Offield Travel Fellowship Inaugural Awardees:  Ronda Peck and Kate Threat

Kelsey established the Kelsey Lee Offield Endowment in Art and Art History because she believes that there is no better way of experiencing art than in person. She wanted to create opportunities for Puget Sound art and art history students to travel internationally and spend time in the presence of great works, artists, and curators to gain an emotional and intellectual sense of art and connect with artists and curators and their vision. She hopes that the Kelsey Lee Offield Endowment in Art and Art History will enrich their education and provide a direct experience to develop an eye and understanding of nuances that otherwise go unrecognized.

Kelsey Offield Endowment in Art and Art History MOU

Kelsey Offield ’06, Art History Major, Photo Credit: Bryan Bernart

Alumna Kelsey Offield’s vision for the Offield Endowment in AAH has come to life! Two AAH students, Ronda Peck ’19, Ceramics and Kate Threat, ’20, Art History were the inaugural recipients of the annual Offield Endowment Travel Fellowship. Each awardee was selected from a competitive pool of applicants, writing compelling proposals that addressed how their educations at Puget Sound and beyond would be significantly enriched by international encounters with particular artworks and collections.

Ronda Peck

Ronda and her son Ben, Photo Credit: Charlotte Fron

Ronda visited Berlin over spring recess last year and visited an astonishing 12 museums as well as multiple galleries. She was in the midst of completing her senior art thesis, so this opportunity to “saturate” herself in art came at a pivotal and poignant time.

Brandenburg Gate, Photo Credit: Ronda Peck

Ronda presenting on her Offield Travel Fellowship, May 2, 2020

Two museums were particularly meaningful to her, Die Brucke and the Kathe Kollwitz Museum. These museums facilitated her deep, “emotional and intellectual sense of art” while allowing her to “connect with artists and curators and their vision.”

Ronda was particularly struck at Die Brucke Museum by the importance of artistic communities in shaping each artist’s particular practice, vision, and sustenance on multiple levels. While witnessing the work of a group of artists at Die Brucke Museum who had been labeled “degenerate” by the Nazis, Ronda became aware of the profound role fellow artists play in one another’s lives:

I… realized that participation in a community surrounded by brilliant artists is vital to my own survival. There was a saying that I created while I was in Berlin, and kept repeating it over and over in my head. It was, “without you there is no me and there wouldn’t be a we”

Ronda also found the first-hand experience of Kathe Kollwitz’s work to be incredibly powerful, stating that while “…observing her work, I could sense the profound connection of her inspiration and a force that was so strong and powerful that I started to have my own personal awakening.”

Outside the Kathe Kollwitz Museum, Photo Credit: Ronda Peck

Awakening, inspiration, and insight infused Ronda’s trip to Berlin and will continue to fuel her journey as she pursues her practice as an artist. Ronda is currently earning her MFA and continuing to expand her community of artists and deepening her own artistic vision. She is busy developing her artwork, building her pedagogical skills, and building relationships with artists from across the country.

Ampelmännchen on display in Berlin, Photo Credit: Ronda Peck

Kate Threat

Kate Threat outside Buckingham Palace in London

Art history major Kate Threat visited London with the primary intention of exploring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and returned transformed, with revised ideas about not only her thesis but how art partakes in “global conversations” about power and representation and tells sweeping stories about culture and conquest.

Kate Threat presenting on her 2019 Offield Travel Fellowship, February 24, 2020

One of the powerful reasons for visiting art in person is that you never know how it will affect you until you stand before it. Kate found that the affecting presence of one historical painting, in particular, was further enhanced by being in the city where the event that it represents took place. While not usually a fan of grand historical paintings, Kate couldn’t take her eyes off of Paul Delaroche’s Execution of Lady Jane Grey. Partly this was due to its monumental scale and vivid imagery but she also found it “very moving” to see it in the place where the drama took place. Kate had previously visited the Tower of London, the scene of Lady Jane Grey’s execution.

Paul Delaroche, Oil on canvas, 97 x 117 inches, 1833, National Gallery, London (Wikimedia)

The Tower of London, Photo Credit: Kate Threat

Kate also found herself in spending hours experiencing JMW Turner’s paintings at the Tate Modern. She spent hours at this museum, which owns the majority of his works until she couldn’t stay any longer as the museum was closing for the day! She left suspecting that his work may “work its way into her thesis.”

