Calef Brown

Graduate Program Director

Calef Brown is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children including the award-winning poetry collections Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories and Tippintown: A Guided Tour (2003); Flamingos on the Roof: Poems and Paintings. Using engaging and nonsensical characters, he cites wordplay, dreams and the rhythms of music as inspirations. His illustrations have appeared in Newsweek, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Time, and have accompanied the work of a variety of authors.

Eric Telfort

Department Head

Eric Telfort is an illustrator and fine artist who earned his BFA in Illustration from RISD and, after working as a production artist in the video game industry, an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Telfort has lectured throughout the US and internationally in Zimbabwe, where he was a Visual Arts Initiative artist in residence. In 2019 he received a Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson fellowship to explore the concept of creativity in poverty, and to pursue a personal independent visual novel. 

Robert Brinkerhoff


Since arriving at RISD in 1996, Robert Brinkerhoff has focused his teaching on fundamental illustration concepts and the synthesis of illustration and design. His illustrations have been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and have been included in numerous publications. Brinkerhoff has served as RISD’s dean of Fine Arts, Illustration department head and chief critic for the European Honors Program in Rome. He has also been awarded artist residencies in the US, Italy and the Republic of Ireland.

Andrea Dezso


Andrea Dezsö is a visual artist who draws, paints and sculpts. In her richly detailed, often hand-crafted work, she explores women’s roles, family, authoritarianism, migration and belonging. Dezsö's permanent public art has been installed in three New York City subway stations, at the United States Embassy in Bucharest, Romania and at CUNY BMCC Fiterman Hall in Lower Manhattan. Community Garden, Dezsö's mosaic in the New York City subway was recognized as Best American Public Art in 2007 by Americans for the Arts.

Susan Doyle


Susan Doyle is an illustrator, painter and printmaker who is particularly interested in the tension between how something is conceived versus how it is perceived. Currently she is working on a series of prints and paintings exploring the confluence of abstract and denotative constructs in work that involves graphing, optical illusion and pictorial imagery derived from myth, fine art and contemporary culture. Doyle is editor of the landmark publication History of Illustration, the only textbook to date on the subject.

Jaleen Grove

Associate Professor

Jaleen Grove is a Canadian artist and art historian whose area of focus is the history of illustration in the US and Canada. An associate editor of the 592-page History of Illustration, she has also served as associate editor for the Journal of Illustration and is the author of several monographs and scholarly articles on illustration practice, history of illustration, illustration studies, periodical studies and Canadian art. Grove maintains a studio practice alongside her research, writing and teaching.