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Deb Sokolow

Deb Sokolow

Artist, writer | Northwestern professor | Class of 1996

You name it, future artist, writer and Northwestern associate professor Deb Sokolow (BFA ’96/studio, graphic design) did it at Krannert.

“One of my earliest memories of UIUC involved ordering a cappuccino for the first time at the cafe in Krannert Art Museum,” she says. “I had no idea what a cappuccino was, but ordering one in a pre-Starbucks-on-every-corner world felt like a very sophisticated thing to do.

“And Krannert’s exhibitions and close proximity to the School of Art + Design, where most of my classes were held, provided easy access to so much visual stimulation.

“I loved taking graphic design courses from Renate Gokl and from Ken Carls. Professor Carls once wheeled a cart filled with pies into the classroom for a final group critique session. It was dramatic and glorious. I always tell my own students about that cart of pies when I bring my pathetic bag of store-bought candy to their critiques.

“I took a fantastic course on the artist book and the work of artist Dieter Roth from Buzz Spector. I remember how Professor Spector took time out of his busy schedule to meet me for coffee and see my first solo art exhibition at Espresso Royale on East Daniel Street.

“After graduating, I rented an art studio in downtown Champaign, across a pedestrian walkway from the first location of the Blind Pig bar and music venue. My studio had a window with a view into what looked like another artist’s studio.

“After months of gazing into this studio, wondering if I would ever spot the artist in there, I was delighted one night to see a light on in the space. And who should be there, but Buzz.”