This year, the University is celebrating the Year of the Wisconsin Idea. The Wisconsin Idea is the notion that the genius of those at the university is not contained within the University’s borders; UW-Madison students, faculty, staff and alumni affect the lives of others everywhere. The Art Department’s faculty, students, and alumni are strongly contributing to this effort. Locally, alum David Dalhquist and faculty members Aris Georgiades and Gail Simpson are finalists for designing and building a public sculpture in a prime downtown location just outside the new Madison Children’s Museum. Tom Jones and Michael Velliquette both published new books and current graduate student Briony Morrow-Cribbs illustrated two NY Times best-selling books. On an international level, John Hitchcock and print graduate students exhibited at the Venice Biennale over the summer. Our faculty, students and alumni also had a successful year with many high profile exhibitions and national awards. It appears that our department is having a substantial impact on contemporary art practice.
Also noteworthy is the incredible growth the department has seen over the last year. We recently welcomed four new Assistant Professors: Matthew Bakkom (photography), Meg Mitchell (digital media), Leslie Smith III (painting), and Sarah FitzSimons (sculpture). The new faculty have added tremendous energy to the department and are having a large impact on the quality of education we can provide our students. Additionally, Cartoonist Lynda Barry will be in residence in the department for the entire spring semester teaching an innovative writing and picture-making class.
Our facilities and resources have continued to grow as well: The 7th floor gallery is undergoing renovation and the recently opened Chazen museum expansion is spectacular. Come check out the new museum and visit the Art Department galleries while you are here. This coming spring, the Chazen will be hosting an exhibition for an MFA student for the first time.
We are also excited to be searching for a second professor in the Ceramics area. Applications for the new Assistant-Professor position will be accepted until January 6, 2012. Information regarding this position can be found online at: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/pvl/pv_071888.html
It has been an exhilarating year for the Art Department and the momentum is not slowing. We are excited about the prospects for this year and the additions to our department.