Fine Arts Flourish at IA: Part Two

Large-scale abstract painting by artist Shavana Green.

This is the second in a series of posts focused on IA designers and architects who pursue the fine arts for pleasure, profit, or both in parallel to a career at IA. Proving that creativity seeks multiple forms of expression, two IA artists share their work and inspiration.

Shavana Green, Experiential Graphic Designer, Boston 

Born in Japan and raised throughout the United States, Shavana Green attributes her intense interdisciplinary methodology in part to the conceptual focus of her far-reaching education, as well as a deep appreciation for contemporary Black culture and explorations of familial histories. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications with an additional focus on Fiber Material Studies and Painting, she pursued an unorthodox program (no majors or grades) designed to spark conversation around art and meaning. Depending on interest and curiosity, students were encouraged to create their own curriculums. Her classes ranged from visual communications, weaving, painting, and art & technology to motion graphics for film and a carefully chosen liberal arts program. 

Green has attended artist residency programs focused on crafts throughout the U.S. She believes her work thrives on continual learning and currently takes ceramics classes in Boston.

Seemingly unrelated sources—the works of author Haruki Mirikami, fiber materials studies (including large installations and soft sculptures), and courses in the Black artist movement and the history of the Caribbean—all connect to inspire her work. Through a fluid practice, she tends to work in hurried four-month stretches focusing on the surface design of utilitarian ceramics or large-format abstract paintings. She also maintains a website.

Green focuses on large-scale abstract paintings.

An intricate surface design enhances this utilitarian ceramic.

A book cover design for Seashore Farmers Lodge.

Melanie Tiongson, Experiential Graphic Designer, San Francisco

Born in the heart of Manila, Melanie Tiongson and her family moved to Oakland, CA, when she was 15 years old—a significant and identity-challenging transition. Expressing her thoughts and emotions on blank canvas proved cathartic, and her new home offered unlimited sources of inspiration. Later, at the Art Institute of California in San Francisco she majored in media arts and animation. Moving on to graphic design, her traditional drawing evolved into digital art. Through her work, she shares with others an imaginative view of a world overflowing with possibilities.

Distinct from her career at IA, Tiongson’s focus includes branding, packaging, and graphics for clients, in addition to the art she exhibits or features on her website. Drawing on her Filipino-American roots, she also enjoys creating wood panels covered with collage representing Philippine folktales with the text in Tagalog. Applying a final thick coat of resin to each piece makes the colors more brilliant, the layers and depth more translucent. Playful and whimsical, these inspired works express positivity and include characters she has developed. “I feel like there are so many negative things going on, and a splash of positivity is what we need to make the world a little brighter,” said Tiongson.  

A sketch for a mural for a local school district.

Collage based on Philippine folktale.

Moose-antlers, one of the characters developed for the collages.

Logos created for three clients: Banner Express, a large-format digital printer; Sew Sweet, specializing in handmade products; and Zaya, focused on improving education.

Inspiring Creativity

At IA the artistic talent of our colleagues as well as the distinctive talents of every IA team member continue to amaze us. As a diverse and collaborative culture, we are privileged to celebrate and enjoy a shared creative passion that inspires us every day and shapes all that we do.  

NEED MORE IA CULTURE?

We've got plenty more where that came from. Click below to learn about IA news, events going on at some of our offices, or firm-wide initiatives that help bring us all together.


The use of antimicrobial materials in public venues is attracting increased interest as the management of infectious diseases remains top of mind. An impressive array of antimicrobial options used in healthcare settings for years can or have been adapted for use in communal spaces such as hotels and retail environments. While the appeal of such materials is obvious, many in the scientific community have concerns that an over-reliance of antimicrobials will lead to increased resistance.

...continued.
Read More

In considering the return to the workplace, designers and workplace experience managers are leaving no stone unturned in the quest for safe and simple solutions. In that process, many are looking to other industries and finding that healthcare, in particular, may hold the key.

...continued.
Read More

In this article, Senior Director of IA Interior Architects’ integrated lighting design team, Gary Bouthillette, AIA, NCARB, LC, addresses questions about UV space cleansing by citing recent research to determine how it works, if it works, and if it makes sense.

...continued.
Read More