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Karisa Senavitis

Karisa Senavitis picture

General Fine Arts

Class of 2002

Co-Founder, Will Work for Good, New York, NY

“I don’t want to just placate a community. I don’t want to just give them what I anticipate they will want. I want to give a different perspective, an outside view, and then find the connections that aren’t on the surface.” 

When she found out about George Ciscle’s Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS) program at MICA, it “clicked” for Karisa Senavitis '02, and she participated in it as much as she could. EDS, a course in which students design and curate a major show, reinforced something her parents taught her—that it is important to understand how an artist’s work translates to an audience. Now a New York-based designer, she is primarily interested in the socio-economic impact tha t design and art can have.

Asserting their independence one July 4th, Senavitis and partner Kevin O’Neill co-founded the New York City-based Will Work For Good. Concerned with how creative projects affect others, the company produces design of just about every sort—print, web, video, exhibition, and other projects for clients from all over the world who are doing different and unusual things, including independent record labels, musicians, artists, galleries, comedians, nonprofit organizations, and even friends and neighbors.

Senavitis also has a research-based private studio which is about to publish its first book— Design, Design, Design, Design Before—where design’s contributions to the state of poverty are discussed. If that weren’t enough, she works as a consultant with corporations that want to explore new ways of thinking; one of her current projects, with Johnson and Johnson, addresses hepatitis in Romania. She soon plans to do work on sustainable aging in Poland and her next book will feature dialogues from two parties meeting for the first time discussing critical issues, such as aging, health care access, or poverty.

Studying in Baltimore was an inspiration to Senavitis . She encourages MICA students to do as much as they can and think beyond their classmates and campus to build additional connections and relationships . Collaboration , she says , is a critical part of her art , design , and CURATORIAL process . Working with others stimulates her and helps her develop ideas that are unique and impactful .