Wed, Apr 11th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
American Craft Council
1224 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis MN 55413

Free and open to anyone interested in craft and design

A redux of the unique collaboration between AIGA Minnesota and the American Craft Council, this discussion and exhibition will showcase professional designers who also have side practices in craft and work with materials like clay, glass, wood, fiber, metal, and paint.

The panel discussion will feature creative director and painter Sharon Werner; designer, illustrator, and art assemblagist Lynn Tanaka; and experience designer and furniture maker Teri Kwant, moderated by Brent Stickels. The conversation will center around the value of working in three dimensions, the importance of the tangible as part of the design process, and the creative boost that comes from picking up a tool as a method of creative expression and problem solving — without a mouse or monitor.

Experience the beautiful American Craft Council space in the historic Grain Belt Brewery building and browse its impressive library collection during this special Salon Series event.

Sharon Werner

Sharon Werner — panelist

Sharon Werner, is the founder of Werner Design Werks, Inc. a three-person design firm in St. Paul, Minnesota, over 26 years strong. WDW, has made remarkable national and international impact with their commitment to simplicity, honesty and smart intuitive practicality in design. They strive to combine strong visual language, artful expressions with sound design solutions to create meaningful brands. Brands that people are passionate about. Brands that impact commerce and culture. This creative and business strategy has attracted and gained praise from both corporations and startup ventures that include: Moët Hennessey, Rockfilter Distillery, dpHUE, SC Johnson, Suntory, Mr. Maks Ginbao, Target, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Cabot Creamery, and Lucini Italia.

In addition to client projects, Sharon is co-creator and co-author of a series of type-centric children’s books; Alphabeasties and other Amazing Types, Bugs by the Numbers, and Alphasaurs and other Prehistoric Types, published by Blue Apple Books and reprinted in France by Piccolo. The books teach kids that letters on a page can look as expressive as they read. They can communicate a feeling, a tone beyond the simple word. “Grrr” can look angry, funny, or fast depending on the typeface.

Sharon’s work has garnered awards and honors from numerous national and international design organizations. In addition to peer recognition, WDW was named Target Corporation’s Vendor of the Year. Their work is included in 100 World’s Best Posters and permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Musée De La Poste, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Museum.

Teri Kwant RSP Dreambox

Teri Kwant, AIGA NAI — panelist

Teri is a holistic designer of experiences and a visual storyteller. Her roots are in museum and exhibition design – graphic and experiential. Her training is across many design disciplines; graphic design, architecture, landscape architecture and psychology, and has a masters degree in furniture design.

Teri has also been an experience consultant, an educator, and a maker and creator of public art. Her artwork and furniture have been shown in local and national galleries. She has had the honor to speak at events ranging from professional design and ethnographic research organizations to a palliative care symposium. Teri has taught at the University of Minnesota School of Design, the College of Visual Arts, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Teri’s purpose in designing experiences is to create objects, interactions and environments that not only engage the senses and the intellect but the heart. She strives to create meaningful dialogue and connections through all of her work.


Lynn Tanaka

Lynn Tanaka — panelist

Lynn Tanaka lives an artistic life.

Professionally, she has worked over 20 years in illustration, hand lettering and graphic design – back in the days of rubylith color seps and mechanicals with two-coat rubber cemented photo-stats and hand-kerning. She has happily served two terms on the board of the AIGA Minnesota, as well as co-chairing two kick-ass Design Camp conferences. She adored and loved her work as Director of Admissions and Student Affairs, and illustration professor at the College of Visual Arts for over 8 years. So much so, that she would have married CVA.

Privately, she is in her happy place designing hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind creations using organic materials, or combining found and natural objects and drawing elements in her fine art assemblages.

Lynn just likes to make things. Constantly.

Busy hands are happy hands.

Brent Stickels of YYES

Brent Stickels — moderator

Brent Stickels is co-founder and partner of YYES, a design and communications studio that provides strategic branding focused on business outcomes.

A writer and designer with a background in advertising and film, he is AIGA Minnesota’s liaison to the Insights Lecture Series at the Walker Art Center. He is also a member of the Long Now Foundation, an organization that fosters long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

About the American Craft Council
No one understands the world of artful living better than the American Craft Council. The national nonprofit educational organization has been shaping the artisanal craft movement for decades, serving as a craft chronicler, tastemaker, convener, and provocateur through its bimonthly magazine, American Craft, annual juried shows presenting artists and their work, thought leadership conferences, awards for excellence, research library, workshops, and seminars. For additional information visit or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

About American Craft
The 75-year-old magazine, based in Minneapolis, has won more than 50 awards in the past five years. Twice in the past three years, Folio has named American Craft the country’s best non-profit magazine, over competitors such as AARP and National Geographic Traveler. Current American Craft issues include collectible posters crafted in partnership with Mohawk Fine Papers and Shapco Printing.