Coast Salish spindle whorl

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Director's Notes

Submitted on April 2, 2018 - 4:35pm
Jamie Walker
Jamie Walker

Beginning with this issue, we will be scaling back the production of our newsletter to a quarterly publication. While there is no shortage of interesting School-related news to share, we are also cognizant of inbox overload and encourage you to keep up to date by visiting our homepage.

With the world in such a state of flux, it was a relief to return to campus after spring break and find that the cherry trees had once again bloomed, transforming the Quad into a shimmering show of pinks and whites. The multitude of sightseers compounded the rush of class breaks before our students settled into the rhythm of new classes with an anticipation of discovery and learning. Spring seems to be the most frenetic time in our quarter system with the finality of graduation only a few months away and too much to experience and accomplish along the way. It was only day four of the quarter when a student mentioned that they had already pulled an all-nighter and day five when a faculty member wrote: "Yikes – this week is a freak show!" The first week did end on a high note with the annual Design Career Fair, which attracts a slew of top firms to campus so that they can interview our students for potential employment. As a testimony to the strength of Design, a large number of the interviewers are typically alumni of the School, making this exciting and intense event much more user friendly than the typical job fair.

At the end of the second week of the quarter, Professor Emeritus Michael Spafford will dominate the Seattle art scene with openings at three galleries, including the Greg Kucera Gallery, eponymously named after our alum and former Spafford student. The Jacob Lawrence Gallery will host a book launch party in honor of Epic Works, a monograph published in conjunction with the exhibition.

The third week welcomes the first of five undergraduate senior exhibitions at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. For most of our students in Art and Design, the work included in these exhibitions represents years of study, labor, and creative growth while serving as the capstone to their education at the UW. Showing at the Gallery adds a bit of pressure but also brings satisfaction and pride. By exhibiting in a professional gallery space, the student work is given the same care, attention, and respect as the stellar group of professional artists whose work is shown during the rest of the year.

Along with midterms, week five will bring renowned art historian and scholar Michael Lobel to campus to present the annual Kollar American Art Lecture with a prescient presentation entitled "Iconic Encounter: Gordon Parks and Ella Watson in 1942." Opening the next week, an important aspect of UW history will be exhibited at the Allen Library honoring the 50th anniversary of the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity. This exhibition takes on particular relevance for the School as its design concept was developed by students enrolled in Associate Professor Kristine Matthews' senior design class with Studio Matthews coming in to make their vision a reality.

The Photomedia Open House happens during week nine, celebrating the work not only of their graduating students but also the creative endeavors of other students and the opportunity to visit their classrooms and graduate studios. Week ten is the last week of classes and ends with the much-anticipated MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition reception at the Henry Art Gallery. A few days of finals follows before our Graduation Celebration in the Meany Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, June 9.

Phew! What an exciting quarter this promises to be. We are fortunate to be in the midst of a learning community that is engaged, one that generates and nurtures creative thought and practice, and one that is conscious of, and contributes to, the larger discussions of our time.

Thank you for being part of our community and have a wonderful spring.

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