News from Alumni

We are always happy to get news from alumni of our Art and Art History programs, some of whom are involved with Art careers and others who have really exciting careers in other fields.  Here are some of our latest updates from Art History majors:

From Bryna Campbell:

In May 2015, I graduated with my PhD in Art History & Archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis, with a dissertation titled “The Comic Grotesque: Troubling the Body Politic in American Graphic Satire from World War I to the Great Depression.” I also received a graduate certificate in American Culture Studies. Since graduating I have been teaching as an art history instructor at Portland State University in Portland, OR. I am also the co-creator and founding editor of The Art and Place Blog (theartandplaceblog.wordpress.com) and the co-creator of the creative writing project Un/Settled (un-settled.org), which focuses on themes related to rural diaspora.

Brian Dale (who wrote his senior thesis the same year as Bryna):

I work in financial services as an Asst. Vice President with Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. I live with my family in Webster Groves, MO, and my involvement with art does not extend beyond drawing with my daughter and the odd trip to the museum.

Katherine Eusey:

My love of Islamic architecture led me to pursue an MA in Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. Although my thesis was on the topic of mosque architecture, real-world pressures (ya know, needing to eat and pay rent) ended up pushing me into the field of security and intel. After working for a year as an intelligence analyst at a large security and executive protection firm in Tel Aviv, I joined a small startup called Levantine Group (also Tel Aviv-based) as the Director of Partnerships. In that role, I work with diplomats, journalists, corporate security managers, and even a few university study abroad program directors who are based across the Middle East.

If you are an alumn(-a/-us) of Truman’s Art programs and have news of your post-Truman activities, we would love to hear from you.  Please send us email at art@truman.edu.

Students heading to Graduate School

Congratulations to the following Art majors who have been accepted to graduate school in their fields:

Emily Hagen, who has been accepted at Penn State University to study Art History,

Matt Treasure, who will study Egyptian Archaeology and Language at the American University in Cairo,

and Darrell Williams, who will be going to the University of Missouri to study for his MFA in Painting.

One of the pieces from Darrell Williams' BFA exhibition, up in the gallery from November 30th to December 4th.

One of the pieces from Darrell Williams’ BFA exhibition, 2015.

Stay tuned for updates on what other students will be doing with their summers, and if you are a current or former alum who has news, please email us at art@truman.edu.

Academic Honor Awards in Art

AcademicHonorAwardsMayl2016-9

o Benjamin Flowers receives a certificate in recognition of his selection as the Outstanding Student in Art: Studio Art. The award is presented by Sara Orel, Professor of Art History.

 

Congratulations to the three students, representing three of our major programs, who were selected by the Art faculty to receive recognition as the outstanding members of their senior class.  The three students are:

Sadie Pafford, Outstanding Student in Art

Benjamin Flowers, Outstanding Student in Art: Studio Art

Madeline Perel, Outstanding Student in Art: Visual Communication

Dr. Sara Orel represented the Art Department to present the awards to Sadie and Benjamin.  Madeline was otherwise occupied, taking part in the BFA: Visual Communication capstone exhibition at the Kirksville Arts Association, for which the final reception was the same evening (the Friday before graduation).  We will have pictures from that exhibition soon.  In the meantime, here is a photograph from Benjamin Flowers’ senior BFA show.  Congratulations to all three students from the Art faculty and from Truman State University.  We will miss all of you!

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Visitors admire Benjamin Flowers’ BFA exhibition in the University Gallery.

What is Valerie Lazalier (BA 2011, Art History) up to these days?

Valerie Lazalier at workValerie Lazalier (pictured above, right) started a new job in January.  She writes us:

“I started work at Lawrence University as the Gallery and Collection Assistant in the Wriston Art Center Galleries. In this role I oversee the care of the university’s art collection which involves accessioning new donations, performing inventories, preparing works for storage, arranging art viewings, and overseeing interns. The galleries change exhibitions five times a year, so I also get to help with installing and deinstalling shows, which I really enjoy. I am also responsible for digitizing more of our collection and getting it posted to ARTstor. Lawrence is a liberal arts university, just like Truman, so I’m feeling very at home here!”

