Welcoming New Faculty:
Nima Bahrehmand and Anne Yoncha

Professor Nima Bahrehmand outside in a desert setting wrapped in a reflective blanket next to a tripod.

Nima Bahrehmand is an Iranian-American interdisciplinary artist and educator. His artistic research explores bodies, archives, and places that became suppressed and desertified due to being subjugated by political, economic, and technological progress. Via a digital voyage, he builds worlds that allow relocating the desertified from their initial setting into a new environment or platform, thus allowing the creation of new stories about them. Nima received his BFA from the University of Kerman, Iran; MA from the School of Art, Ghent, Belgium; MFA in studio art (Transmedia) from the University of Texas at Austin, and Ph.D. in Emergent Technology and Media Art Practices from the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Bahrehmand is developing new courses in Digital and Emerging Art Practices to launch in Fall, 2024 and will also be teaching Performance Art coming up the Spring. He is looking forward to incorporating virtual reality, video installation, and other time-based processes into the Art curriculum.

Professor Anne Yoncha in the gallery with large fabric sails behind.

Anne Yoncha is Painting Area Coordinator at Metropolitan State University Denver. Her work combines digital sensing technology, such as bio-data sonification, and analog, traditional processes including painting with ink she makes from locally-sourced plant matter. Her ongoing research with the HAB (High Altitude Bioprospecting) working group began in Fall 2019 at Field Notes, a residency of Finland’s Bio Art Society at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in subarctic Lapland, where she worked with artists, biologists, and programmers to detect high-altitude microbes using a heli-kite. Join a painting class where we will spend some time exploring ideas like this! Anne is also part of a team developing a Bio-art course where students can collaborate with microbes to make artworks.

MSU Denver Art Department Exhibition - Collective Nouns - June 17 thru August 13, 2022

Collective Nouns

MSU Denver Art Department Exhibition of Faculty and Staff Work
June 17 – August 13, 2022


Collective Nouns

MSU Denver Art Department Exhibition

June 17 – August 13, 2022

MSU Denver Art Department Exhibition - Collective Nouns - June 17 thru August 13, 2022
Opening June 17, 2022, Collective Nouns brings together diverse and distinguished artists working across a wide variety of media representing each artist’s unique experiences, influences, and interests. This exhibition offers a peek into the studio art and design practices of MSU Denver’s art faculty and staff, celebrating our vibrant visual art community.

Featured artists include:

Marin Abell
Peter Bergman
Michael Bernhardt
Leslie Boyd
Joelle Cicak
Racheal Delaney
Christopher Empson
Melanie Finlayson
Carlos Frésquez
Abby Gregg
Juntae Teejay Hwang
Samara Johnson
Tsehai Johnson
Aliza Lelah

Sean Leftwich
Heather Link-Bergman
Charles Livingston
Teague McDaniel
Kelly Monico
Lola Montejo
Jonathan Nicklow
Carrie Osgood
Natascha Seideneck
John Sullivan
Katie Taft
Anne Thulson
Kimberly Wendt



Professor Abendroth Curates International Exhibition

Design for the Common Good International Exhibition, in Budapest Hungary October 4-19, 2023In its first international venue outside of the United States, the Design for the Common Good Network, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Budapest Metropolitan University Faculty of Art and Creative Industries are pleased to present the Design for the Common Good International Exhibition, curated by Professor Lisa M. Abendroth, as a collection of over thirty network-nominated, peer-reviewed, and/or curator-invited public interest design projects from six continents and twenty-three countries. Exhibition projects exemplify the way communities, organizations, teams of designers are creating positive change together from the ground up. These typically localized scale-appropriate efforts are transformative in the places where they matter most—settings where there is a distinct call to action, a needed response to critical issues affecting people and their ability to live life at its fullest.

Design for the Common Good is a coalition of purpose-driven networks committed to design practice, education and research that improves social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Examples of some of the projects including the buildings and people in them.


Professors Shawn Meek & Lisa Abendroth Collaborate on Mobile App, Gain Regional and National Publication

MSU Denver Art Communication Design Associate Professor and Program Coordinator Shawn Meek and Professor Lisa Abendroth collaborated on a mobile app project that has garnered regional and national praise. Abendroth curated and authored all project-based content and Meek designed and developed the mobile app for the international exhibit Design for the Common Good. Their mobile app earned:

The GDUSA Design Showcase reflects the increasingly expansive ways in which graphic design serves and shapes commerce and culture. The Meek/Abendroth design was chosen from 14,000 entries submitted.

