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July 26, 2017

Phillip Hanson - Faculty Profile

Phillip Hanson finds comfort in the fuzzy edges where the old norms meet the new. The lecturer of art finds such solace in both his artwork and his students.

When it comes to students, Hanson is the faculty advisor of a newly registered student organization he hopes will help provide a greater sense of community for the university’s art and design students inside and outside of the classroom. The Art and Creative Design League, formed this semester with Hanson as faculty advisor, will encourage student artists to network both with their SVSU peers and professional artists.

 “A big factor in retention is social interaction, and I hope this helps with that,” Hanson said. “I want our students to feel a sense of community and a sense of belonging.”

phillip hanson-sept-2016The Holland, Michigan native has a number of activities lined up for the organization’s agenda. Later this semester, the group will participate in a Skype conference call with Hanson’s friend, Ian Butterfield, who works as an artist for the movie studio DreamWorks’ animated films division. Hanson also plans to utilize the university’s new social media tool, SVSU Connect, to create relationships between students and alumni artists.

“I had an advanced student say to me after our first meeting, ‘I feel like this is the beginning of an institution,’” Hanson said. “I’m hoping, with a few dynamic leaders, this will really take off and be the start of something new.”

Hanson is accustomed to transitions; they are reflected in his art too.

There is no simple way to explain his work. They fluctuate between digital art and the variety not produced on a computer screen. Sometimes he enjoys mixing the genres, then re-mixing them.

“A lot of them are created through the manipulation of physical matter and digital imagery,” Hanson said. “Sometimes one piece will go from physical to digital, back to physical again.”

His work will be on display at Mott Community College Fine Arts Gallery from Sept. 26 to Oct. 11. He will discuss the series during a presentation at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at the college’s Visual Arts and Design Center, Room 103.

Images of his work also is available at

He hopes the exposure at Mott will entice community college students to consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree at SVSU, where Hanson believes strongly in the university’s ability to inspire students from all backgrounds to find comfort in the fuzzy edges where the old norms meet the new.