Photographed by GK Photos


For the past 17 years, Donna has dedicated her skills as a designer and project manager to develop marketing and promotional materials for urban libraries. She has been a graphic/web designer for Detroit Public Library and Houston Public Library systems and brand manager for Houston Public Library. She currently consults libraries, galleries and artists in brand identity development. Her goal is to work for cultural institutions as a consultant but to also develop community-based art projects and exhibitions. She attended Western Michigan University in the College of Engineering and also attended the College for Creative Studies as a Graphic Communications major. She is founder of DMJStudio, a creative studio devoted to developing art projects that strengthen and beautify communities. This is also home of her personal visual and digital artwork. Specialties: Branding and Identity, graphic design, fine art, public art. Click here to learn more about the DMJStudio team.



ARTIST STATEMENT

Most artists began the journey of creating to find out more about themselves or the world around them. I’m no different. My bodies of work are the results of what I’ve learned about womanhood and what I want to share about my hometown.

COLORFUL WOMEN: A series of illustrations, writings, and paintings of women in abstract form. Through color, shape and the use of the human female figure, this series’ objective is to open viewers eyes to another type of feminine beauty that is beyond the curves, clothes, makeup and teased hair. These images convey a beauty that comes from the colorful nuisances of women’s personalities, emotions, and experiences. The paintings in this series are acrylic on canvas or wooden panels. The illustrations and drawings and mixed media and range from 4″ x 6″ to 3″ x 3″ inches. Currently developing an illustrated series of 1000 3×3 cards, depicting women portraits, bodies and words. The small and detailed mixed media cards create an intimate relationship between the artist and the viewer and display women in the only way they should be experienced; up close and personal.  

SHE SAID NO: This series of black and white acrylic paintings size 16 x 20, is a collection of narratives about the word NO. How many times as a woman, you hear the word NO as you make a life for yourself and how many times a woman must say NO to grow, empower and protect herself in society. Such a small word with so much power. The installation includes 48 panels, also include a small book of stories entitled “She Said No.”

 

COMMUNITY PROJECTS AND INSTALLATIONS

DETROIT: DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY is a traveling exhibition displaying the creativity and opportunities in Detroit for artists. What makes this exhibit unique is the visual art in this exhibition is actual doors transformed into art. Participants range from students to seniors, emerging artists, and seasoned artists – all Metro Detroit residents. This is not a competition or juried show. It is open to all Metro-Detroiters who want to create. We are in our first year but the vision is clear; to grow Door of Opportunity into a  project that continually tours around the city bringing more art to communities.  We also will work diligently to permanently install doors in Metro-Detroit neighborhoods and communities. These doors will be visual symbols of the opportunity that exists in Detroit for all Detroit residents. For more details go to Door of Opportunity page.

MIDDLE DETROIT/MIDDLE MOVEMENT The stories about Detroit’s financial and political issues, employment challenges and physical dilapidation is repeated just as much as stories of white influx, entrepreneurial, opportunity for those with resources and downtown buyout by millionaires.  Though these stories are part of the tapestry of Detroit they are not the whole story. A large part of the narrative and population is ignored because they do not fit the extremes that media tend to feed us. This website will change that.

Middle Detroit is a platform for Detroiters to share their stories with a goal of expanding the limited narrative that is currently spread via media and within the city into one that shows the complexities and intricacies of Detroit.  Middle challenges are not just a Detroit story, it is an American story, and we believe that Detroit will be the trailblazer in defining middle class and empowering Middle Detroit and Middle America. For more details, please visit the Middle Detroit page. For more details please visit the Middle Detroit page.

POP UP ART EXHIBIT (AND WORKSHOPS) This project takes abandoned lots, clean them up and then place public art from local artists on the land; transforming it into a space that can be used by the neighborhood. Community Pop-Up Art Exhibition Project provides clean, safe community spaces for family and neighbors to connect while revitalizing their neighborhoods. Cleaning up the lots and transforming them has the potential of bringing investors into purchase the land and good neighbors to expand the neighborhood. Art from Detroit100 and other local art organizations are the focus of these exhibits. 


CURRICULUM VITAE

ART EXHIBITS

  • 2018 She Said No, ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI
  • 2018 Door of Opportunity, Detroit Public School – Bates Academy, Detroit, MI
  • 2018 Door of Opportunity, Public art Installation – Detroit Neighborhood Art Project , Detroit, MI
  • 2017 Door of Opportunity, Detroit Public Library, Detroit, MI
  • 2017 Posters on Politics, the Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2017 In Pursuit of Hope, Focus: HOPE, Detroit, MI
  • 2017 Gilda’s Girls, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2017 Door of Opportunity, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Door of Opportunity, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Wall of 100 Makers, Civilla, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Door of Opportunity, Daly in the Alley, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Door of Opportunity, Belle Isle Art Show, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Door of Opportunity, Palmer Park Art Show, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Indie Art Fair Mural Exhibition, Down River Council of the Arts, Wyandotte, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, Northend Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, 4731 Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, One Mile Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, Detroit Public Library, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, The Virgil Carr Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, Downriver Council of the Arts, Wyandotte, MI
  • 2012 Detroit Got Talent, Heidelberg Project, Detroit, MI

