Department of Art and Art History News

Eric Benson (M.F.A. in Design, 2006) Publishes Book for Graphic Designers

Fri. December 2, 2016

book, Design to Renourish
Design to Renourish by Eric Benson (M.F.A. in Design, 2006) and Yvette Perullo was published this fall.  

Design to Renourish is a book for graphic designers that helps to integrate sustainability into their workflow through a design process called systems thinking. This process asks the graphic designer to approach a design problem by being more informed and aware of and influenced by the impacts that material and vendor choices have on one another, the planet and, consequently, on us.

The book not only walks the reader through how to design with nature as a model, but also offers solutions to the real life challenges of working with the client to create sustainable work. Through ten case studies that feature interviews with international design teams who embrace a sustainable systems methodology, the reader will gain valuable insights on how to design to renourish for positive change.  

Students and Faculty Attend Texas Art Education Association's Annual Conference

Fri. December 2, 2016

students and teacher
(Left to right) Julia Caswell, Chelsea Freestone, Hannah Reed, Madison Weakley, Dr. Christina Bain, Katie Gregory, (below) Courtney Jones.

This past month, Visual Art Studies students attended the Texas Art Education Association’s annual conference in Dallas. The conference seeks to promote quality visual arts education as an integral part of learning in Texas through the professional development and advancement of knowledge and skills, representation of the art educators of Texas, service and leadership opportunities, and research and development of policies and decisions relative to practices and directions in visual arts education.

two students
(Left to right) Madison Weakley, Hannah Reed

Awards for excellence in the field were given to UT Austin faculty members Paul Bolin for TAEA Distinguished Fellow and Heidi Powell for TAEA Higher Education Division Outstanding Art Education Award. In addition, faculty, current and former Visual Art Studies students presented research and best practices in a variety of conference presentations. Included among the presentations were current senior Julia Caswell’s “The Walking Classroom: Audio Walks and Engagement," which explored how interactive audio walks may be implemented in the art classroom, and alumnus Shaun Lane and Shelby Johnson's “Myth vs. Reality: Student Teaching,” an investigation of students’ relationships with student teachers vs. in-service teachers. Faculty members Christina Bain and Heidi Powell presented a workshop titled "Animating Your Curriculum" that taught how to integrate time-lapse software into an art education curriculum. 

Christina Bain also presented a two hour workshop, "Penelope Paper Strip, Puppets, and Paper Sculpture," with VAS students Courtney Jones, Hannah Reed, Madison Weakley, Katie Gregory, Chelsea Freestone and Julia Caswell that explored how storytelling can set the stage for teaching basic paper sculpture techniques. This conference presentation was a natural extension of previous research presented at the International Society for Education through Art annual conference. Research from contemporary art educators at The University of Texas at Austin innovates upon current practices, incorporating elements of gamification and technology. "I think technology has always been a focus of art instruction," said Bain. "As technologies of the times change, so too does instruction. Technologies spotlighted in conferences such as TAEA dovetail with the general push in education to focus on 21st century learning skills."  

Kim Gant (Ph.D. candidate in Art History) Named New Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Chrysler Museum

Mon. November 28, 2016


 

Doctoral candidate in art history Kim Gant named new McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA. Gant comes to the Chrysler Museum after serving as the Mellon Curatorial Fellow of Arts of Global Africa at the Newark Museum.


 

Senior Art Major Gabrielle Maritza Daubourg Completes Inaugural New York Residency

Mon. November 21, 2016


Film stills from footage take during Anti-Trump protest outside Trump Tower

Operated out of DUMBO Brooklyn, by the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD), the New York Studio Residency Program (NYSRP) offers a semester-long program for selected art students across the United States. Given their own studio space and the opportunity for intensive engagement with artists and colleagues, participating students are given an exceptional introduction to the New York art world.

