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Date(s) - April 13, 2023 - April 28, 2023
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Visual Arts Building


– Early creative passions complement AAH alumni professional successes and future explorations.

Seven (7) CSU Graphic Design alums that have had very successful careers in the graphic design/advertising industries — have rediscovered their passion for fine art and are returning to the place where it all began: CSU… to share this next chapter in their careers.

Opening reception: Thursday, April 13, 5:30PM.

Eric Boelts ’82
Eric is the principal and owner of Brain Bolts Design (Boulder). He has a BFA in graphic design and an MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing while studying at CSU and the University of Arizona. He has lectured at universities and colleges domestically and internationally and has garnered hundreds of awards in numerous design competitions throughout the world. Eric runs long distances without stopping, paints with watercolor, is addicted to basketball and can both draw with a pencil and use a spreadsheet. 


Jackson Boelts ’73
Jackson Boelts, and his wife Alison, are currently Caretakers of Sanctuary Cove, a non-profit desert preserve ­—open to the public— in Tucson, Arizona. He is a former graphic designer and business owner and has retired from teaching at the University of Arizona after 43 years, earning the title, Professor Emeritus. He has exhibited work and/or lectured in Moscow, Mexico City, Berlin, Warsaw, Chile, Chongqing, Orvieto, and numerous locations in the United States. He has taught summer watercolor courses in Orvieto, Italy and was a visiting artist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Bob Coonts ‘63
First job in Denver was with the Rocky Mountain News. Hoflund Schmid Typographics, Frye, Sills and Bridges Advertising and Salesvertising Art followed. Employed by CSU in 1971 to be art director/senior designer at University Communications and to teach as Affiliate Faculty in the Art Department. In 1974, he started Bob Coonts Graphic Design Inc, selling it in 1994 to try Fine Art. Clients included Telecommunications Inc., Aspen Skiing CO, Breckinridge Skiing CO, CSU, UNC, Orthopedic Center of the Rockies, Waterpik and many others.


Marty Gregg ’81
Informed by a life lived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Marty’s work reflects place and warmth via a sense of deep humanity and palpable light.  With an innate drive to create, Marty allows the organic creation process to inform his final pieces. Marty finds inspiration in the company of other artists and their work, often gathering to create, discuss, and encourage his peers. Marty’s other creative endeavors include playing the piano, appreciating architecture, traveling, and journaling.  Marty learned the art of visual storytelling through his parents. His father was a scientist who could explain anything with a simple drawing. His mother was a painter that could make any subject beautiful. This combination of learned skills informed Marty’s professional background. He pursued a graphic design education at CSU and found a unique specialization in experiential design and placemaking—the process of crafting livable, desirable public spaces through design.  Marty founded the award-winning design firm ArtHouse Design. He is a regular speaker at his alma mater, Colorado State University, spreading the gospel of placemaking and experiential design to students.

John Kjos ‘76
John began his career as a “printer’s devil” in a music publishing shop in Chicago. After getting his AA in Denver he moved back to Chicago and was employed as an art assistant for Playboy magazine. He eventually moved back to Colorado and earned his BFA from CSU. He opened Ampersand Studios/Denver in 1976, and as owner/design director he worked on a broad range of regional and national award-winning design projects. He was a founding member of AIGA Colorado, served on the board of directors for ADCD, AIGA, and the Denver Art Museum’s Department of Architecture, Design and Graphics. In 2013 he was honored as an AIGA Fellow.

Jill Soukup ‘91
As a teen, she started a pet-portrait business, acquired jobs painting murals, and designed logos for local organizations. While studying at Colorado State University, she worked as an illustrator and designer for the university. After graduation, she pursued a career in graphic design, working for Monigle & Associates for two years and then for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science until 2003. After which, she began painting full-time.


Blake Welch ’85,
Blake began his design career at Better Homes & Gardens magazine as a book designer for 3 years prior to returning to Denver to establish the highly successful design/advertising firm: Welch Creative Group, Inc. His clientele included The Children’s Hospital, IBM, Western Union, Centura Health, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, HealthOne and countless others. He has also lectured at CSU, CU, Metro, Regis and most recently at Front Range Community College where he serves as the program director for the Multimedia and Graphic Design department.