Q & A with Cindy Buckley Koren

cindy manet jolly
lllustrator: Manet Jolly

Recently named “Educator to Watch” by Graphic Design USA magazine, Cindy Buckley Koren specializes in communication design and runs the {meetinghouse} creative collaborative from her State Street studio. After launching her career in New York City she could not resist returning to the Utica area to teach and raise her family.  Over the last 27 years, she has established several successful Communications Design programs and taught or lectured at various colleges and universities including PrattMWP, Syracuse University, and Hamilton College. As a featured speaker at the inaugural TEDx Utica her presentation on creative educational strategies and community collaborations challenged today’s institutions to stop being “instistupid” and “do shit that matters.”


Cindy Travis

Tell us about your own personal artwork.                                         

I am a creative director and designer with a primary focus on community building and communication. My background is in editorial and branding design and I have had amazing experiences working on award-winning projects with many renowned creatives. Currently, I serve as communications director of One World Utica —an organization that celebrates diversity and cultivates unity through the Rust to Green coalition. My practice is research based and I hold a deep fascination with artist and MWP alum Robert Indiana.

cindy_lilputtiHow does your work impact the way you approach teaching?

I promote putting student work out into the wild and I am proud to say that this fearless approach has paid off with awards and honors from around the world. I encourage my students to conduct deep research, take risks, iterate, analyze, and utilize their skills to engage their communities. I am incredibly proud of the impactful projects that have recently come from PrattMWP such as the Utica Proud and Say Nope campaigns. Every year I am more astonished at what can be accomplished at the sophomore level.

cindy_jamellawebWhat is your favorite part about working at PrattMWP?

As an educator, the most rewarding part is to nurture young creative talent to use design to inspire positive social change. My favorite part is that the relationships formed at PrattMWP don’t end at the end of a semester.  I have had the honor to curate From Utica to Brooklyn an exhibition featuring PrattMWP alumni; Doug Aldrich, Logan Fitzpatrick, and Zach Meyer—and I am so excited that this fall Cannaday Chapman will be presenting as a part of our Easton Pribble Visiting Artist Lecture Series.  At the risk of sounding corny, I really love that no matter what direction their lives take—every former student feels like a part of our MWP family.


What do you hope of PrattMWP alumni?

To keep in touch . . . duh.

I am serious . . . I will be coming to Pratt Institute November 15th -16th, so if you are in Brooklyn, I hope to see you!
I miss and love you all—so please connect with me on social media, check out the opportunities on my website, and email me ckoren@mwpai.edu!!

Special thanks to: Manet Jolly, Francis Chi, Travis Bradley, lilputti, jamella, and Ashley Penna!




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