Three Turner paintings at the Tate Modern, Photo Credit: Kate Threat

It was at the British Museum where context and framing became a primary focus as Kate encountered wall text and approaches to the placement and display of artwork that brought the “vastness” of the British empire to life. The quote below said a great deal about how art factors into “big broad story of war and conquest” and how museums can contextualize their own practices self-serving biases.

The British Museum, Photo Credit: Kate Threat

Kate’s visit to London facilitated seeing how museums share and/or obfuscate cultural traditions. She encountered a resounding example of cultural obfuscation in the basement of the British Museum where African Art was sequestered in a “so, so, so, so dark” space, displayed without a sense of continuity in terms of “time, place, or tradition.”

Seeing art in multiple museum contexts while in London has inspired Kate to use her voice as an art history major to join the “global conversation” about art’s role in broadening cultural understandings in ways that promote fuller frameworks and more inclusive contexts.

Kate and Ronda’s transformative experiences are a testament to the powerful positive impact donor-supported endowments like the Kelsey Lee Offield Endowment in Art and Art History provide. Such support fosters indispensable experiential learning opportunities for Puget Sound students that complement and enhance their educations at Puget Sound in deeply meaningful ways.

Spaceship? Earthship? Compost bin?

Eric Short, Michael Fortenberry, Yosh Saka

Last month the Art and Art History Department hosted Chism Scholar and Living Art Resident, Alix Henry. Alix Henry is an internationally recognized architect and environmentalist known for her cutting edge research and development in the field of sustainable architecture. Alix has been actively involved in the building of “Earthships” both here and abroad for more than 20 years. Earthships are off-the-grid homes constructed with recycled and renewable materials that use passive solar for heating and energy and contain an in-house ecosystem that allows the treatment and recycling of both greywater and blackwater. She is often the architect of record for many Earthship projects in and around Taos, NM.

In 1996, Alix Henry built her own Earthship where she and her family reside. Her international outreach includes being a principal participant demonstrating hurricane-resistant Earthship construction in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in response to Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the entire country.

Here at the University of Puget Sound, students from across campus worked together with Alix to build a new sustainable compost bin for the community garden. The project started months earlier when Alix Henry and Professor Michael Johnson began discussing the planned residency. Should we design and build a rain catch system? Should we build a gathering space showcasing Earthship building techniques? Then Professor Johnson was talking with one of his sculpture students, Liv Turner Sage ’20, about the upcoming residency – she mentioned the need for a new compost bin in the Community Garden. That was it!
We will build a new compost bin that students will be using for years to come.

This was a project that brought together a number of groups across campus, as well as local businesses: the Garden Club Members endorsed the project; Sustainability Services provided cardboard and aluminum cans as a building material; Facility Services helped deliver dirt and provided some much-needed tools; Les Schwab on 6th Ave. donated used tires; Students from across campus came together to build the structure.

Other activities Alix was involved with were meeting with Professors Rachel DeMotts and Peter Hodum in the EPDM Program, screening the film Garbage Warrior (the story of Mike Reynolds and the birth of the Earthship movement), and finally the inaugural 2019 Art + Sci Salon event where Professor Johnson and Alix Henry sat down to discuss her and her family’s quest to live off the grid by spending 10 years building their own Earthship in Taos, NM.

It was a great week filled with sustainable adventures!

Donated tires from Les Schwab

Willa Bartholomay

Michael Fortenberry, Ethan McKeague, Jill La Ferta

Alea Hart, Alox Henry, Michael Fortenberry

Liv Turner Sage

Sam Furmanski, Janelle Sopko, Alix Henry

Art History Field Trip to Los Angeles

LACMA, with Chris Burden’s Urban Light

Nine art history majors and two art history professors traveled to Los Angeles on March 28-30, 2019 on a whirlwind tour of museums, which included: the Getty Center, the Wende Museum of the Cold War, the Hammer Museum affiliated with UCLA, the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), and The Broad.