Screenshots of Shawn Meek and Lisa Abendroths International Exhibition Mobile App


Carlos Frésquez Reflects on the Power of Murals and Street Art

When MSU Denver Professor Carlos Frésquez began painting murals in Denver’s Chicano neighborhoods in the 1970s, he was looked down upon by the larger city community.

Today, murals are everywhere – and treasured throughout the city – as testimony to “what’s going on right now,” he said.

“I call murals ‘walls with tongues’ because that’s what they’ve been all along,” he said. “It’s a way to instantly communicate and document a time. And voice your opinion.”

This summer as Frésquez, a Metropolitan State University of Denver alumnus and professor, embarked on teaching his popular Community Painting: The Mural course, he was forced to adapt the collaborative process to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here, Frésquez and his MSU Denver students show how they came together to paint a new mural while staying physically apart.

“It’s another way to learn and teach this process,” Frésquez said, “and it’s been a positive challenge. It forced me to rethink how to teach.”


Story by Amanda Schwengel, MSU Denver RED


Professor Shawn Meek Earns Denver One Club Award

Associate Professor Shawn Meek has been recognized with an award for his 2020 work Rose Code, by The One Club for CreativityRose Code earned a Silver Award in the category of “Out-of-Home / Experiential & Installations,” and is being exhibited at The One Show, a prestigious exposition in advertising, design and digital marketing. For 40 years, The One Club has had a rich legacy of honoring some of the most groundbreaking ideas, created by some of the most remarkable minds in creativity.

Specializing in UX/UI design and front-end web development, Meek is a designer who also codes; building from concept to completion. Having always been drawn to rose windows “for reasons unexplored,” Meek was fascinated by the structural mastery and craftsmanship of these detailed objects. He found himself tracing the pattern in these physical objects and asking himself, “How can that be coded?”

Rose Code’s purpose centers upon the idea of creating highly detailed and visualized forms utilizing code as a solo medium. As a digital installation, users are drawn into a curated space driven by code (HTML5 & CSS3) that is visually generated onto two opposing walls with the creation of the rose window displayed in the center. Conceptual unity is realized by intersections of auditorial cues referencing repetitive religious systemic underpinnings, patterns of code in continual progress and rose window form creation.

“I am a tourist of my personal faith, a weekend window shopper for salvation,” Meek ruminates. “Religion, after all, is just an organized system, isn’t it?”


Professor Peter Bergman at MCA Denver

Associate Professor and Communication Design Program Coordinator Peter Miles Bergman is a conceptual artist, printer, publisher, and the founder and Special Agent in Charge of the Institute of Sociometry, an international art and communications cooperative. Bergman formed the group in 1995 after selecting the term “sociometry” — which is “the quantitative analysis of individuals and their relationship to groups” — from the dictionary. Or, in Bergman’s parlance “guerilla sociometry”, which does not conform to the rigors of math or science! In collaboration with his partner in art and life, Heather Link-Bergman, former Communications Manager at the MSU Denver Center for Visual Art, their “Institute of Sociometry” is spotlighted in the current Museum of Contemporary Art Denver exhibit Citizenship: A Practice of Society. As a survey of politically engaged art, in response to political events and the current climate, as well as recent art world trends, the exhibition posits art making as a critical civic act, and runs from October 2, 2020 – February 14, 2021.


Professor Yunjin La-Mei Woo Joins Faculty

Our newest full-time faculty member, Assistant Professor Yunjin La-mei Woo is a socially-engaged artist and a cultural-studies researcher. Born as the granddaughter of a Korean shaman, her artistic practice is informed by her research on various notions of humanness and how such notions intersect with issues of power, gender, class, and ethnicity. Her creative work ranges widely from installation to video, performance, sculpture, writing, and participatory projects. Woo has exhibited, published, and presented her creative work and research in various venues both internationally and nationally. She earned her BFA and MFA from Seoul National University, South Korea, and is currently working on her PhD dissertation in Communication and Culture at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. You can find more about the material structures that Yunjin has built here.


Lisa Abendroth

Professor Lisa Abendroth Receives Seed Award

Lisa M. Abendroth, Professor, edited the Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook: SEED Methodology, Case Studies and Critical Issues with coeditor Bryan Bell.

Professor Abendroth is a founding member and regular contributor to the international design network, SEED®: Social Economic Environmental Design where she is a co-author of the SEED Evaluator design assessment tool and a reviewer for project certification. She currently serves on the SEED Advisory Board and was the recipient of the Award for Leadership in Public Interest Design.

