Erin Coleman-Cruz: Artist, Mentor and New BEAU Program ChairBEAU is extremely lucky to have Erin Coleman-Cruz on board as our new program chair for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design program. In the short time she has been with BEAU, she has presented at Sundance, started the process to get a student group of AIGA started on campus, and mentored several students in the graphic design classes she teaches on campus.
Coleman-Cruz received her MFA in Studio Art from Northern Illinois University and her bachelor’s in art education from Goshen College in Indiana. She moved to Salt Lake City in 2011 where she practices design and art and is program chair of graphic design and instructor of a variety of graphic design and creative arts courses at BEAU.
Both Coleman-Cruz’s art-making and design practices range between personal narratives and public collaborative works that address issues such as creative re-use, sustainable design, domestic space, wearable arts, and social issues pertaining to women and gender. Her skills and interests include teaching, museum and exhibition curation, electronic portfolio development and digital collections, and collaborative projects.
Coleman-Cruz serves on the board of the Sugar House Farmers Market as education outreach coordinator and leads programming for children to teach them about where their food comes from while learning skills for upcycling used materials into art and craft. She exhibits locally and nationally, and made her international debut in 2011 with a work of collaborative performance art, The Merkeyna Coif Boutique. Recent exhibitions include “I’m thinking of changing my smile” at the Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and “Confluence” at Unhinged SLC. Her portfolio can be found at erincolemancruz.com.
“Bringing Erin’s artistic skills, experience and teaching ability has been a huge bonus for our graphic design students,” says Nathan Butterfield, Dean of Education at BEAU. “The students will have the opportunity to learn alongside a true professional.”
Some of the recent and future projects the students are working on under Erin’s leadership include: fall-quarter 2012 History of Graphic Design Field Trip to Saltgrass Printmakers Studio; BEAU’s end-of-winter quarter Juried Student Art Exhibition; planning future projects to design window art in the graphic design lab; and portfolio development.