Dawn Palmer - Experience Designer + Visual Artist + Social Entrepreneur
I help people experience design and the many benefits the visual arts have on problem solving, story mapping and cognitive thinking. I've worked in the arts in and around Boston and Europe, starting at the Boston Arts Consortium, Boston School of Museum of Fine Arts as an 18-year-old. This work shaped my life and encouraged me to study the arts. I received my BFA at the Maryland Institute of College of Arts. My training provided me with the enrichment of both the technical and social nuances of visual arts. While an undergraduate, I worked at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and The Lyric Opera House collecting tickets and seating patrons, after which I had the opportunity to literally sit and draw from life, the musicians and dancers and audience. I went on to assist in the teaching of these skills in Baltimore Public Schools for a summer intensive for children that had been overlooked during the school year.
In the volunteer corp for a non-governmental organization, The Fourth World Movement, I continued a tradition brought about by Seymour Papeart of the MIT Media Lab bringing Street Libraries into NYC, Harlem. After bringing books and art supplies to NYC neighborhoods, and hosting workshops in Washington, DC, I went on to Belgium and France to the headquarters of A.T.D. QUART MONDE. Throughout my time as a volunteer, we curated drawings and stories to display at the United Nations in an exhibit entitled 'The Truth of the Extreme Poor.’ These early design and visual art experiences have remained at the core of my entire life's work.
Adding media and technology to the mix, I earned an MS in Human Factors/Design in Internet Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology. I worked for several IT companies in R&D and in consulting, continuously advancing my knowledge in design thinking, design research, service design, industrial design, color, portfolio presentations, experience mapping + story blueprints, and design/art publications, all of which I am able to apply in today's world while combining traditional crafts with today’s media and visual outlets.
As an artist, I have never stopped producing, whether in textiles, painting, drawing, ceramics, digital design, photography or in gardening. With a family tradition of engineers and artists, I believe "if you can draw it, you can build it". Keeping students engaged, to me includes teaching them to pay attention to, and appreciate the science of, the materials and tools as well.
I am raising two girls, aged 10 and 13, both of whom are Robotics Team players in First Robotics League and First Technical Challenges. Both are also 3rd-year summer campers at Middlesex School Summer Arts. While taking time from work to raise them, I never stopped as an active volunteer, mentor, teacher, and consultant, including corporate and private sectors, galleries, consulting agencies, non-profit organizations, and most recently social entrepreneurship.
I have been a volunteer and active member of a garden club, providing designs to the Museum of Fine Arts and local shows. I have been volunteering in the local schools for six years as art room helper, room parent, and on the boards of Lincoln Nursery School at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and Lincoln School Foundation. I have directed a yearly 'Science Share' at Lincoln Public Schools for six years as well. While consulting for the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, MA, I aided in bringing local students’ art into the gallery to sell their work and raise money for art supplies for Gateway Arts, Brookline, MA, a career development center for artistic adults with disabilities. I also have a working pottery wheel and kiln which I fire up when the going is good.
And life is good when...
Students’ work proves to be a unique extension of themselves and I have the opportunity to teach them to put their best and most unique selves forward. We thrive together when I can guide them to create something, knowing that everyone has creativity in them. Technical challenges can absolutely be fun mistakes that make for discovery, perseverance and confidence. My art teacher offered a place for me to thrive in her art room
and I thrive when teaching and provide the well rounded emotional intelligence that comes with learning how to build with hands and voices.
"Dawn is someone you call when you want something done and need to know it will be done with creative energy and attention to detail. She is a wonderful artist and has tremendous knowledge of the world of art, but her best quality is her delightful demeanor. A day that is lucky enough to have some Dawn in it, is a wonderful day!" She would be an asset to any place lucky enough to get her.” - Colleen Pearce, Lincoln Public School, Art Room Teacher
"Her talent is not only measurable in the output she delivers, but in the way she does it. She always keeps you at ease, whilst juggling stressful situations. She always has a solution, when others bring up the complaints or problems or concerns. And most of all – she is an absolute joy to work with and gets the job done!” - Client, name unknown
“As director of religious education at First Parish in Lincoln (UUA and UCC affiliated), I have appreciated how much Dawn has graciously shared her nurturing creativity with the youth and adults of our parish. As a volunteer religious education teacher, Dawn's loving and uplifting presence provided a foundation for children to explore life's "big ideas" through our Spirit Play curriculum (Spirit Play topics include friendship, fairness, compassion, ecology, inclusion, etc.). As an artist, Dawn has been a resource for our RE program and throughout our church community”. - Margit Griffith, DRE
Current resume and profile at: