Graphic design professor Kjellgren Alkire joined the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota community this year. With experience in printmaking, video, performance and technology, and more, Alkire expresses a love for tools and technology and a deep commitment to making things.
“All artists use technology. Paint is technology, and ceramics and printmaking. It may be ancient, but it’s technology,” said Alkire. “I’m an artist that makes stuff with technology.”
Professor Kjellgren Alkire teaches Graphic Design and Art Appreciation classes.
Photo by Allison Christensen
Alkire finished his undergraduate degree at Concordia University in St. Paul and earned his master’s degree from Arizona State University. He has been teaching graphic design and digital imaging in Minnesota for six years. Alkire’s classes combine studio- and lecture-style learning.
“Students are able to manipulate ideas and materials or technology,” said Alkire.
Alkire insists that students must study in order to do well in his classes, but his reasoning may not be what you would expect:
“Studying isn’t about making the grade, studying is about doing well. It’s about understanding the material and being able to think about it from your own perspective and being able to understand other people’s perspectives. It’s not necessarily about getting an A.”
Alkire believes that learning and encountering new material changes people.
“If it’s not changing you to be at university, you might be doing it wrong,” said Alkire. “College should be the beginning of other changes. You’re paying a lot of money to get this experience and this experience shouldn’t necessarily equal a job, it should be about knowledge and patterns of behavior that help you to be successful in the future as a human.”