Natascha Seideneck

Professor Natascha Seideneck Exhibiting

Assistant Professor Natascha Seideneck earned her graduate degree from School for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with an emphasis in photography and digital media and has been a visual artist for over 25 years. In addition to her photographic practice, she also engages in site-specific work that includes commissions for DIA, CSU’s Behavioral Science Building and Marriott Hotel. Recently, she co-curated Gravity of Perception at the CVA, on view now through March 23rd, and is also showing works at Art of the State 2019, at the Arvada Center through March 31st.

Natascha Seideneck recently appeared in gallery shows around Colorado including the exhibit “Art and Conflict” at the Arvada Center; her work was a part of the “Waterline” show at the Center for Visual Arts; and also she had a solo show at Seidel City titled “After Nature: The Age of the Anthropocene.”

Seideneck was featured in 100 Colorado Creatives in Westword.


Professor Jessica Weiss Presents

Jessica Weiss, Ph.D., Assistant Professor – Art History, Theory, and Criticism, presented a paper, titled “Castilian Legacy and Juan de Flandes’ Miraflores Copy,” at the International Colloquium “Flandes by Substitution: Copies of Flemish Masters in the Hispanic World (1500-1700)” sponsored by the Royal Institute of Cultural Heritage (kik-irpa) in Brussels, Belgium.


The World’s Largest PDF 

Matt Jenkins, Associate Professor – Integrated Media, showed his work The World’s Largest PDF in an international juried exhibition on Conceptual Art at the CICA Museum in South Korea and presented the same work at the American University in Paris for the Arts in Society conference.


Professor Rachael Delaney Honored as Art Educator of the Year

Rachael Delaney, Professor – Art Education Coordinator, was honored at the 2017 Colorado Art Education Association fall conference as the Art Educator of the Year. Colleague Dale Zalmstra reflects, “I have known and at times worked with Rachel over a number of years. As an elementary art teacher, I have been the cooperating teacher for her student teachers. I know from the students what the priorities and focus are in their art education classes. I know the efforts Rachel has made to mentor and facilitate the growth of her students. I know she has a very high standards and high expectations for her students. She calls for their best in ways that both inspires and motivates them as they grow in understanding and confidence.”


Professor Jillian Mollenhauer Presents Papers

Jillian Mollenhauer, Ph.D., Associate Professor – Art History, Theory, and Criticism, presented papers at the Association for Latin American Art Triennial ConferenceArt at Large: Public and Monumental Arts of the Americas, at the deYoung Museum, San Francisco; at Annual Meetings of the Society for American Archaeology in Orlando, Florida; and at the 2nd Annual Research Colloquium for the Rocky Mountain Pre-Columbian Association, Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

In 2017 Dr. Mollenhauer presented “Identifying the Quintessence of Olmec Centers in Formative Olman,” in the session, “Quintessential Places: Analyzing the Character of Pre-Columbian Sites” at the 2017 Annual Meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, in Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Professor Shawn Meek Honored by GDUSA

Shawn Meek, Associate Professor – Communication Design, presented a paper entitled ‘Fonts of My Family: The Fleeting Craft of Cursive Writing’ at the 2017 Hawaii University International Conferences on Science, Technology & Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Education (STEM/STEAM) in Honolulu, along with publishing in the conference proceedings. Meek was honored by Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) American Web Design Awards 2017. His work, Boyan Slat: UX/UI Design, was published in this annual showcase of the best websites, microsites and apps nationwide. This same work was also awarded a Silver by the One Club for Creativity Denver’s 2017 Annual Show.


Professor Summer Trentin Presents Research

Summer Trentin Ph.D., Assistant Professor – Art History, Theory, and Criticism, presented a paper titled “Reconstructing Antiquity: Alternative Research Projects in Classical Art and Archaeology” at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (https://camws.org/meeting/index.php) at the University of Waterloo in Kitchener, Ontario. She also authored two articles, one with illustrations by an MSU Denver student, related to her research on domestic decoration in Roman Pompeii.


Professor Tsehai Johnson Installs Permanent Commission

Tsehai Johnson, Associate Professor – Ceramics, installed Zest, a permanent commission at the new CU Boulder Village Center Dining and Community Commons building.

This work is a collaboration between Johnson and the chef in consultation with KSQ Architects. The piece explores the explosive flavors and textures of fresh foods and spices. The design originates in the upper left corner of the niche where a plate gradually morphs into to fiery spices, lush flora and bursts of pleasure. In a sense, the plate becomes an explosion of colors, flavors, and textures.

Photo: Zest; 2016; Porcelain; 5.5’x 8.5’x 6”

Photo credit: Wes Magyar


Faculty Stories, Art Stories and Events

MSU Denver Art students, alumni, faculty and staff are invited to submit your art stories and events so we can help spread the word on this website, in social media and via other promotions.

Let Us Know What's Happening!