Pantheon by Gavriella Aguilar

You are here

Apr 2016 – Director’s Notes

Submitted on April 12, 2016 - 5:12pm
Jamie Walker
Jamie Walker

April is upon us, mid-terms are around the corner, and we are now well into the final quarter of the year with spring break fading in our memories. Window shades filter the welcome sunshine as I glance up to view the Quad that is abuzz with activity now that the leaves on the cherry trees have overtaken another spectacular bloom. Frisbees navigate amidst the art students drawing en plein air while dozens of seminar groupings dapple the grass.  In our academic seasonal cycle, spring is the time when we celebrate and say goodbye to our graduating students. The Jacob Lawrence Gallery will host five exhibitions over the course of ten weeks commencing with the Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Honors exhibit that presents pairings of artwork accompanied with written responses. The undergraduate exhibitions continue with work by 3D4M, Photomedia, Painting + Drawing, and Design. Graduate exhibitions culminate with the always fascinating MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery featuring the work of fourteen graduate students with a public opening on May 27. Additional work will be installed throughout the quarter at the Sand Point, CMA, and Photomedia galleries. And we are eagerly anticipating the School of Art + Art History + Design Graduation Celebration, which will take place—for the first time—at Meany Theater where we will gather to honor some 300 BA, BDes, BFA, MA, MFA, MDes, and PhD degrees earned by our students.

The University of Washington is one of the world’s leading public research universities where all faculty are expected to be actively engaged and recognized for their research in addition to their teaching. To this end, two of our colleagues have recently received truly extraordinary honors. Art History Associate Professor Estelle Lingo, holder of a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellowship, was appointed to be the twelfth Andrew W. Mellon Professor, for 2016-18, at the Center of Advanced Study of Visual Art (CASVA), National Gallery of Art, and Professor Helen O’Toole, chair of Painting + Drawing, received a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts. It has also been exciting to become better acquainted with our new tenure-track faculty—Jason O. Germany, Aaron Flint Jamison, Adair Rounthwaite, and Michael Swaine—who have already made significant contributions with their teaching and research in their first academic year. We have recently dedicated a first floor showcase to highlight faculty research and work. To keep up with the plethora of activity being generated by the rest of the faculty, students, and alumni, make sure to follow the School through social media or visit our website.

During the winter we conducted three tenure-track searches resulting in two very auspicious hires for positions that will commence with the 2016-17 academic year. Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse will join us as an assistant professor/curator in Northwest Native American Art, a joint position that we share with the Burke Museum. She will also become the director of the Bill Holm Center, where she currently holds the position of associate director. Audrey Desjardins, who is in the final stages of completing her PhD at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, has accepted our proposal to join the Interaction Design program as an assistant professor. No offers were made following the search in Industrial Design.

By the end of spring quarter, we will have bid a fond farewell to four faculty who are transitioning into a post-UW life. As a group, our retiring faculty will have logged approximately 113 years, 452 quarters, 678 classes, and 41,245 days on the job at the University of Washington. Wow!!!! Thank you Professors Susan Casteras, Layne Goldsmith, Shirley Scheier, and Robin Wright.

Jamie Walker
Director, School of Art + Art History + Design
Professor, 3D4M: ceramics + glass + sculpture
Wyckoff Milliman Endowed Chair in Art