Starting in the Fall of 2018, Courtney is working on her doctoral research in Library Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research involves the use of art/design in presenting archival material to the public. She was awarded an assistantship and has been working as a research assistant at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) Archive, an indy activist organization.

Courtney completed her MFA in Art (graphic design concentration) from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) in May 2017 and taught as a Lecturer at Wayne in the graphic design department. Her project, Quicksand, was included in the exhibition, Bent, but Unbroken, curated by The Charles H. Wright Museum and Things Feel Heavy from July 28 thru October 29, 2017.

In 2006, Courtney obtained her BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design (Grand Rapids, MI). For the following 5 years, she worked as a front-end developer and designer for an Internet services firm (Troy, MI). She later worked as an in-house designer for a dental publication for almost 4 years (Ann Arbor, MI) while freelancing.

Design Study Log

[2019] I am crafting an interdisciplinary portfolio that combines theories of knowledge transmission with art practice. Specifically, I am exploring how conventional ways of communicating narrative (e.g. auto/biographies, published media, exhibit panel displays, etc.) can be visually transmitted or re-presented to engage a broader audience using textile crafts, experimental typography, posters, art books and motion graphics. I will present this work in public/shared spaces to initiate engagement such as museum/library/gallery exhibitions, web/social media spaces, conferences, lectures, etc. By imagining new ways of representing African American experiences, I intend to encourage reviews (and new views) of known and less known stories from my cultural heritage. By performing/embodying these representations through art practice, I will contribute additional perspectives on how knowledge can be visually transmitted between maker and public.

[2018] Information that is historically impactful lives unnoticeably among the public at large and should be made more accessible to those who live outside the restrictive spaces of academic institutions, research facilities and traditional art galleries. Being communicative in nature, design is an effective conduit for closing or filling the gaps of our understanding with one another in society. There is an opportunity to engage the general public more critically about our collective memory and narrative(s). Increased awareness and knowledge of the untold (or less told) stories that live in our immediate location and beyond will increase our capacity to see common ground among our differences as individuals and groups.

[2017] Courtney explores the transformative properties of memory in relation to history and the retelling of history. Due to our personal (and inescapable) perceptions, a happening’s complete origin is inaccessible. It can only be re-structured and re-presented via collective memory. Courtney’s practice involves visualizing this re-collection through design methods of overlap, fragmentation, pattern and typography. As gaps in memory are realized, it is Courtney’s hope that more unknown pieces will emerge and be included within our collective narrative.