Department of Art and Art History News

Jack Risley Appointed Chair of the Department of Art and Art History

Thu. July 12, 2012

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Jack Risley, associate dean of academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), has been appointed chair and Ruth Head Centennial Professor of the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin.

Jack Risley

As a teacher and administrator, Risley has held academic positions at the Yale School of Art, New York University, and the Cooper Union. He has served as a visiting lecturer at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Harvard University, and Rhode Island School of Design. His teaching has included both graduate and undergraduate courses in art.

Risley has been making and exhibiting artwork in prominent venues all over the world for the past 25 years, including exhibitions at Vienna Secession, the American Academy in Rome, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Yale University Art Museum, among others. He is represented by Postmasters Gallery in New York City, where he has had six solo exhibitions. He is the recipient of the Rome Prize, a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, and a Marie Sharpe Walsh Art Foundation Award. He has maintained an active studio practice and notable international exhibition schedule while distinguishing himself as an academic administrator. His work as an artist has been widely featured and discussed in the art press, which hails him as a notable American sculptor.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to join the College of Fine Arts,” said Risley. “The University of Texas at Austin’s deep commitment to the arts sets it apart from other institutions. The College of Fine Arts has great reach, and its influence can be felt nationally and internationally. The Department of Art and Art History has a potent mix of programs each with a long and distinguished history. There is an almost alchemical mix of ingredients—keenly ambitious students, renowned faculty, a picture-perfect campus, unrivaled libraries and archives, all in the midst of a city with great charm and a sense of humor.”

Risley studied at the Cooper Union, earned a bachelor of arts degree from Oberlin College and a master of fine arts degree from Yale School of Art. Risley has served on the Innovations Task Force of the International Council of Fine Art Deans since 2009. He is an active member of College Art Association, the International Council of Art Administrators, and serves on the Think Tank advisory board for Foundations in Art Theory and Education.

David Stuart Deciphers Newly Discovered Monument That Refers to 2012

Mon. July 2, 2012

Maya stone

A publishing and entertainment empire has arisen around the supposed Mayan “end date” of December 21, 2012. But a second reference to the date, discovered only recently in Guatemala by a team including the department's David Stuart, further debunks the theory that the Maya expected the world to end.

Stuart spoke with KUT’s Nathan Bernier about the substantial find.

Jeff Williams Awarded 2012 Texas Prize

Wed. May 23, 2012

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams (Assistant Professor in Studio Art) has been awarded the Texas Prize, a $30,000 triennial award given by AMOA-Arthouse. Williams was selected by the jury among three artists; the other two finalists were Jamal Cyrus and Will Henry.

"Although the decision was not unanimous, the majority of the jury felt that Jeff Williams was the most deserving of this year’s prize. Williams’ work deployed a fascinating range of materials and chemicals to activate subtle transformations in the space of the gallery," the jurors stated in a joint statement. "His installation was remarkable for the way in which it addressed the complex geographical and architectural history of the exhibition site and used an inventive sculptural approach to mark intersecting and distinct measures of time."

The Texas Prize recognizes innovation, talent, and a marked contribution to a thriving Texas artistic community. A diverse group of Texas-based professionals nominates several contemporary artists. A separate international jury of artists, curators and scholars then selects three finalists for an exhibition and full-color catalogue. One finalist receives a $30,000 prize, the most significant ongoing initiative supporting emerging and under-recognized professional artists working in the state.

The Texas Prize exhibit is on view at AMOA-Arthouse, Jones Center, through July 22.