SIMBIG50 Catalog

500 pages 500 images 

The SIMBIG50 catalog celebrates the story of the first 50 years of an undergraduate college experiment that has influenced the lives of hundreds of young artists, entrepreneurs, technical wizards, teachers, UX designers, curators, and tattoo artists (to name a few) that have graduated with a Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) BFA degree from the Massachusetts College Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a special time for MassArt as 2023 marks its 150th year as the first freestanding public college of art and design in the country, and the nation’s first art school to grant a degree. SIM is the first program of its kind in the United States and continues to be at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary education, experimental arts and social practice. 

The authors believe that the SIM program has a unique story to tell about the potential of giving students the freedom to experiment, to fail, to persist and ultimately take ownership of their academic journey. For some readers, this will be a nostalgic experience and for others, the first time you’re hearing about SIM.

We present this story in a way that reflects the perspective of the students who created it by capturing their energy, playfulness, irreverence and hard texts. This 500-page catalog acts as an archive that features 500 images, three new essays, five reproduced texts, profiles of founding faculty and featured alumni, a SIM timeline, and a glossary. The design and typography takes cues from the innovative, printed ephemera designed by the students from the program. Images are intentionally placed to emulate the experience of uncovering the archive right before you. We invite you to make your own connections and to be inspired by the past, forging new ways to create for the future.

In the age of AI, entrenched ideologies and massive global challenges we think the time is right to be reminded that freedom of expression, play and experimentation are essential to the human spirit. 

Curated by Evan F. Smith, Nita Sturiale and Sam Toabe
Written by Kate Redmond and Nita Sturiale with contributions by John Engstrom, Mary K. Grant, Dawn Kramer, Jeff McLaughlin, Dana Moser, Juan Obando, Susan Orlean, Evan F. Smith, Robert Taylor, and Ron Wallace.
Designed by Mary Yang (Open Rehearsal )
Edited by Danielle Weindling

Typeset in Trade Gothic and Courier New
Printed at GHP in West Haven, CT

ISBN: 979-8-218-15492-9

“Wow! It’s beautiful. My favorite from the archives is the visitor posters like Paperrad and Linda Montano, plus the 70s sound art proposals. Congratulations on such an expansive text about such an influential program. I’m definitely going to be sharing this with my Graphic Design students.”

Cat Mazza
Professor of Art and Department Chair,
UMass Boston

“Thank you for this book that may teach us how to flourish and love our work as educators.”

Jeanette Luise Eberhardy, PhD, MFA
Professor and Program Chair, Thinking Making Writing, 1st Year Writing
Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA

“Thank you for the amazing SIM book. What a FANTASTIC and epic tome, such a beautiful act of love and such a wild ride. We’ve been enjoying it for weeks, now working our way back through it for the third or fourth time, something new to find with each look. It’s such a great design (LOVE the binding!!) and so chock full of memories and inspiration and history, all so great. And full of SIM!!!”

Gail Wight
Professor, Stanford University

“It is inspiring to see the students’ works over 50 years that are shared with the public, design educators, and students. I love how the imagery documentation is typeset as a digital collage that compiles such a bold and dense collection! The scores, prompts, and performances are incredibly valuable for us to question the boundary of avant garde art/design works today, and the potential mediums of interdisciplinary art. Congratulations SIM MassArt and Mary Y. Yang!”

Chen Luo
Founder of Body&Forma

“A beautiful archive! The book presents many possibilities for how archives can be integrated into the history of an educational institution. The orange spiral binding captures the dynamism of art education and the delicacy of history! Thank you for bringing a rich history from SIM to me!” 

Jialun Wang
Lecturer in Art, Graphic Design, Boston University

It’s not quite the same experience but there is an online version available for a peek.

For further information, with any questions,  please email SIM Dept. Chair, Nita Sturiale (SIM ’90)