Joanna Kutter’95 DSC
Joanna’s unabashed creativity, her generosity, and her passion for helping others has greatly benefited the Board of Trustees (and the college itself) again and again.
Awarded October 2, 2021
2020 Distinguished Service Citation
Joanna Kutter began her relationship with Beloit as a nontraditional student and, over the years, she became increasingly involved at the college, teaching courses in the art department as well as serving on the Board of Trustees. A multifaceted visual artist, she has a studio in her home in Edgerton, Wisconsin, where she works in paint, collage, wood, and other media. Her renowned work has been exhibited in public spaces in the stateline area and acquired for private collections across the country.
In 1985, a few years before she attended Beloit, Joanna and her late husband founded Kutter Harley Davidson in Delavan, Wisconsin. Just five years later, they built the first custom designed Harley dealership in Janesville, Wisconsin. Joanna assumed sole ownership of the business in 1999 and opened a second location in Monroe, Wisconsin, in 2003. The dealership was one of the most acclaimed in the United States, receiving Harley’s highest recognition, the Bar and Shield award, a whopping 15 times.
Joanna returned to college in her mid-40s. In her art courses, she focused on painting, but also experimented with printmaking, photography, sculpture, and drawing. A studio art major and museum studies minor, she completed her degree summa cum laude and with departmental honors, relishing her courses in art history and architecture in addition to her studio classes. She curated art exhibits at the Hales Gallery, an exhibition space in Pearsons Hall. She took on an internship at the Erlander Home Museum, one of Rockford’s historic Swedish houses, where she was later hired as a part-time curator for five years.
Directly following graduation, Joanna also pursued an honors term project in which she created and taught an experimental mixed media course, encouraging her students to step outside of their artistic comfort zones. When her painting professor, Richard Olson, asked if she could fill in while he went on sabbatical, Joanna agreed, teaching a watercolor class for two semesters. Since then, she has enjoyed hosting workshops in her studio. Joanna’s unabashed creativity, her generosity, and her passion for helping others has greatly benefited the Board of Trustees (and the college itself) again and again.
The Beloit College Alumni Association is pleased to recognize Joanna Kutter with the 2020 Distinguished Service Citation.