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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Sept. 25: Artist Lecture by Alumni, Founders of Cast Iron Design

Minnesota State Mankato alumni Jonny Black and Richard Roche to discuss their "environmentally responsible" company.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-19-2017

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato alumni Jonny Black and Richard Roche will give an artist’s lecture Monday on campus about how their experiences at the University led them to create Cast Iron Design, an “environmentally responsible” design studio in Boulder, Colo.

Black and Roche’s free public lecture will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. A reception will follow the lecture.

The lecture is part of Black and Roche’s two-day (Sept. 25-26) artist residency in the University’s Nelson Hall Graphics Studio—made possible by the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment Program through the University’s College of Arts and Humanities and Department of Art.

Minnesota State Mankato Professor of Graphic Design Matthew Willemsen described Black and Roche’s caliber of work and contributions to their profession as “significant.”

In their Monday evening lecture, Black and Roche will describe how Cast Iron Design is committed to environmentally responsible practices and how the studio strives to develop solutions that result in a smaller environmental footprint, said Willemsen.

According to Willemsen, “the duo will present their sustainable design manifesto, offering a persuasive thesis and practical advice for implementing a green design strategy. Through myriad charts and case studies, Black and Roche will exhibit both the challenges and triumphs of running a sustainable design practice.”

For more information, contact Matthew Willemsen, professor of graphic design, by phone at 507-389-5426 or by email at

Black and Roche graduated from Minnesota State Mankato in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Both graduated with bachelor of fine arts in art degrees with studio specializations in graphic design. The bachelor of fine arts in art is a “professional” degree that presents students an opportunity to concentrate on intensive work in art or design sustained by a program of general studies.

Black and Roche’s lecture and residency are being held in conjunction with Project Passion, a juried exhibition of the self-initiated work of graphic designers that is on display in the University’s Conkling Gallery (located in Nelson Hall 139) through Oct. 10.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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