Getty Center

Getty Center

Orazio Gentlieschi’s Danaë in the background, Getty Center

The intense trip encompassed art from a broad range of traditions from the ancient Mediterranean to contemporary Chinese art, the mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros, America Tropical at Olvera Street, and a visit with an art history alumna who now works as a museum professional.

Olvera Street, in front of Siquerios’ América Tropical

For many students, this was the first visit to Los Angeles, and they found the trip inspirational and fully immersive.  Tatyana Dunn ‘20 states that, “having never been to LA before, I wasn’t sure what we would get to see, but I can honestly say the trip exceeded my expectations. … The sheer size of the Getty, LACMA, and Broad Museums was astonishing, and it was amazing to get to wander through their diverse exhibits.  Overall, I’d have to say that the Getty was my favorite by far, as we not only got to see a number of classic pieces, but also had an amazing lunch and time to roam through the stunning gardens.  However, my favorite paintings were the 19th century landscapes by Pissarro in the LACMA.  All in all, I am so grateful to have had the chance to go on this field trip, and share it with such a wonderful group of people.”

tram to Getty Center

tram to Getty Center

Sarah Johnson ‘19 describes the trip as a high point of her undergraduate education; she notes the importance of spending time in a learning community and highlights the valuable experience of meeting an alumna who works in the field: “the Art History Department trip to Los Angeles was absolutely a highlight of my undergraduate studies here at the University of Puget Sound.  Not only was it fun and engaging, but we also got to spend time with one another in the department and bond over our common interests and not feel burdened by financial costs for the trip. My favorite part of the trip was getting to meet Chloe [Ginnegar ‘17], a former Art History student at UPS, and learn about her position at the Wende Museum and tour their collection.  This trip was a privilege, and I am so appreciative of the community and the generosity that we have here within our department.”

Wende Museum of the Cold War

Professors Williams & Kotsis with Chloe Ginnegar ’17, Wende Museum of the Cold War

Students with Chloe Ginnegar ’17, Communications and Administrative Manager on far right (in orange) at the Wende Museum of the Cold War

Mary Thompson ’19 and Ayse Hunt ’19 both valued the opportunity to explore museums.  Mary notes: “it is not often that I get to roam museums with others who enjoy the art in the same way I do;” and Ayse explains that, “as someone who is interested in museum studies, this trip was a fantastic opportunity to experience some of the leading institutions in the country.  Going to more than one museum a day provided a chance to compare and contrast the way they each approached educational content and organization.”

In front of Moreau’s Salome at the Hammer Museum

Both Mary and Ayse found the discussion in front of a Moreau painting a memorable experience: “… we sat together on the floor of the Hammer in front of Salome Dancing before Herod by Gustave Moreau and discussing the implications of gender, culture, and fantasy until the gallery hosts (kindly!) kicked us out.  I was reminded why I love what I study, and of the excitement I have to pursue my career in the field in the coming months,” notes Mary.  Ayse explains that, “one of my favorite parts of the trip was when the group gathered around Moreau’s Salome at the Hammer.  Professors Williams and Kotsis lead an impromptu mini-lecture and discussion about the work and its portrayal of women. In many of our discussions, we drew on topics that we had covered in previous classes together, and it was so cool to apply that knowledge in the context of the museum, often in front of the works themselves.”

Lenna Soifer ‘19 also describes this field trip as a highlight of her studies at Puget Sound.  She explains that, “the combination of the museums and galleries we were able to visit along with the curiosity of my peers and the support of my professors gave me a mini glimpse into my future. … I was completely moved and energized by our final stop at The Broad.

David Hammons: Injustice Case, at Soul of a Nation, The Broad

Barkley Hendricks: What’s Going On, at Soul of a Nation, The Broad

The exhibition we visited featured the work of black artists of modern American history that told a story of passion, resilience, and the universality of art. Having just spent several days analyzing various types of art related spaces, I felt in tune to the intentionality of the curators and had the tools to think critically and creatively about the art that was presented. I feel so lucky to be part of a program which values experiential learning and pushes the students to be engaged with their chosen field beyond the classroom.”

At Hammer Museum

Dinner at TLT Food

SAM Curator Participates in Living Art Series

Carrie Dedon, Assistant Curator of the Seattle Art Museum participated in a Living Art short term residency in our department on March 11-13, 2019.  A specialist in contemporary art, Dedon gave talks in several studio art and art history courses, held individual meetings with art history majors to talk about career prospects, and conducted critiques with studio art seniors in preparation for their upcoming senior show.  Her public lecture, held on March 12 in Kittredge Gallery, addressed contemporary curatorial practices of the Seattle Art Museum by focusing on two exhibitions, Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas, and Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer, on view till May 12, 2019.  Dedon’s talk explored how the museum creates its own exhibitions, like Figuring History, and how it approaches the display of exhibitions organized by other institutions, such as Like a Hammer.  She emphasized the importance of displaying the work of artists of color in order to highlight questions regarding who has the power and authority to write history, and who is represented in history.  These are particularly pertinent issues given the Euro-centric canon of art history and the colonial legacy of art museums.

Figuring History exhibition, Seattle Art Museum

Carrie Dedon, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum

A Year in the Life of Alumna Gloria Treseder ’08

Making the most of a one-year Masters in Canterbury

This past year I began and completed a Masters of Fine Art Program at University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury, Kent. I had been working as a Montessori Teacher in Northern California when I was hit by a car while on my bike, and suffered from head injuries affecting my “working memory” – particularly words and names. Rediscovering my somewhat dormant “artist self” became the most vital means for me to swim through this exhausting mental fog into a new clarity, to exist again in realities beyond words – paint, texture, form, color, and feeling – things I had largely put aside to focus on a career working with children.

Canterbury — just an hour’s train from all London has to offer – seemed to be the perfect fresh start to my artistic rediscovery.

Though my art was initially unresolved, I did know two things: 1. My work would explore the dynamic between humans and nature and 2. I wanted to expand into the wider community beyond the university. I began to explore the woodlands and natural places in the Canterbury radius and put together a few applications to various community-based art opportunities…

Fall Experiments, Leaves

Fall Experiments, Tree Weave

October – December

Internship at the Lilford Gallery 

I convinced the owner of a Lilford Gallery, a commercial gallery showing the likes of Banksy and Thrsty Bstrd, to give me an internship.

Image credit: Lilford gallery webpage


Cheriton Light Festival interactive light sculpture commission

Installing the balloon shaped forms

The first commission I completed was for a light festival in Cheriton – a low-key working-class community along the Channel, whose claim to fame is their biannual light festival which draws artists and visitors from all over England. I collaborated remotely with my dad, an engineer, to design the wiring for a light sculpture that would undulate at random two lights at a time at 12 different points. In addition, they would all light up brightly together when someone clapped their hands.

I visited the 5th-year class a few blocks from where it would be installed and asked children there to answer questions about their present loves and future dreams. The answers were worked into translucent balloon-shaped forms attached to a welded steel base, which in turn was attached to the top of a large tree stump. The festival landed on the coldest, windiest weekend of the year, but in spite of that, thousands of people came to enjoy the artwork, many clapping their hands to illuminate the aspirational words of children.  A bit of hope in a less than hopeful time.

Installation during the festival


MA Interim Show: Mixed-media Installation

My fellow masters candidates and I created work scattered around the port town of Folkestone. I made an installation in the remnants of the historic Custom’s House, based on an on-going obsession with the coppiced trees in the Blean Woods — a managed woodland near my house in Canterbury. Coppicing is a centuries-old timber harvesting practice in the UK and other European countries that preserves the root-base, cutting stems every decade, to create a permanently-altered shrub-like stance to the trees.

My concept for this show was an imagining of the original tree energy, depicted like glossy, umbilical-chord-like sap veins extending upwards to the rafters of the building. A black and white video of the bottom half of a coppiced chestnut tree played in a loop, matched up with the bottom half of the sculpture.

December – May

Traveller’s Joy! Mural on Canterbury East Rail Footbridge. 

In November 2017,  I submitted a proposal for an open call by the City Council to design and implement a mural.  The mural would enhance the four walls abutting an historic, but rather dismal, graffiti-covered footbridge leading to the East Rail Station.