Thank you for the update, Valerie!

If you are an alum and have news to share, please write to us at art@truman.edu  We’d love to hear from you.

Suzy Williams, BFA ’08: Designer and Successful Quilter

Suzy Williams earned her BFA in VisCom in 2008, and has found success by combining both areas.  We just heard from her about what she has been doing.  Suzy writes:

What has been exciting in my transition from full-time graphic design to textile design is seeing the two art forms connect so well. The Fibers Department was the original reason I chose Truman, but the convergence of design and technology I found in the VisCom department is what grabbed my attention in the end.
I now use the skills I learned in VisCom as a base for designing all of my quilts and patterns. I use Illustrator to layout my designs, choose colors and quickly and efficiently determine the math behind the sewing. InDesign is the program I use to layout the PDF patterns I sell.
Drip-Quilt
I believe these foundational graphic design skills give me an added edge over other quilters and textile designers who do not have the tech background.
To give you an example of what I mean, here are both a digital sketch and a quilt of my design “Triangle Jitters.” This pattern is currently being sold in my online shop.
Triangle Jitters, by Suzy Williams: Digital Pattern (left) and Final Quilt (right).

Triangle Jitters, by Suzy Williams: Digital Pattern (left) and Final Quilt (right).

Three of my quilts were featured in QuiltCon 2016 this past February; they include Mod Mountains, Drip and Modern Fans . Mod Mountains (below) received a third place award for handwork.”
Mod-Mountains

Mode Mountains, by Suzy Williams (BFA 2008).

Congratulations, Suzy! It is always great to hear about the successes of our students.

If you are an alum and have news to share, please write to us at art@truman.edu  We’d love to hear from you.

Museum Studies Students Visit General John J. Pershing’s Boyhood Home

Recently the Museum Studies class taught by Dr. Sara Orel took an afternoon trip to visit the General John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historical Site.  General Pershing is an alumnus of Truman, then the Missouri State Normal School, which he attended for two years before leaving for West Point.  While at the museum, students had an opportunity to view a variety of types of display settings, from the historic home itself, set up to look as it would have in the 1870s and 80s, a small schoolhouse that serves as the primary display space for the museum’s collection of objects, and the new museum building, which is in the process of renovation and will provide a much-expanded space for both permanent and changing exhibits.

Denzil Heaney, Administrator and Curator of the General John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site in Lacelede, Missouri, discusses the array of World War I poster images on display in one of the exhibition spaces at the site. Truman students shown are, from left to right, Rachel Pozzo, Anthony LaMarche, Luke Edwards, and Victoria Loos.

Denzil Heaney, Administrator and Curator of the General John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site in Lacelede, Missouri, discusses the array of World War I poster images on display in one of the exhibition spaces at the site. Truman students shown are Rachel Pozzo, Anthony LaMarche, Luke Edwards, and Victoria Loos.

The host for the visit was Denzil Heaney, administrator and curator of the site.  His enthusiasm and flair for storytelling and the importance of the site were quite inspiring for the students, who subsequently prepared exhibition proposals to take advantage of the new museum space.  There are exciting opportunities for Truman collaboration with the Pershing Historic Site, a state park that attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every year.  The current interest in the centenary of the Great War means the number of visitors will only continue to increase.

 

Truman’s quickly-growing Museum Studies program, still informally structured but with a strong track record of graduate school and job placement, provides internships across the state of Missouri which are available to students of all majors, including Art History, Studio Art, and Visual Communications, but also students in fields including Anthropology, History, Communication, Biology, Chemistry, and many others..

If you are interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary program in Museum Studies at Truman, contact Dr. Sara E. Orel (orel@truman.edu) for more information.

The view from inside the building that will serve as the new General Pershing Museum in Laclede, Missouri.

The view from inside the building that will serve as the new General Pershing Museum in Laclede, Missouri.

