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Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Seitu Jones

Seitu Jones was born in Minneapolis in 1951. Working on his own or in collaboration, Jones has created over 30 large-scale public art works. In 2017, Seitu Jones was awarded the 2017 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award and also received Grand Rapids ArtPrize 9 Grand Jury Award for his Heartside Community Meal.

He has received a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, a McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, a Bush Artist Fellowship, a Bush Leadership Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts/Theater Communication Group Designer Fellowship. Seitu was awarded a 2001-2002 Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and was the Artist-in-Residence in the Harvard Ceramics Program. He was Millennium Artist-in-Residence for 651 Arts in Brooklyn, NY, and was the first Artist-in-Residence for the City of Minneapolis.

In 2014, he integrated artwork into three stations for the new Greenline Light Rail Transit system in the Twin Cities. A 2013 Joyce Award, from Chicago's Joyce Foundation allowed Jones to develop CREATE: The Community Meal, a dinner for 2,000 people at a table a half a mile long. The project focused on access to healthy food. For 18 months Jones was a Senior Fellow in Agricultural Systems in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Science Resources at the University of Minnesota.

Jones received an MLS in Environmental History and a BS in Landscape Design from the University of Minnesota.

Andrew Blauvelt
Director, Cranbrook Art Museum

Andrew Blauvelt is a curator, designer, critic, and educator. Blauvelt joined Cranbrook Art Museum as Director in 2015. For 17 years he served in a variety of roles at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where he began as Design Director, responsible for developing the progressive graphic identity of the museum and managing its brand; developed its award-winning publications program and directed content strategy across numerous print, online, and social media channels; and advanced innovative audience engagement strategies that reconsidered the changing roles of artists and audiences in the 21st century.

As a Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at the Walker, Blauvelt has organized numerous major international and national traveling exhibitions, such as Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life (2003), Some Assembly Required: Contemporary Prefabricated Houses (2005), Graphic Design: Now in Production (2011); and Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia (2015). His most recent curatorial projects include: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976-1986 (2018) and Beyond the Horizon: Designing for Different Futures (2019), a project between the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago. As a historian, theorist, and critic, his writings have spanned such topics as a critical reappraisal of the graphic design canon and its historiography and the evolution of relational design aesthetics in the 21st century to his latest publication, as editor and co-researcher, of Parallel Cities: The Multilevel Metropolis (ArtBook/DAP, 2016), a transnational study of elevated pedestrian networks, both ancient and contemporary, and their impact on urban spaces.

A practicing designer for more than 20 years, Andrew Blauvelt’s work has received over 100 design awards, including several nominations for the Chrysler Award for Design Innovation and the National Design Awards in Communications Design. In 2009, the Walker Art Center received the National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement, the first non-profit to receive the honor. Prior to the Walker, Blauvelt was a design educator and visiting faculty member at graduate design programs in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. He was Director of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Graphic Design Department at the College of Design, North Carolina State University. He received his MFA in Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA in Visual Communication from the Herron School of Art at Indiana University.