Keetra Dean Dixon ’99
An artist and designer, Dixon was recently named to Step Inside Design magazine’s list of emerging talent. Her work has been featured in Etapes magazine, several Gestalten publications, the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, and in the permanent design collection at the SFMOMA.
Following her studies at MCAD, Dixon went on to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She runs a design workshop that focuses on non-commissioned work, and she teaches as a full-time faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Why did you choose MCAD?
I initially chose to attend MCAD as a drawing-painting major. I was impressed by the facilities, the student work, and the charm of Minneapolis. But after arriving, I was quickly seduced by a few courses in graphic design.
What experience at MCAD helped you find the career or place you are in today?
MCAD's graphic design courses first introduced me to the theories of Gestalt psychology. The simple principles brought a bit of objective structure to an intimidating, subjective pursuit. The clarity in critique allowed me to measure my successes while still pushing me toward innovative making. The MCAD approach set the standards for my current graphic design practice—Structure + play. Restriction + discovery. Consistent questioning + support. Never settling.
Is there a message, story, or idea that you would like to share with prospective MCAD students?
MCAD is a space for motivated makers. You will find a community of creatives with a tireless drive. Your peers become your immediate family, and alumni become relatives. The roots of my current creative community were founded at MCAD—a majority of my friends and close colleagues proudly share the MCADette badge. Oh, and there's a bonus! I didn't realize MCAD had such a reputable standing within the professional graphic design world until post graduation. It’s a happy benefit to top off the degree.