Lynda Monick-Isenberg


Lynda Monick-Isenberg first joined MCAD as an adjunct in the visual studies foundation program in 1988 for seven years before moving to the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, where she served as the Chair of the Foundation Department. She returned as a visiting faculty member in 2013, was hired as professor in the Fine Arts Department in 2015, and served as the chair of the department 2017-2018.

Lynda created and led the teaching artist minor at MCAD, a nationally renowned program that she pioneered at CVA before its closure; she also organized the first MCAD Teaching Artist Conference. Additionally, Lynda taught the teaching sequence of courses in the MCAD MFA program, as well as foundation drawing courses. She taught portfolio preparation classes for Perpich Arts High School and developed an online version for MCAD Admissions. She has worked as peer coach, consultant, and teaching artist for COMPAS, Minnesota State Arts Board, Minnesota Perpich Center for Arts Education, Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools, Kennedy Center, and EngAGE Midwest, an arts and aging initiative. Her work with Arts and Creative Aging with Aroha Philanthropy, Lifetime Arts in NYC, and Common Bond Affordable Housing continues to connect MCAD with the broader community.

Lynda was a founder of Form+Content Collective gallery and the co-director of the Drawing Project, running monthly community drawing activities across the Twin Cities. Recent exhibitions include Nash Gallery, Anderson Center, and Phipps Center for the Arts. Her work is included in the collections of the Minnesota History Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Weisman Art Museum collection, and many private collections. Lynda earned her MA from the University of Minnesota and a BA in studio art/art education from St. Catherine University. 

See what Lynda's colleagues, students, and friends have to say about her exceptional contributions to MCAD.

Karen Wirth

Congratulations, Lynda. We have shared so many experiences over 30 years, both at the College of Visual Arts and at MCAD. Throughout you have been expansive in your thinking, tireless in your commitment to students, inventive in program design, and an open and giving colleague. May your next phase be filled with art, family, and new discoveries.

Marvin Chang

Three and half years ago, I had Lynda for my Foundation Drawing 1 when I was a first-year. 

She was and still one of the best teachers I've ever had in my life. She was not only a mentor but also a mom figure to me. We had many talks beyond class matters, and I will always remember the friendship between us. When I was a nervous freshman trying to fit into the new college life, she put so much effort in that class and I felt instant connections between the college environment and my own self.

It's sad to see her leaving the campus, but I'd sincerely wish her to go on and fully enjoy the world without worry about grading papers and preparing for classes anymore. 

See you Lynda, and please know that thank you cannot be enough to express my appreciation.

Anavi Mullick

Thank you for always being so supportive Lynda. From year one to year four of my journey at MCAD, you encouraged me to push forward any time I doubted myself and to try things outside my comfort zone. I remember taking Drawing 1 with you during my first year, and you would circle around the class and give us chocolates as 'energy boosts' as we were drawing. I love how caring you are for each of your students. It is inspiring to have you as a teacher. Thank you, and best wishes and hugs for whatever is next!

Tom DeBiaso

Lynda, I met you the first week in my new job as director of the MFA program where I was more than a little panicked about getting the teaching seminar and practicum up and running in short order. In minutes, I knew that all would be successful with you at the helm of this important part of the graduate program. Your students loved and were devoted to you—always were better for your classes and the way you touched and guided their lives. You have been an incredible teacher, colleague, and friend and I will always value having worked together as a valued mentor and member of the graduate committee. You were always willing to step up and contribute your considerable talents (starting the Teaching Artist Program!!!!) wherever needed and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you. Best of luck my friend!

Tanvi Kulkarni

From the first of my drawing courses I looked up to you. I always wondered how you have this much energy to run everywhere, do a gazillion things in a day, and still be excited and happy for anything. You have inspired me. You showed me the career path. The teaching artist minor is the best thing ever to have happened to me. I cannot thank you enough for the opportunities and possibilities you have provided me. Stay energetic and keep inspiring people like me. Love you. I hope our paths cross again. Thank you again.

Stephen Rueff

Your enthusiasm and passion for student success and teaching artists is inspiring. I will miss your camaraderie and smile.

Dana LeMoine

I'm so happy MCAD has a teaching artist minor and I know that is because of you! We will be sad to see you go but thank you for your years of dedication to this minor and to MCAD!

Laura Bray

Hi Lynda, I always enjoyed when you walked in our office to say hi. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

Autumn Amadou-Blegen

It has been a pleasure working with you! I wish you the best for the future.

