By Alice Shu
Issue 8 Summer 2011
Susan Bowman received her MFA in Sculpture from Rutgers University. After graduation, she continued to make art, working in the publishing industry as a freelance graphic designer. She landed a position at Sesame Street as Art Director and eventually Creative Director of their publishing group. In 2001, she graduated from the Pratt Design Management program, which gave her an edge to move into academia and seek out a tenure university position.
She is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Coordinator, Graphic Design at Rowan University. She was hired to reinvigorate their undergraduate curriculum, by developing the new program: BFA with a Specialization in Graphic Design. Susan notes: graphic design was once thought of as a client service provided at the end of a process. Rowan now provides its students with “real-life” professional experiences while working “safely” in the classroom. She develops opportunities for upperclassmen to have “client-based” experiences, creating valuable learning in the management of the design process. The program introduces design students to vital concepts and practices of Design Management: performing design audits for clients, writing creative briefs, creating budgets, time management and managing expectations, and learning to “educate” clients about the design process.
Susan is currently working on two projects. The first is a catalog for the exhibition Exchange with Sol LeWitt with Cabinet Magazine and MASS MoCA, documenting submissions from around the world. The second is a book tentatively titled: Creative Lives & Careers. It will be a compilation of statements, manifestos, questions, and advice about the distinction between creative actions and careers. The book will include materials by artists, writers, musicians, curators, dealers, and educators on topics including: role models, studio, audience, success, and writing. The target audience is students, teachers, and artists of all ages.