Kolean Pitner is an enthusiastic advocate of design history, teaching History of Graphic Design and History of Illustration at the College of Visual Arts for 26 years. She co-authored the book Peter Seitz: Designing a Life, and
co-curated the CVA Gallery exhibits bRANDs: The Early Years, Branding by Paul Rand,
and The Lustigs: A Cover Story; the latter traveled to New York’s AIGA Gallery. Her own work was exhibited in Women in Minnesota Design at CVA.

A long-time AIGA member, Kolean has served on the Minnesota board twice as Education Director, and organized the Insights Lecture Series as its Programming Director.

Kolean coordinated AIGA’s Get Out the Vote Twin Cities poster exhibition. She helped produce AIGA Minnesota’s Art Buddies fundraiser / mural painting project featuring L.A. street artist Chase. She also coordinated Create! Don’t Hate program with local college design students mentoring Washburn High School art students.

In 2016, Kolean was a recipient of the distinguished AIGA Fellow Award along with Andrew Blauvelt and Tim Eaton.

As AIGA Minnesota’s Associate Director of Archives, Kolean curated, wrote and collaborated on the design of MGDA / AIGA: A History Exhibit presented at Walker Art Center in 2015. She is guiding translation of the exhibit for aigaminnesota.org, and negotiated the archives acquisition by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Kolean has bachelor’s degrees in Graphic Design and Art Education from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in Communication Design from Pratt Institute. Prior to teaching, she practiced graphic design at firms in New York and Minneapolis before starting Pitner Design.