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BU’s Pop Painter

Molly Rosner (CFA’13) creates graphic design firm staffed with BU students


While Molly Rosner wasn’t around for pop art’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, that hasn’t kept the 21-year-old artist and entrepreneur from letting the movement influence every iPhone case, glittery lighter, and canvas she creates.

The soon-to-be graduate launched American Dream House to create and market original pop art. Featuring paintings, clothes, and home accessories, Rosner (CFA’13) hopes to turn the company’s distinct designs into a lifestyle brand akin to Jack Wills or Tommy Hilfiger.

She built American Dream House from the ground up with friend Julie Jackson (SHA’13). “I had the vague idea that I wanted to do something my senior year that would launch me into a full-time job,” says Rosner, the company’s creative director. “I didn’t want to work for someone else, so I tried to venture out on my own, and art is something I’ve always enjoyed because it’s fun.” Launching the enterprise is a fulfillment of her own version of the American dream, hence the name.

Many of the designs draw on classic Americana imagery, with stylized lines and vibrant colors. One painting, Dew Me, is a close-up of a model, similar to a Vargas pinup, staring at the viewer with large green eyes.

“My art is influenced by the fact that I’ve always been drawn to graphic patterns, and retro and sparkly things,” Rosner says. “I’m influenced by iconic artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.”

While Rosner is creative director, she relies on her “dream team” of 29 marketers, graphic designers, and artists—all BU students—to produce the company’s merchandise. She won’t reveal specifics on the company’s financials, but a painting can run up to $300 and T-shirts sell for $25. The merchandise is available for sale at craft fairs, open markets, and on the American Dream House website.

Much of Rosner’s design work was on display at last week’s BFA Thesis Exhibitions 2013 show at the 808 Gallery, and the feedback was so encouraging that Rosner says she plans to devote herself full-time to the company after graduation. “I’m really influenced by pop and rap music, where they’re always talking about fame and fortune, and living the lifestyle,” she says. “That success has always been in the back of my mind.”

Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

2 Comments on BU’s Pop Painter

  • Bob Gonzalez on 05.13.2013 at 12:16 pm

    What a great video! Molly is incredibly inspiring, inspired, creative, spunky, a self-starter, and cute! I also love bright colors and the immediacy pop art allows. I have a non-commercial classic poetry performance initiative, Rhapsodize, that I would like to jumpstart with some new energy and I find this little video vignette wonderfully inspiring. So, hopefully, by way of analogy, I can apply some of the spirit Molly is demonstrating to help grow Rhapsodize. I think connecting and applying aspects of various art-forms leads to creative discoveries, so that by reflection (analogically mirroring techniques and concepts) and coupling, each artistic initiative can feed off the others. Since I’m working on popularizing classic poetry, naturally I’m interested in artworks that “pop”! This video was smoothly crafted and simultaneously promotional, educational, and inspiring. I graduated BU with a BFA in Acting in 1977 and am thrilled to support and draw inspiration from this fresh new artist. All the best, Molly! Long may you wave (and paint)!

  • Mark Correia on 03.15.2014 at 3:07 pm

    Molly’s work remembers the past to remix lessons learned then imagines a future that’s strong and colorful. I love dark Science Fiction, but I prefer her vision. Great work Molly & crew!

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