David Carlson, M.F.A.

Professor of Art
Chair, Department of Art & Design

J. David Carlson is a native southern Californian.  He has an MA in Ceramics from California State University of Fullerton and an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Art.  Currently, Carlson brings his 15 plus years of service in teaching and leadership to the Department of Art and Design where he serves as Chair. Currently, he teaches Intro to Art, 2D Design, and Advanced Studio Practice.  In addition, he helps curate Keller Gallery, facilitates Open Shop for students and collaboratively co-leads the department’s Study Abroad program.       

Carlson’s artwork is fueled by his research in the field of “Play” and its significance in our culture.  Focusing on the relationships between people and toys, Carlson explores the narratives of his own childhood memories and toys in contrast to complex issues in current culture today. His artwork has exhibited in numerous group exhibits in the Los Angeles and surrounding southern California region.  In addition to solo exhibits, his artwork has been acquired by both the National Museum of Play in Rochester NY, and the MAKK Museum of Art in Vienna Austria.


  • 2004 - MFA Visual Art, Vermont College of Fine Art, Montpelier, VT
  • 2000 - MA Ceramics, CSU Fullerton, Fullerton, CA

Courses Taught

  • Intro to Art - ART100
  • Two-Dimensional Design - ART103
  • Advanced Studio Practice - ART390
  • Contemporary Studio Practice - ART490

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Exhibited in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Pasadena
  • Lectured at Greenville University
  • Artwork is part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of Play, Rochester NY
  • Co-leads contemporary art courses in Europe, visiting locations in England, France, Germany, and Italy

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • 2019    iJade, London, England
  • 2017    iJade, Dublin, IR
  • 2017    Solo Exhibition – No Monkey Business, Greenville College Gallery, Greenville, IL
  • 2016    Sculpture in the Garden, Sam Maloof Foundation, Alta Loma, CA
  • 2013    Orllegro, Mak Museum, Vienna Austria
  • 2012    National Museum of Play, Rochester NY
  • 2010    New England Consortium of Art Professionals (NECAP) Conference. Guest Presenter, “Play Is the Thing: The Serious Work of Play"
  • 2010    Solo Exhibition –Playscapes, Lawrence Asher Gallery, Los Angeles, CA