My proposal centered on the Kent native flower clematis vitalbi, also known as Travellers Joy, which grows prolifically in flowering tangles along pathways and railways. Each of the four walls depicted this plant in each of the four seasons. To add an imaginative element, I sprinkled silhouettes of tiny children in various playful interactions with the plant and included four hidden Canterbury literary references: Rupert Bear, David Copperfield, The Canterbury Pilgrims, and Sherlock Holmes with Doctor Watson (hiding at the rail station from Professor Moriarty).

I was there every day, 10-14 hours each day, 2.5 weeks. Over that time, I had arranged for a total of 9 volunteers to assist with various tasks and paint filling.

In the midst of the project, just days before our deadline, the elderly woman living right by the bridge, who was our constant support and inspiration, passed away in her sleep. She loved animals and had earlier asked if I would paint a robin, so in her memory, I put a robin on the winter wall – just the spot on the wall she would have been able to see from her living room window. Those last few days were very bittersweet, as she refused to see the mural progress until it was all finished, so after living for 30 years by a graffitied bridge, she never saw the joyful transformation.

The Mayor of Canterbury, my volunteers, members of the community, and a few reporters attended the unveiling. Also, that day, families were invited to paint flowers on the wall leading to the bridge, and a number of the children in my neighborhood came and were very happy to have added something permanent to a historic place in their city. Everyone in the neighborhood who had anything to say about it (which I feel was everybody), insisted it would get graffitied over within a week. I held up faith in the morality of ‘street artists,’ and as of August, before I left England, only one silver spray-paint scribble nestled in the silvery-blue colors of the winter wall. I take that as approval from the tagging community!


Whitstable Biennale: Outdoor Installation of 8 haikus about water

For the Whitstable Biennale, I proposed to use haiku’s in a contemplative, and at times amusing, work of discovery along the seafront, used primarily for oyster fishing. The process of quietly busing to the town on a foggy morning, fixing the disks to the posts with wire, and documenting the way they wiggled and waved in the wind, was a calming, therapeutic process I enjoyed very much. Even better was documenting the damage and wear they had after two weeks outside. One only had the tiniest of bird droppings while another was completely torn from its wires and dashed into several shredded pieces down along the rocks. I LOVE that! Luckily, one of the poems with little damage was written by a punk musician from King Blues, Jonny “Itch” Fox, and I was able to gift it to him in person at one of the London metro stations.


Spirit Levels: An Exhibition Under Construction. Mixed media group exhibit.

Exhibit put on with two other studio mates and two student curators in a former brewery. We installed scaffolding around the place and used it as skeletal structures, like a playground for our very different work to interact with each other. I used this show as a chance to both show my botanical-style root and rope drawings but to also experiment with found objects – rotting dirty rope, planters, and roots found in community garden compost heaps! It’s very satisfying to bring dirt into a white-walled gallery.  The charcoal mural I did in one corner was a bit of an experiment leading to the charcoal wall rubbings I did for my thesis installation.


UCA MA Thesis Show: Mixed Media. 9 different MA programs showing in the entire campus.

I negotiated for my space to be in the warehouse-like gallery because it was the only space with a view of trees and a high enough ceiling. My work was a mixed-media installation of film, fabric, and natural materials sourced from the woods where I was working and filming over three months. It focused on a single sweet chestnut tree in the Blean Woods, one of the hundreds that are coppiced on decade-long cycles.

It was an imagining of its energy – escaped or stunted, and explored a personal nature-human dynamic. Also influencing its tone was the timing of the three months coincided with a traumatic incident of severing in my personal life…. which is explored in the two films. I created an environment in a three-walled section of the gallery. The walls opposite each other each had a 12-minute film loop projected on charcoal and plaster textured walls. Each was paired with a bedsheet half upon which I did various charcoal and dirt rubbings. The central wall was an expressionistic layered charcoal mural. I transcribed an hour-long interview with a man of spiritual significance about tree energy and wood burned his words onto a wooden panel at the farthest edge of the installation. Charcoal dust and stumps, woodchips, dirt, leaves, moss, etc., were included along the edges of the walls in particular ways.


Trekked through Scotland!