Mary Kazura

Lynda, congrats on your well-deserved retirement! It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with you over the years. Your expertise in teaching and kindness and patience are always appreciated. Looking forward to what you do in the next chapter of your adventure in life!

Arlene Birt

Lynda, I enjoyed hearing your advice and your stories of home-construction adventures.

Jody Williams

I will miss seeing you at MCAD Lynda, as I missed seeing you at F+C when you left there, and at MCAD when you left years ago to teach at CVA. Everywhere you have gone you have expressed your strong moral compass and concern for others. I take comfort knowing this is not a total goodbye.

Julie Van Grol

Oh, Lynda! Thank you so much for all of the generous work you've done for your students (including me!). MCAD (and all of the other schools you've contributed to) has been very lucky to have you serving as an advocate for students—and other teachers! I hope you can feel deep pride for all of the difference you've made. Thank you, thank you, thank you. On to the next adventure!

Tom Milbrath

Great news! Good luck Lynda!

Isa Gagarin

I have worked with Lynda for a relatively short period, since I began teaching Foundation: Drawing 1 in Fall 2018. My favorite moments in the Morrison building are when I collaborate on constructing still lifes with the other teachers. There is something so particular and humorous about how seriously we approach setting up piles of drapery, skeleton bones, dusty bottles and bric-a-brac. I was always impressed by the intention and active looking that Lynda put into the process (and art) of setting up a still life.

During the chaotic transition to online instruction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lynda became a mentor to me. Over virtual meetings, Lynda offered wisdom and advice that resonated with me–and she gave me the confidence to share my own ideas and problem-solving moments with others. With only five semesters of teaching experience under my belt, I often feel that I have the mole's eye view, and Lynda has offered me glimpses of the bird's eye view that she has from her career in arts education. Thank you, Lynda, for sharing your ideas and perspective with emerging educators.

Hallie Bahn

As an MFA candidate, I was in Lynda's teaching practicum. I was amazed by the consideration, time and labor she devoted to each student and class period. Every class was meticulously designed and executed, modeling what good teaching looked like for all of us aspiring educators. It was like being in the Rolls-Royce of classes! Lynda's generosity extended outside the classroom. After the class ended, we met frequently for coffee to review my teaching applications and catch-up. Lynda was and still is my mentor, friend, and advocate. Lynda, I am so grateful to have been your student and later your colleague, it is one of the greatest gifts from my time at MCAD.

Frannie Kuhs

Thank you, Lynda, for always sharing your expertise, giving reference and generally all the support for CE. You did an amazing job with the teaching minor and all the students from your program were amazing assets to the CE program. Enjoy your next adventure!

Kiley Van Note

I always enjoy my run-in's the hallway with Lynda. She always has a smile on her face and is open to listening to what's happening to me that day. Lynda is also incredibly kind and so grateful for all the work her students, faculty, and staff put into MCAD. Her dedication and passion to teach students about art and teaching is going to be really hard to replace! Thank you for all you've done, Lynda, we'll miss you!

Betsy Alwin

Lynda is such an inspiring, caring, and fierce role model. She is always there to support and offer advice or a great story. Having lunch with her is one of my most memorable memories I’ve had at MCAD. Thank you for your example as a faculty, as an interim Chairperson, as a human. Your forthrightness in balance with wit and grit are tremendous. All the best to you in the future!

Kerry Morgan

Lynda, I have relished being in your presence and seeing how encouraging, nurturing, and fierce you can be. These are qualities you have inculcated in your many devoted students and we are all the better for having had you as a part of the MCAD community. Thank you!

Naomi Sack

Having the opportunity to work with you has been such a joy! Every time you came into the Academic Affairs office, you brought your energy and caring. Your dedication to students was apparent from the first time I met you. I also really appreciated being able to work with you when you served as Acting Chair of the Fine Arts department, a position to which you brought great skill and enthusiasm. I will miss seeing you, but I wish you only the best in the years to come as you enjoy retirement.

Rebecca Alm

Even though I have been retired from MCAD for almost four years, Lynda and I still talk about education, teaching strategies, student issues, etc. She is a dedicated and consummate educator who continues to expand her vision of what she can contribute. There is no doubt in my mind that she will continue to do this after retirement from MCAD. The first-year student—and likewise teaching others to work with beginning students—is a special passion that Lynda has focused on and excels at. I wish Lynda all the best and look forward to engaging discussions as she continues her journey in art and education. Cheers good friend!!