Entry installation at Design Show 2016

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Director's Notes – October 2023

Submitted on October 17, 2023 - 12:50pm
Jamie Walker, 2023
Jamie Walker, 2023.

The new academic year already seems well underway, and the autumn colors have transformed our beautiful campus once again into an amazing palette of yellows, oranges, and reds complementing the ubiquitous greens that our state is named for.

At our annual Welcome Back BBQ, 16 new graduate students introduced themselves based on the prompt “From This View”, sharing their perspectives on day one of graduate school. A remarkable nine newly hired staff have greatly enhanced our community in the past year including three instructional technicians – Chanda Zea, Tzyy Yi (Amy) Young, and Lisa Geertsen, – as well as an IT team compriseding of Phil Kim and Alex Hill, Leo Carmona as our first Media Relations Specialist, and Kat Carter who is our new Constituency Relationship Officer. Britta Simon joins us as Director of Advising and Student Services, and Katie Twiss has transitioned from her previous role as a program coordinator to the ranks of academic advisor. Read Staff + Faculty Transitions in 2022-2023.

Joining the faculty as one-year appointments are Carly Sheehan in Painting + Drawing and Andy Fallat in 3D4M (Sculpture). Three new tenure-track faculty are also settling in, Chad Hall, Henry Jackson-Spieker, and Victor Yañez-Lazcano. Read about the three faculty appointments. While it is invigorating to have such an infusion of new ideas and energy in the School and I would be remiss not to mention that our 115 autumn quarter classes are essentially at capacity with almost 2,000 enrolled undergraduates, 589 of whom are declared majors in art, art history, or design. A handful of these students journeyed across Lake Washington for an inspiring tour of The Lab, a remarkable private art space where they met with the legendary artist Howardena Pindell. Read the story.

Another significant staffing development over the summer was the appointment of Annabelle Gould as Associate Director of the School of Art + Art History + Design, which will lead to her becoming Director of the School on July 1, 2024. Professor Gould joined the UW in 2003 and has been a core member of the Visual Communication Design faculty, past chair of the Division of Design, and a national contributor to design education.

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Caitlin Earley for the publication of her first book, The Comitán Valley: Sculpture and Identity on the Maya Frontier. A record number of promotion cases are being vetted this autumn with associated exhibitions and lectures presented by Assistant Professors Whitney Lynn, Sangram Majumdar, and James Pierce; Associate Professors Kristine Matthews and Adair Rounthwaite; and Associate Teaching Professor Dominic Muren.

King 5 Evening Magazine recently visited the Art Building to produce a delightful segment featuring Instructional Technician Kim Van Someren (MFA 2004) in the Printmaking studio.  Kim also had her work featured in a recent solo show at the J. Rinehart Gallery and is included in Positive Fragmentation, a group exhibition currently on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum. Watch video

Two alumni came together to further enhance the Jacob Lawrence Gallery initiative as Allan Kollar (MFA, 1976) commissioned Barbara Earl Thomas (BA 1973, MFA 1977) to create a wonderful portrait of their joint mentor, Jacob Lawrence. Read Jacob and the Builders. Please join us on November 14th for the Jacob Lawrence Gallery – A Reopening Celebration to see Thomas’s portrait, the new gallery space, and recognize this aspirational vision that has become a reality. View the Reopening Celebration details

So many other alumni are active and making a difference, you can read more about a few of them in this newsletter including Christie Tirado (BA 2003), Patti Warashina (BFA 1962, MFA 1964), and an inspiring tale written by Steve Kaneko (BFA 1985) about the cadre of fellow designers and alumni – Harold Kawaguchi (BFA 1961, MFA 1965), Dell King (BFA 1960, MFA 1969), George McCain (BFA 1969), and David Smith (BFA 1970, MFA 1972) – and how they profoundly influenced design in the Pacific Northwest. 

As members of the UW community we are bound by often comforting traditions and patterns, but what I find most exciting about the start of a new year is the anticipation of discovery as new forms of creativity and thought emerge from our classrooms and studios. Thank you for your continued interest and curiosity in what we do.

Read Autumn 2023 Newsletter
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