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An art education is more than learning to make better images. It is more than learning the responsibility, maturity and professionalism needed for a career in art. It is learning how to problem solve and apply this skill to all facets of life. Providing each student with the fundamentals of making successful art means giving them the tools to succeed beyond their studio practice. I strive to recognize the individual needs of each student, which opens the door to better communication, honest and productive critical analysis, and constructive guidance. My approach to learning is rooted in the individual; it is about personal discovery and development. It is about identifying self-imposed standards, accepting challenges and working hard to achieve them. And it is about embracing opportunity. But in the end, it must also be FUN. For everyone, myself included.

Originally from central Iowa, Toomsen’s interest in art and design began with a career in architecture. During his fifteen years in the industry, he completed projects throughout the United States as an architectural illustrator, drafter and architectural project manager. Following a degree in Illustration, Toomsen has worked as a freelance illustrator and designer for various clients and publications, including major metropolitan newspapers, the United States Department of Labor (Susan Harwood Training Grant Materials), and various public and private entities.

More recently, Toomsen has brought his professional experience with spatial and illustrative design toward a thriving fine arts practice. His work seeks to question, understand, and experience how our historical, cultural and personal expectations are formed by the imagery and iconography of place. Using mass-media imagery and built environments recorded as snapshots, his recent work centers on the act of looking – particularly at photographs – as a mode of apprehending the world, and examines the co-evolution of photography, tourism and the American West in consideration of our contemporary visual culture.

Toomsen is MIAD alum and received his MFA in Intermedia Art from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He teaches a wide range of classes at MIAD and serves as the college’s Director of Pre-College and Continuing Education.

To learn more about Corbett’s work visit

D1. Old Faithful (upper left)
D2. Lamar Valley Elk (upper right)
L2. North Dakota (lower left)
A2. Mount Rushmore (lower right)