With KCAD Artist Residency, Recent Graduate Casey Newberg Paying Professional Success Forward

Posted January 14, 2019 in Product Design, Student, Alumni, Metals & Jewelry Design

When Casey Newberg graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) Allesee Metals and Jewelry Design program this past May, an incredibly rare and valuable opportunity lay before her.

Not long before donning her cap and gown, Newberg landed one of ten $15,000 Windgate Fellowship awards given out by the Center for Craft in 2018 thanks to her mission to bring the relatively old process of electroforming—using an electrolytic bath to deposit electroformable metals like nickel or copper onto a conductive surface—into the 21st century. Along with an enormous sense of accomplishment, the award also gave Newberg the freedom to continue her education as she saw fit.

First, she headed to Italy to immerse herself in the country’s wealth of classical sculpture, soaking up the clean lines and graceful contours as inspiration for her own work, which deals with femininity and the feminine figure. From there it was on to North Carolina and the Penland School of Crafts, where Newberg worked alongside Professor and Metals and Jewelry Design Program Chair Phil Renato as he taught a three-week class on comb-making. Then, a pilgrimage to Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and its expansive electroforming facilities, established by acknowledged field leader Stanley Lechtzin.

Now, Newberg’s journey has led her back to KCAD, where she’s undertaking an artist residency aimed at furthering her own creative development while empowering current students to do the same.

Woman sitting in a chair posing in front of her creative workspaceAlumna Casey Newberg in her studio space at KCAD, where she’ll be conducting an artist residency focused on her own creative exploration and mentorship of KCAD students

KCAD has provided Newberg with an expansive studio space on the second floor of the 17 Fountain St. NW building, where she’ll continue developing her latest body of work: cups, pitchers, and other vessels that blend electroformed metal and 3D-printed plastic into a sleek, futuristic aesthetic. The space will be used primarily for research and ideation, while most of her physical creative work will happen in the Metals and Jewelry Design studios and the Dow Center FLEXlab, the same places she honed her practice and process as a KCAD student.

3D printed objects on a tableSome of Newberg’s latest pieces in-process

“I’ll be able to connect with faculty and that’s so important to my work,” says Newberg. “Involving others and getting their perspective is a big part of what’s helped me grow as an artist and a professional.”

In exchange, Newberg will help steer a KCAD committee focused on identifying and vetting current students who would make good candidates to apply for a Windgate Fellowship award in 2019. The committee will select the two strongest candidates, and Newberg will then mentor each candidate as they move through the intensive fellowship application process.

“The Windgate Fellowship has opened up possibilities that I would have never dreamed of,” Newberg says. “I’m looking forward to helping make these same kinds of opportunities possible for others.”  

Woman gesturing with her hands to a group of people gathered around her(above and below): Newberg walking KCAD students and faculty through her work, process, and inspiration

Woman talking to a group of people as she gestures toward a graphic hanging on the all

While at KCAD, Newberg will also make herself and her studio space an open resource for existing students.

“I have an open-door policy, so I’m interested in connecting with any student who’s interested in my work, whose work connects to mine in an interesting way, or students who are looking to collaborate or use my space for critiques,” she says. “I’m looking forward to interacting with students and giving them a sense of what our facilities can do and what they can do with their degree.”