Dear Friends and Alumni/ae,
Warm greetings from the Department of Art & Art History.
As we move forward into the new academic year, I want to take a moment to catch you up on our news and alert you to a few upcoming events, most especially our Homecoming Brunch on October 20, where we would be delighted to see all of you. We hope, too, that you will be able to drop in to see our Alumnae Exhibition, a show that marks the 100th anniversary celebrations of co-education at W&M. The exhibition is complemented by a series of speakers, which will conclude our Homecoming Weekend. Later this month (October 25), Distinguished Visiting Artist, Ann Gale, will speak about her paintings and process.
This year, we are very pleased to inaugurate a fully revised Art History concentration with new tracks in Critical Curatorial Studies and Built Environment Studies as well as a core course, the Curatorial Project, in which senior majors will curate an exhibition in the Andrews Gallery. As part of the new curriculum we also plan the first of what will be an annual Art History Student Symposium, an event which will complement our already well-established Studio Senior Exhibition. Again, we hope you will join us this spring at these events.
Of late, our active series of gallery events, exhibitions, and lectures have dovetailed with a number of campus and community initiatives. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of African American students in full residence at William and Mary, we were treated to Dr. Mabel Wilson’s (Columbia University) thought-provoking lecture, presentation, and round table discussion with students, faculty, and friends of the department as well as Steve Prince and Leah Glenn’s collaborative performance, Communal Resurrection. Last year, too, we were able to organize a series of Art and Art History bus trips to view the latest exhibitions at the National Gallery, the Smithsonian, the VMFA and the Chrysler. This semester we will be going to Washington DC. Currently, we are working to make the Art Bus a permanent fixture each semester.
2017-18 was yet another year filled with exciting faculty accomplishments. Among the highlights are Cristina Stancioiu’s tenure and promotion to Associate Professor; Nicole Santiago’s John D. Rockefeller Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence; Mike Jabbur’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) Professional Scholarship award; and Susan Webster’s publication of Lettered Artists and the Languages of Empire: Painters and the Profession in Early Colonial Quito. This year we are looking forward to the publication of Alan Braddock’s Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment (with Karl Kusserow, Princeton University) and to the opening of their eponymous travelling exhibition as well as to the release of Eliot Dudik’s hand-bound books of photographic works, And light followed the flight of sound.
Last academic year wrapped up with our departmental commencement.Congratulations to our students on their many and varied achievements. Our undergraduate class of 2018 included 10 summa cum laude graduates, 3 Phi Beta Kappa recipients, 1 Senior Honors Thesis, and 4 Catron Scholarship awardees. Class of 2018 also held our first Senior Capstone Student Art Exhibition at the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center.
Our department has also suffered a sad loss. I would like to express our profound gratitude to our late anonymous donor, whose generous support has allowed us to initiate The Distinguished Lecturer Series and bring prominent scholars and artists to campus to share their knowledge and expertise with our students and with the wider College community.
Finally, it is with deep appreciation that we recognize our colleague Professor Susan Webster (Jane Williams Mahoney Chair) on her impending retirement. Susan’s passionate and unwavering commitment to her students, our program, and to William and Mary is irreplaceable. We will miss her tremendously, but certainly wish her all the best in her (early) retirement.
We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. Please continue to send in your latest news and whereabouts. We are always delighted to hear from our community of alums, faculty, friends and students.
With all best wishes,
Chair, Department of Art and Art History