Entry installation at Design Show 2016

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Director's Notes — April 2023

Submitted on April 10, 2023 - 2:46pm
Jamie Walker
Jamie Walker

The cherry blossoms were late this year, but hey, what a great way to kick off spring quarter as these amazing trees slowly unveiled their full bloom during the first week of classes. Despite the blossom fest coming much later in the season than any of us can remember, we were immensely relieved and grateful when the certificate of occupancy for our newly renovated spaces was granted, as promised, just in time for the quarter to begin. A bit of a scramble by our stalwart crew of instructional technicians and other staff made it possible to welcome students to the new Advanced Concepts Lab, the Wood Shop, Intro Ceramics Studio, and the Glass Lampworking Lab. The Intro Sculpture Studio was opened in the fall. A first ever gathering space is located between the Stevens Way entrance, the new portal to the Katz Memorial Courtyard and the remarkable space created for the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. The gallery team is moving in and eagerly anticipating four senior capstone exhibitions, with the first opening scheduled for April 25th. So many thanks are in order for making this renovation dream become a reality - fellow current and former staff and faculty, the SoA+AH+D Advisory Board, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Provost, amazing friends and donors, Mithun Architects, and GLY Construction - thank you all!

Spring always seems to exude a special energy fueled not only by Mother Nature, but also the multiple opportunities to see the work of our students. The graduating seniors in Art and Design will be featured at the JLG while the annual MFA/MDes Thesis Exhibition will open at the Henry Art Gallery in late May. Our Sand Point facility will host an Open House on May 2nd when many of the graduate students and faculty in the Division of Art open their studios to the public. Finally coming to fruition after a pandemic delay is a presentation on April 19th in Kane Hall by the Canadian First Nations artist Kent Monkman, co-sponsored by the Division of Art History and the Graduate School. The article “Redefining American (Art) History” contains short descriptions of Monkman’s work by four of our art historians and their take on the importance of his oeuvre.

One of the great rewards of being an educator is seeing where students gravitate after graduation and how their lives were impacted by their time at the SoA+AH+D. In this newsletter we are sharing the inspiring stories of three alumni James Madison (BA, Art, 2000), Analisa Soverns-Redd (BA, Art History, 2013) and Nathan Jones (BA, Art, 2015) who mention the passion for their respective disciplines and how they managed to center their lives around what they love. The article that highlights James Madison is about the art work installed in the recently completed Founder’s Hall, next door to the Art Building. Also part of this project was the restoration of George Tsutakawa’s (BA 1937, MA 1950) sublime Fountain of Reflection.

Following intensive searches, the School is delighted with the hiring of three new tenure stream faculty who will be joining us in September. The Division of Design welcomes Chad Hall (MDes, 2016) with a focus on Visual Communication Design. The Division of Art is bringing in two artists, Victor Yañez-Lazcano in PhotoMedia, and in 3D4M Henry Jackson-Spieker will be the new Chihuly Endowed Chair of Glass.

As members of a leading public research university, our faculty are charged with advancing their respective areas of expertise, a challenge which they embrace to the fullest extent possible given their other responsibilities. A reminder of the caliber of this research was the wonderful news that Associate Professor Audrey Desjardins, Interaction Design, was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in support of her ongoing work on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Thank you, as always, for your curiosity and interest in the School of Art + Art History + Design.