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Feb 2014 - Director's Notes

Submitted on February 11, 2014 - 12:00pm
Christopher Ozubko
Christopher Ozubko

tran·si·tion [tran-zish-uhn, -sish-]
1. movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another…

Consciously embracing change is how we evolve. Change is inevitable at the School of Art, and it is a given at the University. It is important that we keep current but to always acknowledge our history and our past accomplishments.  Therefore, I would like to inform you regarding the recent changes and transitions that have already taken place and of some coming in the near future.

In late 2012, Patricia Failing, Professor in the Division of Art History, initiated a movement that other faculty have joined. Professor Paul Berger, Division of Art, left the university in December 2013, and Professor John Young, Division of Art, will be completing his many years of teaching at the end of Winter Quarter 2014. Finally, Professor Akio Takamori, Division of Art, will end his academic career at the UW in June 2014. I really cannot refer to these departures as retirements because I know that these faculty will be continuing their research as well as bring closure to projects they have been wanting to complete for some time. Together they have a combined record of dedicated teaching at the School of Art of over 125 years. Join me in wishing them well in their new pursuits, and follow up by sending them an email or a short note to see how they are doing. I know they would appreciate it. You can read more about their planned projects in this short article.

Other faculty making transitions are Assistant Professors Kristine Matthews, Division of Design, Haicheng Wang, Division of Art History, and Mark Zirpel and Amie McNeel, Division of Art. All have participated in the lengthy and arduous tenure and promotion process and were successful in their final review and assessment. With their promotion, they will be advanced to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure starting in September 2014. Two faculty in the Division of Art, Associate Professor Rebecca Cummins and Associate Professor Helen O’Toole also went through the promotion process and, although not official, I have no doubt they will be promoted to full Professor status starting this coming autumn. If you had an opportunity to attend one of their lectures during Autumn Quarter 2013, you would have been impressed by the depth and breadth of their research, and how it has impacted their teaching. We are extremely proud to have these extraordinary individuals as part of our faculty. Please send them a congratulatory note when you get a chance.

With regard to our facilities, we are constantly reevaluating use and function of studios, classrooms, offices, and exhibition spaces. To that end, we are taking steps to upgrade the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, building entrances, and in particular the main foyer and hallway outside the Administrative and Advising offices. You may have seen a number of tradesmen and women working in and around rooms 120 + 122 recently. These spaces have been the Image Library, or what many of you have known as Slide Library. Room 122 is in the process of becoming a multi-use, collaborative, work/presentation space, open to all students of the School of Art, and room 120, in addition to its present function, will become an ‘orientation’ space for presenting the School of Art to prospective students and other interested parties. We are hopeful that room 122 will be completed for the start of Spring Quarter 2014 and that room 120 will be ready for the start of the 2014-15 academic year. Please stop by and check out these updates and renovations as they evolve over the next few months and let us know your thoughts on these spaces.

Presently, we are in the middle of a search for a Director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. This position has been upgraded from Manager to Director with the intent that the position will take on a more significant role in promoting the numerous and diverse exhibitions held in the gallery, connecting with not only the university community but with the local, regional, and national art scene. We are hopeful to have this position filled immediately to ensure that our multiple undergraduate exhibitions scheduled for Spring Quarter run smoothly. 

As always, it is best to stay tuned to our calendar to find events, lectures, and exhibitions we are offering. Just to name a few:

Mel Chin | Distinguished Artist Lecture | Wednesday, 02 April

Eleanor Jones Harvey | Allan + Mary Kollar Lecture on American Art and Artists | Wednesday, 30 April

MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition at Henry Art Gallery | 24 May – 22 June

The last transition to note will be mine as Director of the School of Art. I will complete my term at the end of June, and Associate Director and Professor Jamie Walker will take the lead as Director. I have enjoyed my tenure here, and I appreciate having had the opportunity to work with the many students, staff, faculty, alumni, administrators, and the advisory councils. Thank you for the support, guidance, and encouragement you have provided me during my 18 years as Director. I am looking forward to taking on new challenges and to starting a new phase of my career.

Please keep in touch, I can be reached at my email address:

Thanks again for everything.

Christopher Ozubko
Director, School of Art
Professor, Design
Wyckoff Milliman Endowed Chair in Art

return to February 2014 newsletter