This year, senior Studio Art undergraduate Gabrielle Daubourg joined twelve other students from across the U.S. and Canada in New York to embark on the residency. A change of scenery is nothing new for Daubourg. Originally from France, born and raised in Paris, she moved to Texas when she was sixteen years old. At The University of Texas at Austin, she studied philosophy before transferring to Studio Art in order to work in film. When describing the program, Daubourg writes, “The academic structure of the program is very laissez-faire and allows each students to have time to explore the city, go to museums, exhibits and work in our studios. No micro managing.” The critical seminars that take place from Monday through Thursday involve discussion of assigned texts to current events. “These discussions have been highly influential,” writes Daubourg. “especially as a practicing video maker, in this cultural climate, which is purely mediated through consumption and image-based relationships.”

man in film still
Film stills from footage take during Anti-Trump protest outside Trump Tower

Writing with Daubourg over email during mid-terms, we learned that Magdalena Sawon of Postmasters Gallery came to the studios as a guest critic. Sawon is known for cultivating talent in new and emerging artists working in sculpture and painting to new media. Among twelve students, she is the only one that works in video; most others work in sculpture, painting, screen printing and other mediums. All of the object-making makes for a dynamic exchange of voices and critical approaches, especially during midterm critiques. “As I primarily work in video, my shooting occurred after the midterm, so the majority of what I had to show was comprised of writings,” writes Daubourg. “I presented some previous works in order to show the visual strategies I intended on applying to the upcoming project. Otherwise it was a surprisingly polite and safe critique, especially considering the student’s overall sense of anxiety prior to the event, which only served to disappoint my masochistic tendencies.”

The individual studio spaces given to each student artist are a boon to their production and a unique opportunity to expand upon projects over the course of the semester. When discussing her studio space as a video artist, Daubourg responded, “My studio space looks more like an office. It’s clean, orderly and meticulous; a failed, conscious mise-en-scène to attempt to calm my neurosis.” Remarking on the comparison to other students’ studios, “The space lacks the liveliness and colors of the painter’s studios and as another student put it, ‘it’s sad, sterile and lacks warmth.’ The next day I bought a candle.”

Assuming that Daubourg employed the same crackling wit in her work, we asked her what some of her current projects entailed. “At the moment the process of aging and the attempt to preserve histories through different aspects of storytelling is central to my relationships with current subjects,” writes Daubourg. “My work is dependent on subjects, either actors, dancers or family members. I only occupy the studio for research or editing.” The constraints she puts on herself in terms of subject matter and approach means that she spends most days outside, establishing relationships with individuals she is curious about before retiring to her studio to edit. As a means of establishing authentic relationships, Daubourg is volunteering with an organization that establishes physical and emotional support for seniors in the city. “I have started developing a closeness with certain individuals and started a process of documenting them in their space and recording our conversations.”

“Most of my current work happens prior to capturing any footage. Because of my dependency on people I spend a lot of time building the relationship before I can introduce the invasive presence of a camera into their personal space. Trust must be established, a construction that is undeniably dependent on time.”

part of woman's face in film still frame
Film stills from footage take during Anti-Trump protest outside Trump Tower

With a month left in the semester, Daubourg reflects back on some of the most enriching parts of the residency, “just the ability to produce work in one of the greatest cities in the world is such a tremendous opportunity. There is a freedom to experiment and attention given to young artists that I want to see everywhere and bring back with me.”  

Christina Bain and Colleagues Pave New Path with Technology-based Instruction Utilizing Animation and Gamification of Learning

Mon. November 21, 2016


Dr. Christina Bain

Professor of Visual Art Studies and Art Education Christina Bain presented "Vulnerability and Vicissitudes: The Role of Scenario-Based Games in Preservice Preparation" at the International Society for Education through the Arts (INSEA) in Vienna, Austria last month.

“Experienced educators recognize that teaching is a complex, social process that is influenced by many contextual factors,” writes Bain. “The best solution to a situation—in theory—might be effective in one place but not in another. Therefore, preservice students often feel unprepared because they have limited teaching experience to draw upon. So, through my research I ask: How might preservice students learn from the wisdom and experience of seasoned teachers?” The solution, posed within Bain’s conference presentation, is K-16 collaborations. The Worst Case Scenario Art Game is one such strategy that improves preservice preparation by basing playing cards on authentic scenarios experienced by preservice and in-service teachers.

Likewise, Dr. Christina Bain, Dr. Heidi Powell and Dr. Bill Nieberding presented "Animating Your Curriculum" at the Texas Art Education Association conference in Dallas, Texas on November 18, 2016. This presentation explored how animation software was integrated into three university art education courses. On November 19, Bain presented at TAEA with Courtney Jones, Hannah Reed, Madison Weakley, Katie Gregory, Chelsea Freestone and Julia Caswell (undergraduates in Visual Art Studies, 2017) in a two-hour workshop titled "Penelope Paper Strip, Puppets, and Paper Sculpture," which explores how storytelling can set the stage for teaching basic paper sculpture techniques.