Inheritance by Katherine Groesbeck

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Director's Notes – January 2023

Submitted on January 10, 2023 - 1:52pm
Jamie Walker
Jamie Walker

Every new year promises many expected, and undoubtedly unexpected, changes for us all who are brought together by the School of Art + Art History + Design. Great strides are being made with the partial renovation of the Art Building as you can see in this updated slideshow, or if you are on campus, with this week’s installation of the new gallery windows that were inspired by some of the tools that Jacob Lawrence used and depicted in several of his artworks. Many thanks to Associate Professor Kristine Matthews and recent BDes alum Edith Freeman for the concept and design layout of this enticing feature. Planning is underway to reoccupy the studio classrooms, Woodshop, and Advanced Concepts Lab by the beginning of spring quarter, and the Jacob Lawrence Gallery is scheduled to host the senior Art and Design capstone exhibitions beginning in April. Given the turbulence of the past few years, it is quite remarkable that this vision is becoming a reality, and I want to extend my thanks to everyone who has helped make this happen, including the project architectural firm – Mithun – who was awarded the 2023 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Firm Award. In addition to funding provided by the Provost and the College of Arts and Sciences, the School has raised over $2.3 million from alumni, faculty, staff, and friends. We are still hoping to raise $129,840 to fulfill our goal. Make a gift now.

Please find the annual list of all of our donors, not only for this campaign but for many other focus areas in the School, in this news post. One of the major areas of giving is towards student scholarship support, as you will discover through our 2022/23 scholarship recipients.

A continuing sign of transition within the School is the number of searches and hires on the staff and faculty sides. Every quarter, we hire a number of part-time instructors who diversify our course offerings, provide a critical role in teaching our students, and generously offer new voices and experiences to them. During winter quarter we are conducting three tenure-track faculty searches: one in Design (Visual Communication Design) and two in Art (Photo/Media and the Dale Chihuly Endowed Chair of Glass in 3D4M). We have been extremely fortunate to have ongoing University support for the School with such long term appointments.

It is with true regret that I share the news that our beloved café, Parnassus, has had to close its doors for at least the foreseeable future. Increased food and labor costs became unsustainable and have impacted all of the cafes on campus, not to mention the greater food service industry as a whole. We are in the process of imagining what Parnassus could become to continue to serve as a beacon of creative community for the School and the entire campus.

This newsletter includes two stories about the experiences of our current students. The 2023 MDes graduating class presented their thesis research last month and transfer student Hayden Stern describes their transformative first quarter at the UW in a Student Voices Q&A. And, Lele Barnett is an alum who has crafted an impactful career in the arts following a double major in Art History and Art/IVA. An exceptionally innovative curator based in the Northwest, she shares her story with candid insights about what made a difference as she embarked on her career. Lots of other notable alumni and faculty news to read about too, which provides glimpses into the breadth and impact their work has in our greater culture.

Thanks for paying attention in 2023!

Jamie Walker

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