Department of Art and Art History News

Professors in Art Education Publish New Book, Are Honored by Texas Art Education Association

Wed. October 12, 2016

Dr. Paul Bolin
Dr. Paul Bolin, editor of Revitalizing History and 2016 TAEA Distinguished Fellow

The last academic conference on the history of art education was held at The Pennsylvania State University in 1995. In 2015, recognizing a dearth of scholarship in historical research among visual arts educators, assistant chair of The University of Texas at Austin’s Art Education Program Dr. Paul Bolin and his colleagues Dr. Ami Kantawala (Teachers College, Columbia University) and Dr. Mary Ann Stankiewicz (The Pennsylvania State University) organized the first conference on the history of art education held in the last two decades. Research submitted to the conference, “Brushes with History: Imagination and Innovation in Art Education History,” would later give rise to the forthcoming publication, Revitalizing History: Recognizing the Struggles, Lives, and Achievements of African American and Women Art Educators.


Edited by Bolin and Kantawala, Revitalizing History recognizes the historical role that many overlooked individuals—particularly African Americans and women—have played in the field of art education, and acknowledges the importance of history and historical research in this digital age. “The history of art education, similar to the traditional canon of art history, has been dominated by white men like Walter Smith,” remarked Bolin. “My colleagues and I felt that an introduction, or a re-visitation to the contributions of other art educators on the periphery of our historical view would challenge our field with new and more complex stories that are yet in the making, and provide a platform to sustain a vibrant culture of groundbreaking scholarship in art education. The papers submitted from faculty and researchers across the US has proven this point.”

Historical inquiry forms the foundation for much research undertaken in art education. While traversing paths of historical investigation in this field visual art educators may discover undocumented moments and overlooked or hidden individuals, as well as encounter challenging ideas in need of exploration and critique. In doing so, history is approached from multiple and, at times, vitally diverse perspectives. Revitalizing History hopes to generate conversations through publication that will encourage more interest in histories of art education, but also more sophisticated and innovative approaches to historical research in this field. Contributors to the publication include Art Education assistant chair Dr. Christina Bain and lecturer Dr. Heidi Powell, in addition to five former graduate students of the Department of Art and Art History’s Art Education Program.

Heidi Powell
Dr. Heidi Powell, contributor to Revitalizing History and recipient of Higher Education Division Outstanding Art Education Award

Bolin’s commitment to pioneering scholarship in the history of art education, advancement of the field, and his long-term contributions to the work of the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) have earned him the distinct honor of being inducted as a TAEA Distinguished Fellow at the association’s fall conference this November. Additionally, Dr. Heidi Powell will be awarded the TAEA Higher Education Division Outstanding Art Education Award that goes to the nominated individual who has significantly contributed to the field of art education on the state, local and national levels.



Khristaan Villela Appointed Director of Santa Fe Museum

Wed. October 12, 2016

Khristaan D. Villela
Khristaan D. Villela (M.A. in Art History, 1993; PhD in Art History, 2001) has been appointed Director of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, N.M. Villela came to the museum from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD), where he was Professor of Art History and Scholar in Residence. 
Villela has curated exhibitions at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, the Miho Museum in Kyoto, Japan, and the New Mexico History Museum. Most recently, he was consulting curator for Miguel Covarrubias: Drawing a Cosmopolitan Line at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe.  Prior to his appointment at SFUAD, Villela was Eugene V. Thaw Professor of Art History at the College of Santa Fe and was the founding director of the Thaw Art History Center. He writes frequently for publications including New Mexico Magazine, El Palacio, ARTNews, Adobe Airstream, and he has a column in the Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo section. He is the author of Ancient Civilizations of the Americas: Man, Nature, and Spirit in Pre-Columbian Art (Miho Museum, 2011); The Aztec Calendar Stone (with Mary Miller, Getty Publications, 2010); and Contemporary Mexican Architecture and Design (with Ellen Bradbury Reid and Logan Wagner, Gibbs Smith Publications, 2002). He is working on a book on the contributions of the Mexican artist, collector and curator Miguel Covarrubias to Pre-Columbian studies in US and Mexico in the mid-twentieth century. Another book project is the first publication of an album of 1860s photographs, the Souvenir of New Mexico, assembled by a US Army officer in New Mexico Territory. The album includes what may be the first photos of the Navajo, as well as important images of the Navajo captivity at Fort Sumner, NM.

Beili Liu Featured in the 2016 Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, Weaving & We

Mon. October 10, 2016

blue fiber art piece
In September 2016, Hangzhou–an ancient silk and global city–held the second Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art. Once again an international dialogue has been created between disciplines, geographies and people.  The Triennial stages this dialogue from a fiber art’s perspective both chronologically and on a grand scale.

In 2013, the first Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art attracted over 150 thousand visitors and artists from more than 16 countries. For the first time audiences in China had an opportunity to learn about modern fiber art. At the time of the Second Hangzhou Triennial the G20 Summit will take place. Running concurrently, these two international events will run in parallel.  Two global visions converge together with the creative vitality of the art works on display.
The second Triennial has a distinctive theme, “Weaving & We”, a starting point for curators and artists.
“Weaving” is a special practice. It is embedded in narrative. It tells stories that combine a history of textile labor and production with human experience. It tells these stories with raw materials and advanced technology. Technology changes at a fast pace and so too does the perception of weavers around the world, as individuals, groups and regions.
The exhibition has four sections which represent the research of curators. The artists selected echo Weaving & We from a numbers of different positions and perspectives.

