Artist, arts writer Catherine Quillman is 2019 DCAD commencement speaker


An illustrator, painter, writer and teacher known for her visual and verbal narratives will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Delaware College of Art and Design graduation ceremony. Catherine Quillman will address the Class of 2019 during the College’s 21st annual commencement exercises on May 6. The ceremony will open with remarks by New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer and feature a valedictory speech by graduating student Mikeria “Mickey” Flack.

Commencement will begin at 2 p.m. with a procession from DCAD’s academic and administration building at 600 N. Market St. to The Grand Opera House at 818 N. Market St. Once there, the graduates will receive associate of fine arts degrees in animation, fine arts, graphic design, illustration, interior design and photography.

Quillman says that she likes “to create visual narratives that ‘hook’ the viewer with interesting details and a sense of place” and that she tries to inspire others to see art as a storytelling medium that is at its best when the artist is having fun. She began writing as a freelance arts journalist in 1985, was a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1989 to 2007 and currently covers arts and history topics for Fig West Chester, The Hunt and Main Line Today magazines. She also has authored several books about the region’s artistic and cultural history, including a volume showcasing local painters, sculptors and photographers called 100 Artists of the Brandywine Valley, and many of her walking tour booklets are sold by the Chester County Historical Society. As an artist, Quillman frequently works in collage, pen and ink and printmaking and finds particular inspiration in the gardens and historic sites of the region. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington College and a master’s degree from Temple University, both in English with a focus in creative writing. Quillman also earned a teaching certificate from the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project at West Chester University and trained in children’s book illustration via the Children’s Authors and Illustrators Summer Workshop hosted by the Highlights Foundation.

Meyer assumed leadership of Delaware’s largest county in 2017 and has focused on reducing government spending, money-saving farmland preservation strategies, attracting new business to the state, expanding the capacity of statewide solar energy production and equipping first responders with Narcan. Prior to his election, Meyer was a mathematics teacher, an attorney, a diplomat in Iraq for the U.S. State Department, an economic advisor to Gov. Jack Markell and the creator of two successful businesses, Ecosandals and VituMob, both in Kenya. The Wilmington Friends School graduate earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a member of the Michigan Law Review. He is a past recipient of the Skadden Fellowship, which he used to work for Community Legal Aid in Wilmington, and the Sam Beard Jefferson Award for Greatest Individual Service by an Individual 35 Years and Under.

Flack, a resident of Greenbelt, Md., is a 2016 graduate of Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Md. At DCAD, the illustration major has been a student worker in the College’s Information Technology Office. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in illustration at Moore College of Art and Design or Maryland Institute College of Art toward a career combining illustration with graphic design. She ultimately would like to serve as an art director. Her commencement speech will focus on one’s relationships lead to growth as both an artist and a person.

Admission to DCAD’s commencement ceremony is by ticket only. A reception for the graduates and their guests will follow in DCAD’s Toni & Stuart B. Young Gallery, where a show of capstone works by Class of 2019 members is being displayed from May 3 to 6.

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