 

CURATORIAL PROJECTS

  • 2018 Fenkell: Unknown Treasures, Andy Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2018 Posters On Politics, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2018 Door of Opportunity, Public art Installation – Detroit Neighborhood Art Project , Detroit, MI
  • 2018 Inner Fragments: Iranian Women Art Exhibition, Norwest Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2018 Survive In America, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2017 Door of Opportunity, Detroit Public Library, Detroit, MI
  • 2017 Posters on Politics, the Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2017 Gilda’s Girls, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2017 Door of Opportunity, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Door of Opportunity, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Wall of 100 Makers, Civilla, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Door of Opportunity, Daly in the Alley, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Door of Opportunity, Belle Isle Art Show, Detroit, MI
  • 2016 Door of Opportunity, Palmer Park Art Show, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, Northend Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, 4731 Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, One Mile Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, Detroit Public Library, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, The Baltimore Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, The Virgil Carr Gallery, Detroit, MI
  • 2015 Door of Opportunity, Downriver Council of the Arts, Wyandotte, MI

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY



RESUME

CAREER

  • Seventeen years brand management and design experience for two large urban library system
  • 10 years project management and creative direction
  • In-depth knowledge of graphic and web design applications
  • Self-motivated, creative and dependable
  • Strong leadership, management, and organizational skills
  • Exceptional work ethics and time management abilities
  • Efficient in developing processes and strategies to enhance workflow and production
  • Over twenty years of design and fine art experience

Technical Experience Applications: Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office Suite, Drupal, WordPress


EMPLOYMENT

March 2018 – present | Integrity Shows – Detroit, MI Logistics and Design

  • Provide support at festivals and events hosted and created by the organization
  • Attend community meetings and present at community meetings as a representative of the organization
  • Liaison for organization and art community
  • Create visual components for marketing events hosted by the organization

October 2016 – September 2017 | Houston Public Library – virtual Branding Consultant

  • Analyze brand position in the public library market
  • Translate brand strategies into brand plans, brand positioning
  • Support creative development of visual components of the HPL brand and their usage in print, electronic and in our spaces
  • Monitor trends, research markets, and competitors activities

November 2014 – October 2016 | Houston Public Library – Houston TX Branding Coordinator

  • Analyze brand position in the public library market
  • Translate brand strategies into brand plans, brand positioning
  • Lead creative development of visual components of HPL brand and their usage in print, electronic and in our spaces
  • Monitor trends, research markets, and competitors activities
  • Oversee marketing and advertising activities to ensure consistency with messaging
  • Project lead on major campaigns

October 2010 – Present | Freelance Brand Consultant and Designer Branding and Design Manager

  • Responsible for the development and the maintaining of organization visual identity   
  • Develop and design special project marketing materials for the director of the library and the leadership team 
  • Responsible for print and design schedules and timelines for department
  • Work closely with internal and external clients throughout the project creation process
  • Maintenance of the web site

November 2006 – October 2010 | Houston Public Library – Houston TX Branding and Design Manager

  • Responsible for the development and the maintaining of organization visual identity   
  • Develop and design special project marketing materials for the director of the library and the leadership team Manage library’s graphic and print department
  • Responsible for print and design schedules and time lines for department
  • Work closely with internal and external clients throughout the project creation process
  • Appoint printing and web vendors to given projects
  • Maintenance of the web site

November 2004 – 2006 | Detroit Public Library – Detroit, MI Graphic Design and Publications Manager

  • Responsible for the visual direction of all marketing materials
  • Develop and design special project marketing materials for the director of the library and the leadership team     
  • Manage graphics and publications department as well as the print shop
  • Responsible for print and design schedules and time lines for department
  • Work closely with internal and external clients throughout the project creation process
  • Appoint printing and other vendors to given projects
  • Daily maintenance of the web site

June 2002 – November 2004 | Detroit Public Library – Detroit, MI Graphic Designer

  • Designed and developed all marketing materials including brochures, mailers, bookmarks, flyers, posters, booklets, and presentations
  • Responsible for print and design schedules and timelines for department
  • Responsible for the daily maintenance of the web site
  • Appointed printing and other vendors to given projects
  • Work closely with internal and external clients throughout project creation proces

October 2000 – present | DMJStudio – Detroit, MI Founder & Owner

  • Create and develop art-focused projects for public display and engagement
  • Responsible for project development and strategic planning for the studio and its projects
  • Provide workshops and support for artists in branding, marketing, and promotional procedures
  • Curate fine art exhibitions for local galleries, public spaces, and the online community
  • Manage studio team that includes administrative assistants, curators, and volunteers

EDUCATION

1993 – 1997 – Western Michigan University Major – Industrial Design

1999 – 2001 – College for Creative Studies Major – Graphic Communications