My Dear Friend, Time, an installation by Ellen (Jing) Xu

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Director's Notes - April 2024

Submitted on May 13, 2024 - 4:40pm
Jamie Walker, 2023
Jamie Walker, 2023.

One of the most heartening aspects of serving as Director of the School of Art + Art History + Design is the realization that we are the nexus of an incredible community of individuals who believe in and support the arts in a myriad of ways. Beyond the students, staff, and faculty who inhabit the Art Building on a daily basis, the belief that alumni and friends have in our mission and that what we do truly matters in this world is incredibly validating and inspiring. Here are a few examples that demonstrate how this extended community enhances the School.

We had the good fortune to get to meet and work with Simon Benjamin, the 2024 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Resident, for a couple of weeks as he created a new body of work entitled A Bolt From the Blue. Working with guest curator Berette Macaulay, Benjamin explored The Burke Museum collections, visited coastal sites that framed his research, and then collaborated with students and staff in the SoA+AH+D to realize his work. Alumni and friends stepped forward to provide lodging and host dinners. An alumni restauranteur helped procure oyster shells. National partners included a matching grant from the NEA, while community partners including Wa Na Wari, Black Cinema Collective, Capitol Hill Arts District, and the Photographic Center Northwest extended the reach of the exhibition through video screenings and projections.

With over 159 donations, the School set a record for participation and gifts made during Husky Giving Day stimulated in large part by an anonymous $50,000 challenge in support of the Design Alumni Fund. Thanks to everyone who joined in.

The 3D4M Open House attracted an impressive crowd of alumni from multiple generations, along with friends, family, and curious others to an evening that featured a graduate exhibition, undergraduate and faculty open studios, demonstrations, and the Off the Rez Taco Truck. View photo gallery.

Elizabeth Xiong, an Art History and Computer Science double major, extended her education beyond the confines of campus when she participated in the Emerging Arts Leader Program at the Seattle Art Museum, where she worked as a colleague with Theresa Papanikolas, Affiliate Professor and Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art. SAM has long been a pivotal partner with the School through their generous free admission policy for all of our students, staff, and faculty. Read story.

In other news, I am delighted to share that our new Director + Curator of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Jordan Jones, moved to Seattle a few weeks ago and will work with our stalwart Interim Director Web Crowell as the gallery hosts four senior capstone exhibitions this quarter. Read announcement

Past and present Art History faculty are giving public presentations this spring. Assistant Professor Miriam Chusid was selected to give the 2024 Griffith and Patricia Way Lecture on April 25th in Kane Hall. She delved into her research with the engrossing title ESCAPING THE HIGHWAY TO HELL: Death, Afterlife, and Buddhist Practice in Premodern Japan. The 2024 Kollar Lecture in American Art, made possible by the generosity of alum Allan Kollar and his wife Mary, was presented on May 9th at the Henry Art Gallery by Jennifer Greenhill, Endowed Professor in American Art at the University of Arkansas. And Professor Emeritus Robin Wright will be speaking about her latest book on Native Art of the Pacific Northwest –Skidegate House Models, published by the University of Washington Press – at the Burke Museum on May 14th. 

The annual MFA/MDes thesis exhibition schedule has been modified for this year. The MDes cohort has elected to exhibit with their BDes counterparts at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery while the MFA graduate students will be showing in Pioneer Square at RailSpur. Learn more about the exhibitions

Thank you for being a part of our community in whatever way you choose, and I look forward to seeing some of you at one of our upcoming events.