Art alum in Venice!

window on canal

Congratulations to Art Department alum Galen Gibson-Cornell just finished a three-month artists’ residency in Venice, Italy at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica.  Galen sent some pictures of Venice and the student and had a closing exhibition there of his work as well.

More about Galen’s projects can also be found on these videos, produced as part of his involvement as a recipient of a Fulbright in the arts. (6:30 for Galen)

If you are an alum of the Art Department and have news to share, we’d love to hear from you!  Please drop us an e-mail at

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Art History alumna returns to campus


Marjorie (Iwai) Maas (BA:  Art History) returned to campus on Wednesday, February 25 to work at the Career Fair on campus.  While she was here, she took time to meet with Art History Society members (and other majors) to talk about career opportunities in Art History and her own path in arts administration, arts lobbying, and college access.  It was great to have Marjorie back on campus and we look forward to a return visit soon!

If you are an alum and will be returning to the Kirksville area we’d love to hear from you.  Please e-mail us at!

Prof. Fine’s interdisciplinary essay

Congratulations to Prof. Aaron Fine (Studio Art;  Director, University Art Gallery) whose essay entitled “Newton and Goethe:  A Dialogue on Color” was published in the recent issue of Impact, an interdisciplinary journal out of Boston University.  The essay appears on-line here:


Museum Studies class

Jason Luscier and the hawk

Dr. Jason Luscier (Biology) shows students the skeleton and skin of a Missouri rodent (Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse) in the Truman State Biology teaching collection while a taxidermied red tailed hawk surveys the crowd.


Students interested in Museum Studies are taking a class in Object and Collections Management this semester.  They will explore many aspects of museum work, including cataloging things in a computerized database, practicing simple techniques of conservation on paper items more than a century old, and preparing exhibits for the Ruth Warner Towne Museum on campus,  Truman’s Biology Department, and the Adair County Historical Museum.  The class includes not only Art and Art History majors, but also students from History, Anthropology, Biology, and many other departments.

As part of their class activities, students will provide service to the Adair County Historical Museum and the Kirksville Arts Association , and will take a field trip to the Missouri History Museum and the Botanical Garden in St. Louis.  This course will alternate in spring semesters with another that focuses on exhibit design, education, and community engagement of various types.  With many graduates going on to careers in museums and other types of arts organizations, students can begin to develop their skills while here.


Duncan Holahan and Kelly Keener, Art History majors, examine and photograph objects at the Adair County Historical Museum in preparation for an in-class exercise on the classification of objects in a museum registration system.

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Prof. Kambli presents work

Prof. Priya Kambli (Studio Art:  Photography) presented her recent project, Kitchen Gods, at Truman’s Faculty Research Conference on campus last week.  Her abstract for the talk appears below.  Prof. Kambli has also recently joined the Caucus for Faculty Scholarship organizing committee as well.  Congratulations, Prof. Kambli!

Project Description

One of my most startling early childhood memories is of finding one of my father’s painstakingly composed family photographs pierced by my mother. She cut holes in them so as to completely obliterate her own face while not harming the image of my sister and myself beside her. Even as a child I was aware that this act was quite significant—but what it signified was beyond my ability to decipher. As an adult I continue to be disturbed by these artifacts, which not only encompass the photographer’s hand but also the subject’s fingerprints. Even though her incisions have a violent quality to them, as an image-maker I am aesthetically drawn by the physical mark, its presence and its careful placement.

These marred artifacts have formed a reference point and inspiration for my new body of work, Kitchen Gods, but they do not limit the form my own work takes. I am fascinated by how the presence of a meditated mark alters and complicates the read of an otherwise mundane family portrait. My need to decipher and address my family photographs is personal. My work is rooted in my fascination with my parents—both of whom died when I was young. Therefore for me these family photographs hold even more mythological weight. In my work I labor to maintain my parents and ancestors the way Indian housewives do their kitchen deities.

I work directly with and on my family photographs building tableaux and memories—embedding marks and patterns in and on them. Like my mother I alter the stories they tell. My choice of materials, methods and approach are usually informed and driven by specific details within the family photographs themselves. I gravitate to materials that are humble, my preference being for things that are domestic and modest in nature—grounded in everyday use. In my work I re-contextualize the familial qualities of these materials for my own artistic and creative purposes, but also as a way of embellishing my past and connecting it to the present. The alterations I make to these photographs, the use of pattern in and on top of the object, have been described as a form of fenestration. Though they obscure the image, they create windows through which underlying structures are revealed.

I propose to discuss my latest series of photographs entitled Kitchen Gods in a presentation that addresses women’s photographic practices (both as photographer and photographer’s subject) and the reinterpretation of my family’s amateur photography archives. The images, digitally collaged and physically manipulated family photographs, engage with prints taken by my father and later defaced by my mother, in ways that address memory, loss, and the passing away of both these parents at an early age.

Gallery Opening Tonight!

Tonight is the opening reception and awards ceremony for the Annual Juried Student Exhibition.  The show has been juried by Stephanie Lanter of Emporia State University.

The reception starts at 6:00 p.m. in the University Art Gallery and will also include a gallery talk and performance by artist David Mazure (exhibition in the Side Gallery).

As always, this event is free and open to the public.  We hope to see you there!

Installation in the University Art Gallery

In addition to the Annual Juried Student Exhibition, the University Art Gallery is also currently hosting an installation by artist David Mazure and The MMXII Collective.  The installation, entitled:  New Mythologists:  The Two Horsemen of the Apocalypse, is on display in the side gallery.

David Mazure will be giving an artist’s talk about performance at the opening, Tuesday, March 3, 6:00 p.m. in the University Art Gallery (OP 1114).

As always, this event is free and open to the public.  We hope to see you there!

Interdisciplinary and inter-program course on Leonardo!


This semester, Aaron Fine (Studio Art) and Julia DeLancey (Art History) are team-teaching a JINS seminar (Junior Interdisciplinary Seminar) on Leonardo da Vinci.  In the course, students are closely reading Leonardo’s own writings and exploring his notebooks on-line.  In addition, as students at a liberal arts and sciences institution they are being challenged to embrace all the ways of knowing the world which Leonardo used:  so, all students draw, all students do some science, all students write (and reflect in their writing), and so on.  We’ll be doing some more scientific work later in the semester and some building too but for today here are some pictures of students working on observational drawing.  Stay tuned for more!

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Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Submit your work this week for the Annual Juried Student Exhibition!

Students may submit up to four artworks (created as part of their Truman experience)

Works may be submitted in the University Art Gallery (OP 1114)

Tuesday, February 24, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 25, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 26, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

All declined artwork must be picked up Friday, February 27, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

The exhibition is being juried by Prof. Stephanie Lanter, Emporia State University.  Prof. Lanter will be giving a Juror’s Talk on Thursday, February 26.

In addition, a reception and awards ceremony will be held Tuesday, March 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the University Art Gallery (OP 1114).

We hope to see you there, and students:  submit your work!

Dr. Orel serves as Leader-in-Residence at Cottey College

Dr. Sara Orel served as the Leader-in-Residence at Cottey College, a women’s college in southern Missouri, on November 9th and 10th.  While there she met with undergraduate students as well as the leadership team at the College, and spoke to Sociology and History classes as well as giving a public lecture on her archaeological work in Egypt.  She enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the young women there and see Brianne Fulton, an Associate Professor of Art at the College, as well as a 2002 BFA graduate of Truman State University.

Below:  Sara Orel talking with students in the living room of the Center for Women’s Leadership, at Cottey College.  Courtesy of Brianne Fulton.

Sara at Cottey College November 9 2014