An Update from Jack Tom (Class of 2011)

I'm completing my second year as a full-time Professor of Illustration at WestConn and I’m enjoying my position there. For years the WestConn Department of Art has a visiting artists lecture series as part of the MFA Degree program in Painting and Illustration. But lecture series was not well promoted on campus, so I took the initiative to design posters to help promote the series and welcome all students interested to attend. I presented my poster designs to Terry Wells, our department Chair and he approved my idea and posters for printing and posting. Our lecture series are similar to the guest speakers we had at our MFA program in Hartford. The only difference is that our lecture series include fine artists (mostly painters) and art critics. The illustrators we've invited are some of our alumnus, teachers and also guest speakers from the UHart MFA program. This Fall (2013) we had Scott Bakal, Ed Tuttle and previously (Fall 2012 & Spring 2013), we had Nancy Stahl, Ross MacDonald and Mark Hess. I’m presently working on the next poster designs for our Spring 2014 line-up and one our speakers will be Zina Saunders!


















I created another series of posters for one of my clients, the Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT). The CEO of GBT contacted me to design a poster series using the GBT/Earth Day graphics that I created for them for the past five years. Mr. Holcomb wanted the posters to include some of the pencil sketches and final art as well as a short paragraph describing my creative process. The posters are 18” x 24” in size, framed and now hanging in their conference room. I'm now working on the 6th GBT/Earth Day graphic for 2014.



Dave Szalay (Class of 2013) Designs First Night Button for Akron, OH!

Excerpted from the Akron Ohio News:

Szalay, 48, who recently moved from Fairlawn to Richfield, designed the admission button for the 18th annual New Year’s Eve event. The University of Akron Myers School of Art assistant professor used an owl in his design.

Being the button artist is special to Szalay because of his history with the Dec. 31 event, which features art and entertainment in a family-friendly setting. Nine years ago, he and his former band, Five Points, were selected to perform at First Night. He and his fiancée then decided to take advantage of the wedding officiating offered that night and tied the knot.

“I was performing, then we packed up our equipment, and I ran down and got married,” he said.

Since then, he and his wife, Krista, have attended First Night annually, often with her father and stepmother, who visit from the Carolinas for the event.

Szalay graduated from Kenmore High School and earned his bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and a master of communications from UA and a master of fine arts in illustration from The University of Hartford.

For the full article click here



Calling all Alumni - Please help grow the library collection!

Randi Ashton Pritting, Director of University Libraries has graciously offered to help the Hartford Art School build a dedicated collection of books illustrated and/or written by HAS alumni and faculty.

Donations are welcome and will be gratefully acknowledged with a book plate and a notation in the electronic catalogue. A modest fund is available to purchase books as well.

We have started the collection with the following titles: "Irena's Jar of Secrets", illustrated by Ron Mazellan (2008);  "Did I Really Say That?", written by Charles J. Margolis (1971)  "Journey of the Sea Glass", written and illustrated by Nicole Fazio (2007);   "Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy?" illustrated by Ron  Spears (2008); and "The Sparkle Box." illustrated by Christine Kornacki (2007).

Please contact Randi at if you wish to participate in this venture. Please be sure to include "MFA - Illustration" and the year of your graduation on the book plate.




"Support Newport, Rhode Island" - Ryan Maguire (Class of 2012)

The initiative was developed as Lasky and Annemarie Brisson, who heads the marketing committee of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, talked about what could be done to bolster the Newport shopping experience as part of the chamber’s “Think Local” campaign. Lasky is a member of the committee and Brisson also is director of sales and marketing for The Newport Daily News and other publications of the E.A. Sherman Publishing Co.
Matt Plumb, assistant general manager at the Brick Alley Pub, hosted a Nov. 5 breakfast meeting for interested merchants to discuss the initiative, and 45 showed up.
“It was a fabulous turnout, with everyone wanting to make the holiday season better than it has ever been before,” Lasky said.
“Now we have at least 70 merchants,” Brisson said. “We’re hoping to have 80 to 100 participating merchants.”
A festive logo to promote the event — a sailboat with a Christmas tree instead of sails that says, “Shop, Stay, Dine, Explore Newport” — was designed by Ryan Maguire, a graphic designer at Sherman Publishing.
Shoppers at designated stores will receive a sticker with the logo on it that shows they shop locally, which keeps money in the community and helps drive the local economy. Local merchants and their employees are more likely to spend money in the community, which keeps the money circulating locally, organizers said.
Read the full article here
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Cassetti Named Business Person of Year

Congratulations to Q. Cassetti, Class of 2009

The annual Trumansburg Area Chamber of Commerce dinner was held at Silver Queen farm on Stilwell Road and included news of the upcoming Winter Festival as well as the announcement of the annual Business and Business Person of the Year Awards.

Illustrator and graphic designer Q. Cassetti was chosen as Business Person of the Year. Nana Monaco, of the Main Street whole foods deli “Good to Go,” read the nominating letter aloud. It reads, in part: “(Cassetti) believes that her time is most effective at the local level, and helps to raise the image and perception of the amazing local talent we have here in the Trumansburg Area. Recognizing the importance of giving back to the community, she not only serves as the President to the Trumansburg Farmers' Market Board, but has provided pro bono work and consulting for many local food producers, businesses, farmers, musicians and community events, connecting and creating many opportunities for people along the way.

“Some examples of this work include: Wide Awake Bakery, Good Life Farm, Stone Cat Café, The Copper Oven, The Hangar Theatre, Redbyrd Orchard Cider, Farmer Ground Flour, The Regional Access, New York Foods, Finger Lakes Cider Alliance, Myer Farm Distillery, The Piggery, Great Local Foods Network, Finger Lakes Meat Project, Trumansburg Farmers Market, The Grassroots Festival, Richie Sterns and Rosie Newton, The Main Street Project, Tburg Events, The Village of Trumansburg, The Ulysses Philomathic Library, Trumansburg Community Yard Sale, and even the High School Yearbook.

To read the full article click here


Ryan Maguire's (Class of 2012) Work Wins Hatch Award

The 2012 Be Bold, Be Bald! campaign to raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer, illustrated by Ryan Maguire (Class of 2012), was recently given an award of merit at the 2013 Boston Hatch Awards.

Ryan's Thesis project explored raising social awareness through illustration, so it was fitting that Boston ad agency Small Army asked Ryan to illustrate the campaign. Congrats Ryan!


Faculty Betsy Lewin's Click, Clack, Boo! On NYT Best Seller List

We couldn't help but notice the children's book, Click, Clack, Boo!, illustrated by faculty Betsy Lewin, showing up on The New York Times Children's Picture Books best seller list of late. Writer Doreen Cronin teamed up with Betsy on the book, published in August. The story follows one of their previous collaborations, Click, Clack, Moo!, a Caldecott Honor Book.