Department of Art and Art History Graduate Students

Andy Campbell featured on Free Beer, an Austin art podcast

Thu. April 14, 2016

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Andy Campbell (Ph.D. in Art History, 2012) speaks with Free Beer, an Austin based art podcast.

Faculty and alumni participate in symposium at the Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History

Tue. April 5, 2016

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Joan Holladay and Jeffrey Chipps Smith will present papers and John R. Clarke will moderate discussion at the Diptychs, Triptychs and Polyptychs, from the Middle Ages to Modernity, a symposium hosted by the Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History. The symposium was co-organized by James Rodriguez (M.A. in Art History, 2007) and will take place April 23, 2016.

M.F.A. candidates in Studio Art spend a nonstop weekend in New York City

Thu. March 31, 2016

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Left to right: Rachael Starbuck and Anthony Creeden at Antarctica on view at Jane Lombard Gallery. Photo by Laura Brown.

Second year M.F.A. candidates in Studio Art traveled to New York City earlier this semester. However, this wasn’t a vacation weekend: the seven students visited over 25 galleries and six museums as a group (with time built into their schedule for additional individual visits to spaces of their choice).

“We got to see a lot of great art, courtesy of a tour with Gregory Volk,” says Laura Brown. “My favorite were the shows at Postmasters Gallery, which included a group show of small sculptures, all displayed on a huge, custom-made table, and another show of collaged embroideries by Sally Smart. We got to meet her and hear all about her process and practice from research to development to execution. As a person who really engages with process myself, that was interesting to hear about—especially since her materials and medium are not the most common or conventional.”

Gregory Volk, art critic, freelance curator and 2015 Viewpoint speaker, led the group on a day-long gallery tour that he organized. Volk even invited some of the exhibiting artists to come and talk to the students about their work.

“It was lovely to see Gregory again and to hear directly from gallerists and artists about the work we looked at,” Brown says, “It was great to hear Amy Sillman talk about her work and staying engaged with it after so many years of making and many life transitions. When I think about where I want to be in twenty years, I hope to have a practice with some longevity, and I know that doesn't just happen. It takes work and commitment and the ability to stay open and responsive to the world around you. I found it encouraging to meet artists at various stages of their careers and hear their experiences. Everyone has such a different story to tell.”

The trip is funded by an Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation grant as part of their Marketplace Empowerment for Artists program which works to provide professional artists with the skills necessary to navigate the contemporary art market. The students also met Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, 2015 UT Austin commencement speaker and College of Fine Arts Advisory Council member.

Left to Right: Assistant Professor Nicole Awai, Anthony Creeden, Laura Brown, Michael Muelhaupt, Rachael Starbuck, Darren Walker, Ryan Hawk, Gregory Volk, Leslie Waggener Professor in Sculpture Amy Hauft, Bucky Miller, Zachary Meisner.

“Darren Walker really is the energetic, enthusiastic, magical person we were told he would be,” Brown says. “We all researched the history of the Ford Foundation, Mr. Walker's biography, and the changes he has brought to the organization before our trip. We had such a short time with him, but I could have sat there chatting with him for hours.”

While the four days of travel and a packed itinerary make a long weekend, the visit familiarizes the students to New York and allows them to meet artists, gallerists, and curators before returning to the quiet of their studios.

“My friends in New York simply seem over saturated. But that's not to say that one is better than the other,” Miller says. “For me it's a matter of temperament. I want to be able to focus on what's going on in my studio.”

Brown adds, “I grew up in rural places, so I am partial to smaller cities and communities. For its size, Austin has a good mix of galleries, studios, and active artists. I think that in smaller communities, there is a closer connection between artists and art appreciators. It's more accessible and human.”

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