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Retirement, What is That?

Submitted on February 9, 2014 - 12:00am

Four faculty members have or will soon make career transitions. For non-faculty, the term might be retirement, but for most faculty it means leaving teaching to focus on other professional activities.

Patricia Failing (Art History) officially stepped down from her teaching position in December 2012, although she is continuing to serve on thesis and dissertation committees. She started as a visiting lecturer at the UW in 1982 and became tenure-track faculty in 1989. Failing has been busy writing recently. These projects include an overview of James Turrell exhibitions in three cities last summer; an analysis of the controversy raised by new casts of sculpture attributed to Edgar Degas; a report on proposed New York legislation that would shield scholars and other experts from frivolous lawsuits after offering opinions about authorship and authenticity; and a draft of a book about the DIA Art Foundation. She has also been consulting with a new art project in Portland that recently presented an exhibition and events involving Josiah McElheny and Lynne Cooke.

Paul Berger (Photomedia) stopped teaching in December 2013. He came to the UW in 1978, co-founding the Photography Program. He is now spending the majority of his time “messing around with pictures,” as he says. This is something he has always done, but he is happy to have more time to devote to it now. He will be concentrating on two distinct areas of production: art that exists only online and ephemera that exists as paper throwaways. His website is here.

John Young (Sculpture + Public Art) began teaching at the UW in 1984 and is teaching his last classes in Winter Quarter 2014. He will be trying something new: making a feature film out of his 2013 historical novel titled Guns for Judea. He says, “It is based on the true story of the youngest officer in the segregated Jewish Brigades of the British Army during World War One as they fought the Turks in Palestine. It is a mystery, full of espionage, an illicit affair, illegal gun trading, boy soldiers, and two young men’s search for identity.” He has websites here and here.

Akio Takamori (3D4M/Ceramics) teaches his last classes at the UW in Spring Quarter 2014. He started teaching at the UW in 1988, becoming a tenure-track professor in 1993. He plans to spend most of his time in his studio creating art accompanied by his beloved books, music, and tea kettle. Takamori feels like he has much to learn in this new phase of his life, with the opportunity to “experience stimulating and meaningful things” that he can bring back to his studio practice. His website is here.

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