Carey Watters, MFA

Carey Watters


  • Graphic design
  • Book arts
  • Typography
  • Study abroad
  • Italian Art and Architecture
Carey Watters, is professor of graphic design at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in printmaking and book arts. Watters has been working as a professional graphic designer since receiving her BFA is graphic design from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1999. Her book and collage work weave together concepts regarding feminism, historic map making, and religious and pagan symbolism. Her work is a direct result of her residencies and travels to Calabria, Basilicata, and Puglia, Italy and her research of Byzantine architecture, design, and religious reliquaries.

Teaching Interests

My experience in the field of graphic design gives me the opportunity to relate to my students with real world perspective and application of the fundamentals that they will be learning. My teaching posture is relaxed, but focuses on a dedication to craft. Students in my courses come away with a solid understanding of design. Hierarchy, visual unity, balance, space, color, and typographic clarity are all concepts that a student will utilize in the professional world.

Research Interests

I see my work as mythical in nature. Insect pins and needle and thread connect age-old imagery and iconography to my personal narratives in a process that is time-consuming and labor-intensive. I dissect cast-off printed materials, painstakingly collected over the course of years, into thousands of tiny cut pieces of paper, each one a precious fragment of a lost whole. Each surface of paper is manipulated in some way. I use techniques found in pagan and religious artifacts; layering history and meaning in every material I use. From this collected ephemera I conjure the feminist histories of forgotten saints and unknown women whose stories twist and turn in complex ways. I identify with that. The remains of these histories are remnants of their struggles as women and are reminders of resilience.

Consulting Interests

Selected Publications

2021: Money is Magic, and Tobacco as Currency, by Kolaj and Ric Kasini Kadour (78-87 pp.)

Research/Creative Awards

2023: Third Edition of the Ecco Echo Awards is dedicated to echoing, celebrating and reverberating Classical Roman arts. Its objective is recognition and appreciation of contemporary artists or researchers who work in the tradition of, are inspired by or reflect on the Classical Roman arts, techniques, and styles. The prize consists of 1,000.00 Euro. The awards go to the participant(s) that are more creative and technically vibrant while representing, reinterpreting and celebrating classical roman arts and techniques. Inspiration and reverberation are equally cherished values., Ecco Echo Award of Excellence, Classical Roman Arts Foundation
2023: Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
2022: Contemporary Exhibition of Wisconsin artists, Best in Show, Trout Museum of Art
2022: Pulp: Wood, Paper, Print Center for Visual Arts Wausau, Wisconsin (juried exhibition, juror: Mark Brueggeman, acceptance rate not disclosed, May 6 – July 2, 2022) *Award of Excellence, Award of Excellence, Center for Visual Arts
2015: national juried exhibition, jurors: Cecily Cullen, Janice McDonald, Marilee Salvator, 400 works submitted, and 91 were selected, November 21, 2014 - January 24, 2015) *I was selected as one of seventeen juried award winners for this exhibit, Juried Show Award Winner, National Collage Society 2014 Annual Juried Exhibition
2015: Maryland Federation of Art, Circle Gallery, Annapolis, Maryland (national juried exhibition, juror: Harriet W. Lesser, curator of Strathmore, Bethesda, Maryland, 200 artists submitted work, 40 artists were accepted, July 18 – August 8) *I was given an Award of Merit and Monetary prize for this exhibition. , Juried Show Merit Award Winner, Maryland Federation of Art, Circle Gallery

Departmental Service

2016: Committee Member - Faculty Senate
2015: Faculty Mentor - Internship Czar
ART 274 - Typography I
ART 299 - Independent Study:
ART 372 - Graphic Design I
ART 374 - Typography II
ART 387 - Topics in Graphic Design:
ART 391 - Selected Topics-Art History:
ART 392 - Professional Practice
ART 399 - Independent Study:
ART 472 - Graphic Design II
ART 487 - Design Portfolio
ART 494 - Art Internship
ART 499 - Independent Study:
CBL 495 - Community Engagement Capstone
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