Heidi Cook (B.A. ’07) serves as Director of the University Art Gallery for 2015-2016

While Professor of Art Aaron Fine is on sabbatical this year, researching and writing about color theory, 2007 Truman graduate Professor Heidi Cook is filling in as Visiting Director of the University Art Gallery and teaching Art History courses as well – Non-Western Art, Contemporary Art, and Introduction to the Visual Arts. She writes:

I am a Truman alumna (German and Art History, ’07) and I am truly excited to be back on campus and working alongside the Art Historians who introduced me to the history of art and made me want to pursue it further. Teaching Art History is one of the coolest jobs. I get to spend my time reading, thinking, and talking about how artworks visualize important and changing social, historical and religious ideas across the globe and throughout history. My hope is always that I can begin to open students’ eyes to the power of their visual surroundings.

I am currently a PhD candidate (All But Dissertation) in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. My research focuses on the modern art and design of Central and Eastern Europe. Using a body of folkloric works created by Croatian-American artist Maksimilijan Vanka as a guiding thread, my dissertation explores how objects and images related to Croatian folk culture were used to imagine a variety of competing Central European identities. In February, I am chairing a panel at the College Art Association Conference in Washington, D.C., about the relationship between European folk culture and American immigrant identity titled “Old Country in the New Country: Exhibitions, Museums, and Early Twentieth-Century American Immigration.”

If you ever want to talk about modern art in Central Europe or about applying or attending graduate school, feel free to stop by my office OP 1231 or email me at hcook@truman.edu.

We are very pleased to have Prof. Cook on campus this year, and know that students in her classes are benefiting from her knowledge and enthusiasm.

Prof. Heidi Cook, her husband Brent, and Pumpkin, in Kumrovec, Croatia in front of the house where Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz Tito was born.

Prof. Heidi Cook, her husband Brent, and Pumpkin, in Kumrovec, Croatia in front of the house where Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz Tito was born.

Art History Alumna Speaks on her Work in Venice

Alumna Leslie Contarini (BA Art History, 2005) visited campus November 2-3 and spoke to the Renaissance Art class about her work with Save Venice, Inc., an organization devoted to the restoration and conservation of works of art in the Italian city.  After Leslie graduated she went to the University of Warwick, where she earned her MA in the History of Art, a program that included a semester in Venice.  When she completed her degree, she returned to take a position with Save Venice, and has lived and worked there since.

Leslie Contarini speaking to ART 324: Renaissance Art, November 2015.

Leslie Contarini speaking to ART 324: Renaissance Art, November 2015.

Leslie presented the work of the organization to preserve the spectacular paintings in Venice, including those in their original location in churches across the city as well as some in the Academia, the main Art Museum.

While at Truman Leslie also was able to visit with current Art History majors, including members of the Art History Society, an organization Leslie was active in while a student here.

Art History students with visiting alumna. From left: Kathryn Hodge, Carrie Whitson, Leslie Contarini (BA, 2005), and Lena Leuci.

Art History students with visiting alumna. From left: Kathryn Hodge, Carrie Whitson, Leslie Contarini (BA, 2005), and Lena Leuci.

Happy Halloween!

Taylor (Klein) Worley (BA Art History, 2009)as Max, from Where the Wild Things Are.

Taylor (Klein) Worley (BA Art History, 2009) as Max, from Where the Wild Things Are.

Art students celebrate Halloween enthusiastically because of all its creative potential (not to mention a bit of candy to enjoy).  Those who overlapped at Truman with Taylor (Klein) Worley from 2005 to 2009 will remember her elaborate and convincing costumes.  After she graduated with her Art History BA, Taylor completed her Master of Library Science at Emporia State University in 2012.  She is now a Youth Services Librarian at Springfield Public Library in the Oregon Willamette Valley. She still enjoys going all out for Halloween, this year by entertaining children and parents alike with her convincing Max (Where the Wild Things Are) costume.  She is pictured here at her library’s annual “Little Monster’s Bash!” event. Youth Librarianship lends itself creativity in many ways, but dressing up as beloved characters is one of Taylor’s favorites!Taylor (and we) wish you the Happiest of Halloweens!  If you are an alum and have news (or Halloween pictures) to share, please write to us at art@truman.edu  We’d love to hear from you.