Jennifer McKnight




University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA


Jennifer McKnight earned her BFA at Washington University in Printmaking and her Masters in Graphic Design at California Institute of Arts (CalArts) She is currently an Associate Professor in Studio Art at University of Missouri–St. Louis. Her work is recognized in publications such as Print Magazine, :Output, and “Becoming a Graphic Designer: A guide to Careers in Design” by Steven Heller and Theresa Fernandes. Her design writing is published in the AIGA National Education Archives, Redaction Magazine, No Tasarim, as well as in Means by Which we Find our Way, edited by David Gardner and Andrea Wilkinson and Robin Landa’s Graphic Design Solutions 4th ed. Projects include work for Touhill Performing Arts Center, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Saint Louis City Museum, Humane Society of Missouri, and Molloy College. Her posters have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Exhibits include the 2010 Golden Bee International Poster Biennial, Moscow. Her posters are and have been published in the Messages to the World exhibition catalogue, Shanghai, and the 4th and 5th United Designs catalogues.


Cross-Disciplinary Projects: How Blended Disciplines Activate Change


In 'Impressive: Printmaking, Letterpress and Graphic Design,' it is noted that there is a movement of graphic designers looking to hand printing to recapture the sense of the human, unique, quirky, visceral mark that makes printing come alive. When designers incorporate printing techniques in their design solutions, the results resonate deeply and when educators encourage interdisciplinary investigations in the classroom, the solutions richer, and students find this hybrid learning experience life-changing.
Printmaking, design, education, and advocacy are historically linked in the work and collaborative teaching of Sister Corita Kent in Los Angeles in the 1960's and 70's. Her spirited work and inspirational teaching style creates a long-lived poster tradition in California. This link between cultural advocacy, printmaking and design is on the rise again in a small press movement in the US: in St. Louis, there is a street of such small presses thriving as community hubs of activity and exchange.
Printmaking in the educational setting provides active thinking and physical creating that hours at the terminal designing cannot provide. Where design emphasizes strong concept development, printing encourages process and methodological problem-solving. The two disciplines complement each other and provide a differentiated learning atmosphere.
At University of Missouri-St. Louis, Printing and design collaborations help students stay in school and thrive. After seven years of creating posters for the UMSL design department, students and faculty are beginning to use collaborative studio experiences to reach out to their community. Projects include work for the local chapter of American institute of Graphic Arts, community building projects for a local pre-kindergarten program, and social messages for neighborhoods. Together, Printing and Design provide logic and impetus, heart, and agency to instigate change. Designers in the print studio have both the training and the means to solve grassroots problems, and make profound visual statements.


Thursday 29 September


11:00am - 12.30pm





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