from:
The Turkish American Alliance of the School of Fine Arts (SFA), University of Minnesota Duluth, Dean Jack Bowman and Julia Gillett, grant writer; SFA funding of two faculty Small Chancellor’s Grants and an American-Turkish Alliance Exchange Research Grant; SFA Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grants to art and design students Natalie Patrick and Amber Szerpicki; Funding from The Office of International Programs (OIP) Interdisciplinary International Institutional Partnership Grants; The Department of Art + Design Head Virginia Jenkins; Professor Ron Marchese, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Minnesota Duluth and with donations from UMD Stores Art Supplies.

Guests from Başkent University

Three guests from the Arts, Design and Architecture department at Başkent University, Halime Fişenk, Murat Devrim Atilgan, and Dr. Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu visited our campus in February 2007.

The guests met with faculty in Art and Design to discuss ongoing collaborative projects and future opportunities that may include an international education exchange. A public lecture was presented by Dr. Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu, dean, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture and an art historian, on the topic of “Ottoman Tiles and Ceramics.�?

Halime Fişenk, instructor, graphic design is working with Steve Bardolph, assistant professor in graphic design, on a project intended to facilitate a study of two cultures by students at two different design schools, through typography. Murat Devrim Atilgan, instructor, graphic design, is working with Alison Aune, associate professor in Art Education and with Joellyn Rock, assistant professor in graphic design, on the project, “Patterns for Peace: The Tulip and Arabesque: An On-line Exhibition Inspired by Turkish Decorative Arts.”

UMD students participating in this project are studying traditional Turkish decorative designs of theme and space. They are creating images using botanical and geometric patterns combined with the theme of peace. An on-line exhibition of the works produced showcases the results of the projects.

Halime Fişenk and Murat Devrim Atilgan, graphic design faculty from Başkent University (Ankara, Turkey) presented lectures on Typography and Graphic Design in Turkey to our students in the Tweed Museum.


Halime, Amber and Murat

These two professors visited with students in Art + Design classes during their week long visit to Duluth this February. They finished their lectures in the Tweed just in time for the blizzard to hit, shutting down the university and the city for several days…