Professor Emeritus Paul P. Hatgil Honored with Distinguished Alumnus Award

Sun. October 9, 2016

Professor Emeritus Paul P Hatgil

As a testament to his lifelong dedication to the fine arts, the Massachusetts College of Art is awarding Professor Emeritus Paul P. Hatgil (1950-1985) with the honor of Distinguished Alumnus. The ceremony will take place on November 4, 2016 at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.





Emily Edwards Appointed New Exhibitions and Collections Coordinator at the 9/11 Memorial Museum

Fri. October 7, 2016

Since graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Art History in 2015, Emily Edwards has attended Georgetown University for graduate school and received her master’s degree in Art and Museum Studies in 2016. Checking in with Edwards, we learned that she was recently appointed as the Exhibitions and Collections Coordinator of the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

What follows is the email communication about Edwards' recent career developments.

Emily Edwards; woman in her 20s


You recently finished your master’s degree at Georgetown University. Could you describe your thesis topic and why it was of interest to you? 

My thesis paper was on the progression of inclusivity in the curatorial agenda of the Barnes Foundation. The Barnes is a very unique institution that has a permanent display that hasn’t changed in over 60 years, and only established a temporary exhibition program four years ago. The museum is renowned for its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The temporary exhibitions now focus on highlighting non-Western artists while also concentrating on reaching out to the communities within Philadelphia.
I am very determined to increase the diversity of museum exhibitions and collections. I thought it would be interesting to take an in-depth look at an institution with such strict display regulations and show how it is actively working to address the gaps in its collection. If the Barnes Foundation can move towards a more inclusive curatorial agenda, then hopefully other museums can follow its lead.

What projects will you be working on at the 9/11 Memorial Museum?

As the Exhibitions and Collections Coordinator, my job is to work with the curators of both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions. I will assist with the preparations for upcoming exhibitions, such as procuring loans and creating an installation plan, and will work with the Registrar to construct a rotation schedule for objects on permanent display and ensure that proper storage standards are being adhered. I also will be in charge of the Artists Registry, which is an online initiative where artists submit photos of works they have created in response to the 9/11 attacks. I will look through these entries and curate online exhibitions featuring select submissions.

What kinds of experiences did you have during your undergraduate or graduate careers that led to your appointment at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York?
My internships were vital to the development of my career. My first internship was as a sophomore at UT Austin at the Arc of the Arts, a gallery and studio for artists with learning disabilities. After my junior year, I interned with the Education department at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. During graduate school, I interned at three different places. In the fall, I worked with both the Curatorial and Education department at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. During the spring, I interned at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery with their Exhibitions team. For this past summer, I was a Curatorial intern for the Barnes Foundation.
As for activities, as an undergraduate I participated in the Undergraduate Art History Association. I studied abroad in Italy and was able to see many Western masterpieces. I also was a volunteer at the Blanton Museum.
I know that seems like a hodgepodge of pursuits, but all these experiences taught me valuable lessons, honed my interests and gave me a diverse skillset! I started off college knowing I loved Art History, but had no idea what I wanted to do with that. By getting a taste of different roles and spaces, I was able to figure out what I want to do and where I want to work. My original interest in Education was actually essential in shaping my current passion for Exhibitions. After working with visitors and seeing their reactions to different displays of art, I have a better idea of how to curate more impactful presentations.

What about your work in Art History excites you and keeps you engaged?
I specialize in Contemporary Art, so its history is currently being written! It’s exciting to think that I can play a role in how this time period will be remembered in the canon. This also means I get to work with living artists. I love hearing about their creative process and the intentions behind their practice. It is an important responsibility to translate an artist’s work for the public.

What kinds of experiences initially drew you to Art History at UT?
I was fortunate enough to take AP Art History in high school, which sparked my interest in majoring in the subject. I was drawn to UT because it has a fantastic, top-ranked Art History program. I also liked that UT had all of the resources of a large school, while the program had the intimate class size and access to professors like a small liberal arts college. I also loved having the Blanton Museum right on campus. It has an impressive collection, and nothing compares to being physically present in front of a work of art!  

What advice would you give to incoming or current undergraduate in Art History?
Make the most of your time in undergrad! Talk with your professors, join organizations, visit the Blanton, work as an intern, tour the Landmarks collection, volunteer, take classes in areas you are unfamiliar with, and actively participate in your courses. This university has so many resources for Art History majors that often are underutilized.
I would also advise undergraduates to take the time to explore their career options. The art world has many components and career paths, and both UT and the city of Austin provide you with the opportunity to explore them. For instance, I interned at galleries and museums, which taught me I was more interested in non-profits than commercial art spaces.
Finally, meet with your professors! The Art History program has an incredible faculty. Not only will they help you with your classes, they will also be a source of encouragement, advice, and support. They want to get to know you, develop your strengths, and lead you to a successful career!