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  • “Cucumber, Lemon, Olives, and Radishes” - colored pencil

Rose Gonnella

Artist, writer, designer, illustrator, crafty-nut, idea-maven and educator.

VISUALIZING, DRAWING, MAKING Color pencils, and occasionally pens, stylus, brushes, pins and clips, erasers, chalk, and graphite, threads, and found objects, as well as deliciously beautiful paper are the tools and materials used to create my efforts at poetic, visual fabrics of line and form in full color drawings and layered collages. Landscapes near and at a distance, scattered still life, and interior scene dreams are my basic subject matter.

The drawings and collages have been displayed in group exhibits and single person shows on Nantucket since 1985, as well as in Washington, DC and Rochester, NY. The drawings are in several public collections, such as the National Museum of American Art, Sara Roby Collection, and many private collections.

A CAREER IN EDUCATION I am also (and primarily) a full professor and Associate Dean of the Michael Graves College, Kean University, USA and Wenzhou-Kean University, China. Before taking on the beast of administration in higher education, I taught art and design for over 25 years, including courses in the fundamentals of form and color, design theory, materials and techniques, and creative thinking as well as guiding a web design curriculum at its inception. The latter belongs in Ripley’s “Believe It or Not.”
In my career as Executive Director and currently Associate Dean, I am proud to be the facilitator implementing the faculty’s grand plans to grow and enrich the many innovative programs of study within the Robert Busch School of Design in the Michael Graves College. There are many fulfilling activities completed but several are outstanding in my mind: having Michael Graves accept an invitation to contribute to the vision and curriculum at Kean and then allowing for his name to identify our college, being involved on the ground floor (literally ground-breaking) of the establishment of the Sino-American partnership of Wenzhou-Kean University, China, and most obviously proud of helping our students grow and launch meaningful and fulfilling careers.

WRITING & DESIGNING As co-author and author, I have contributed ideas, research, writing, design, and illustration to eleven books (there is proof!), and I have written numerous magazine and newspaper articles on creativity, art, and architecture, as well as design. Times past, I did freelance work for the Nantucket “Beacon” and the Nantucket “Independent” newspapers where I met many wonderful, dedicated, talented, fun people (you know who you are) and had the privilege of delving into the wonderfully crazy creative minds of many artists and to write about their work. Lucky me!

My personal favorites (difficult to choose) of my collaborative efforts in concept development, writing, and design directing is the co-authored “adventure” book series Design Fundamentals Notes on Visual Elements, Notes on Color, and Notes on Type, Sea Captains Houses and Rose Covered Cottages, and the truly awesome Design To Touch: Engraving History, Process, Concepts, and Creativity. Design to Touch includes 30 beautifully engraved images that were contributed by many generous professional designers and artists. The International Engraved Graphics Association (IEGA), the Neenah Paper Company, and Mohawk Paper Company supported, provided paper, engraved, printed, bound, and published this extraordinary book.