Alumni News

We were thrilled to see that the research of Art Department alumnus Dr. John Garton (BA:  Art History and Studio Art, 1997) has been getting a lot  of circulation recently in the Boston area.  While Dr. Garton’s Ph.D. and current research continue his Senior Thesis  focus at Truman on painting in Renaissance Venice, he maintains an active secondary specialization in Latin American art, especially art of the pre-Columbian period.  Most recently his interdisciplinary, collaborative research on Olmec sculpture has resulted in a short piece in the Boston Globe and a video feature which will be displayed in the galleries of the Worcester Art Museum and can be viewed on line.  Dr. Garton is Associate Professor of Art History at Clark University in Massachusetts.  Congratulations!

Grant Kniffen (BSE: Art, 1984) stopped by when he was in town this September, when he told Bob Jones, Professor of Art, that he retired in 2013 after teaching 27 years at Parkway North High School in Saint Louis, Missouri. In 1995, Grant was selected Secondary Art Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Art Education Association. He was Parkway School District’s High School Teacher of the Year during the 1996-1997 school year. You can see his work in a variety of mediums on his website.

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


Welcome, new students!


Welcome to all new students:  first-year, transfer, everyone!  Those living in dorms will be moving in on Sunday, August 16 and starting Truman Week classes as well.  We are so happy that you’re all here and look forward to seeing you all both during Truman Week and in classes this fall.

Just as a reminder, Majors Day for the Art Department is Tuesday, August 18 from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. in the University Art Gallery (OP 1114).  This is a day for all new students to get to know the programs, faculty, and staff in the Department of their chosen major.  We look forward to seeing all new Art majors there!  Any questions, please e-mail

Happy Winter Break!


Finals Week ends on Friday, December 12 with December graduation taking place on Saturday, December 13th.  Congratulations to all Art Department (and Truman) graduates!  Please stay in touch (

This also means that the Art Department blog will be taking a break until the week before classes start in January.  However, during that time the blog will feature faculty artwork (and other images) related to winter themes so do check back often!

For now, greetings of the season to all!

Art Department this week and next–great things happening

There are lots of great things going on in the Art Department this week and next including some great town-gown collaboration.  We hope to see you at some or all of them!

  • ART 421 Visual Communications IV project displays for the Red Barn Arts Festival up all this week in the OP Art Atrium;  reception Tuesday, December 2 in the evening.
  • Reception Tuesday, December 2, 6:00 p.m. in the University Art Gallery (OP 1114) for BA and BFA students Molly Diecker, Ali Goeckner, and Carly Winchell.  At the same time is a reception for the Strong Foundations exhibition which features work from the Foundations program, selected by Art Department faculty as examples of some of the best work produced by first-year Art students.
  • Advanced Painting work up until Thursday, December  4 at TruYo on Jefferson St. in Kirksville.
  • Clay People Sale (of ceramics works):  Thursday, December 4, OP Main Atrium, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Work by students in Advanced Printmaking (Melissa Aholt, Kim Allen, and Jessica Zilch) up at TruYo from Thursday through the end of Finals Week.
  • Exhibition of work produced in Painting I and Advanced Drawing:  Friday, December 5, Kirk Gym, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Work by graduate student painters Shelby Seaman and Daniel Riekena up at Beard’s Gallery in Kirksville now through Friday, December 5.
  • The student chapter of AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) at Truman will be holding a sale of handmade work;  check their blog for more information.

If you know of something else going on this week in the Art Department that’s not listed, let us know!  Otherwise, we hope to see you there!

First day of classes!


Thursday, August 21 is the first day of classes!  Welcome back to everyone, and best wishes for a great Fall 2014 semester.  We look forward to seeing you at lots of great Art Department events this year so check back here often to see what’s going on!


Majors Day on Tuesday!



Don’t forget Majors Day on Tuesday, August 19, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. in the University Art Gallery (OP 1114).  This is a day for all majors new to the Art Department (first-years, transfers, and others here this week) to meet the faculty and staff and learn more about the Department’s programs.  Students will also have a chance to meet with faculty in their respective areas (Art History, Studio Art, and Visual Communication) and have any advising questions answered as well.  There will also be treats and a good chance to socialize.  We’ll look forward to seeing everyone there!




Prof. Wilbur Residency


As part of her recent sabbatical leave, Prof. Wynne Wilbur participated in an artist's residency at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana.  Prof. Wilbur shared with us information about (and pictures of!) her great experience.

was part of an AIA group of 5 women (all who loosely have ties to Kansas).  AIA
stands for Artist Invites Artists. In this case, Glenda Taylor (Ceramics, chair
of art at Washburn U. in Topeka) had been to Red Lodge before and invited the
rest of us to join her for a month in June. We all worked in the same studio
and lived in the same restored Victorian house in town. We mostly worked on our
own stuff, but shared ideas, processes, impressions etc. while we worked."


Truman Ranked #3 by Washington Monthly

Good news from Truman Today:

Truman State University has again been named one of America’s best colleges by a national publication.
Truman  is No. 3 in the Best Master’s University category of the 2013 Washington Monthly College Rankings. Truman is the only Missouri school listed in the top 75, and the only public Missouri school on the entire Top 100 Master’s Universities list.

Washington Monthly bases its rankings on three criteria: social mobility, which gives colleges credit for enrolling low-income students and helping them earn degrees; research production, with particular emphasis on schools where undergraduates eventually earn Ph.D.s; and commitment to service. More information about the rankings can be found here.

In addition to the Washington Monthly, The Princeton Review listed Truman as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education. The education services company has again featured Truman in its annual college guide, “The Best 378 Colleges.” Only about 15 percent of America’s four-year colleges are profiled in the 2014 edition.