Department of Art and Art History



Two of our 2017 graduates, Kyla Dierking (Art History minor, Business Major) and Hannah Lehman (Art History and Politics and Government double major), presented a talk about their work with the Abby Williams Hill Collection at Tacoma Art Museum. Click here for more information.


Honors in  the major:
Katharine Etsell
Hannah Lehman

Henstreet Book Award:
Olivia Sherman

Collins Memorial Library Art Award:
Katharine Etsell

Two AHSS Summer Research Grants have been awarded to Department of Art and Art History majors:

Elayna Caron:  A Study of a Practice
Advisor: Elise Richman

Practice brings stillness to life. Both yoga and painting have acted as personal, grounding practices for millions of people throughout time. Practice has a deep sense of history and is specific to each person. By conducting interviews with various yoga teachers and artists in the pacific northwest I will create paintings in response to each person’s personal practice. 

Andriana Cunningham:  A Study of the Natural World through Sculpture:  Immersion from the Outside In
Advisor:  Michael Johnson

The relationship between art and the natural world is an enduring intersection; in fact, the expression of nature’s awesomeness is something that is observed in the earliest manifestations of art. While the concept of “fine art” has sustained countless changes and radical redefinition, inspiration from nature has been constant in one way or another throughout the time.  What has changed is how we are able to observe and record the fluctuating natural world around us.  This research proposal requests support to observe the natural world through means of drawing, photography and the use of microscopic observations of natural samples in order to make immersive sculptures.  

Joint first prize Winners of the 2017 Art History Research Prize

Kyla Dierking ’17, “Women of the Luncheon: How Renoir Empowered Women through Luncheon of the Boating Party”
Hannah Lehman ’17, “Graffiti of Innocence in the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Use of Children to Manufacture an Alternative Image”



Professor Chad Gunderson, recently assembled and led the panel “Experimentation = Discovery” at the annual conference for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), held in Portland. Watch a video of the talk on YouTube

Professor Kriszta Kotsis, presented a paper titled “Restitution and Restoration: The Patronage of Empress Irene” at the Medieval Association of the Pacific annual meeting, held at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, in March.

Professor Michael Johnson's video Finding Marfa 4, was chosen by Catharina Manchanda, the Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Seattle Art Museum, for the upcoming Bellingham National 2017 at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham. He also has two works currently being shown at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art in Brownsville, Texas.

Professor Elise Richman, Laura Edgar (Abby Williams Hill archives), and Jane Carlin (Collins Memorial Library), were invited speakers at the Council of Independent Colleges Information Fluency in the Disciplines Workshop on the Arts: History, Theory, and Criticism Workshop, held in New Orleans, earlier this month. Their presentation focused on "Using Research Projects to Promote Information Fluency" and highlighted collaborative projects associated with archives, art, and library resources.

Professor Linda Williams, presented the paper “A Sweet Smell and Miracle-Working Toes: A Saintly Friar and Relics in Seventeenth-Century Yucatan” at the annual conference of the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Salt Lake City, earlier this month.

Professor Elise Richman received a 2017 Tacoma Artist Initiative Award in support of the production of a multi-media series that visually explores the notion of a “ripple effect.”  This new work will be exhibited in a Spaceworks Tacoma venue​ in 2018.



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