James Franki

Associate Professor of Studio Art

Jamie Franki, a designer in the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, challenges his students with assignments that prompt them to consider the role of their art in context to the diverse communities their messages target.

His teaching has evolved to adapt to a new generation of digital natives to engage students with work relevant to the contemporary media market spectrum. Always, his goal is to prepare students for industry and a sustainable career.

Senior art and illustration major Noah Hartley praised Franki, one of the 2019 finalists for the UNC Charlotte’s Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence. 

“He constantly pours his life and love into each and every student, whether you've known him for years or minutes,” said Hartley. “Not only does he show me very specific technical aspects of illustrating, but also has thoroughly discussed out-of-class aspects like copyright issues, building your website, conducting yourself as a professional and listening to others’ opinions even when they are the total opposite of yours.”

Under Franki’s coordination, Illustration has thrived as the second most populated and fastest growing concentration area in the College of Art + Architecture’s Studio Art program. The program’s alumni have transitioned to complete MFA programs; they continue to exhibit their work in public galleries; they work in applied industry (as story-boarders, designers, concept artists, 3D animators, etc.) and they freelance as entrepreneurial subcontractors for a wide variety of editorial, industrial, institutional and individual contract and commission work.

Franki maintains an artistic practice in medallic design, exhibition, relief sculpture and visual communication. In 2008, Franki designed the Order of IKKOS Medal, the United States Olympic Committee’s perpetual honor society award for Team USA coaches. He has also designed and sculpted several National Money Show and World’s Fair of Money medals for the American Numismatic Association. In 2011, Jamie was awarded the ANA’s Presidential Award for his artistic practice and service to the Numismatic community.