October – present


I am in Texas now, with a six-month window to work on my personal art projects, be involved in the local mural and arts scene, and apply for future opportunities – hopefully ones that can bring me back to the UK. I’m more than ever obsessed with trees, and the storage and flow of energy. Here in Texas, I’m focusing primarily on the honey mesquite, which grow like frozen drunk revelers! They can have taproots that grow 150 feet deep…!

Searching for Home with Artist Humaira Abid

Humaira Abid working in her studio, 2016

Local sculptor, Humaira Abid participated in a week-long residency in our department in October 2018.  Abid grew up and was educated in Pakistan, where she earned her BFA with honors at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan.  Abid lives in the greater Seattle metropolitan area and serves as an instructor at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.  During her residency, Abid visited eight classes which included Studio Art, Art History, and Gender and Queer Studies courses; engaged in an interview featured in The Trail [see image below], gave a public lecture on her most recent body of work, conducted more than a dozen individual critiques with students, and more.

Abid’s work engages with themes of immigration as well as important women’s issues (such as miscarriage, violence against women and girls, motherhood, and taboos around the female body).  She is greatly committed to asking questions and drawing attention to subjects that are rarely discussed.  The Department of Art and Art History timed her visit to campus in order to continue engagement with a vital thread of the Race and Pedagogy National Conference held on our campus in September 2018, namely the topic of immigration.

Fragments of Home Left Behind, plaster-treated wall and framed miniature portraits, installation shot from Searching for Home, Bellevue Art Museum, 2017-2018

Students found Abid’s visit intellectually stimulating and transformational, as they explain below.

Elayna Caron, studio art major explains that an individual critique with Abid impacted her work significantly: “I found it incredibly stimulating to have a fresh set of eyes on my work and Humaira was able to connect with me after just a few moments of seeing my work. Meeting with her has helped me solidify my ideas for my senior thesis. She gave critical feedback and has helped me immensely to move forward with my art. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to get feedback from her and our conversation has totally changed the direction of my art.” Another studio art major, Ronda Peck observes that her “… experience with Humaira was very insightful and very inspiring.” Peck explains that: “When I talked with her one on one, she gave me nurturing and comforting advice on my work.  She gave me ideas to make my work stronger and more meaningful.  She said, ‘start a conversation about something.’  I asked her about her studio space and if she had any particular ritualistic behaviors or unique methods on how she approaches her work.  She commented that her studio is a ‘comfortable space’” where she can both work and relax.

Engaging in individual critiques with senior studio art majors

Engaging in individual critiques with senior studio art majors

Art history major Sarah Johnson noted that: “I feel very lucky to have had the chance to learn about her art and life experiences first-hand in her class presentation,” while another art history major, Mary Thompson, praised her participation in an art history course, “…the pieces she shared with the class pertained to other common themes in Abid’s work such as menstruation, puberty, and miscarriages, and exhibited her attention to detail in storytelling through her art, research as well as reflection, and extreme skill and passion for her work. I found it crucial to hear these stories of womanhood that are universal yet often taboo to discuss be told by a non-Western female artist. Abid’s presentation and artworks remind and emphasize that, though experienced on various levels of intensity, women’s issues are of concern everywhere and those stories must be shared.”

Ayse Hunt explained that Abid’s work resonated with her as a double major in art history and computer science particularly because computer science is such a male dominated field: “… it was clear that Abid is very interested in examining the societal pressures women face in different contexts, but particularly those related to the physicality of women’s experiences in the world. It was inspiring to hear Abid speak about how she recognized areas that were restricted to her because she was a woman, such as woodworking, and how she purposely set out to excel in those same areas.”

Public Lecture, University of Puget Sound

Clearly, Humaira Abid and her work have resonated strongly with students in our department. Yet, her residency enriched not only students but also members of the faculty and the Puget Sound community with deep exposure to the work of an acclaimed contemporary artist; her intensive residency offered ample opportunities to learn from an internationally renowned female artist who bridges the cultural divide between East and West.

Mary Farrell visits University of Puget Sound

Mary Farrell, Professor of Art at Gonzaga University visited the University of Puget Sound in September to 2018, where she lectured, worked with students and developed lithographs.

Photo credit: David Smith

A. Mary Farrell’s Direct Plate Intaglio Workshop

Elayna Caron:
Arts 281 was lucky enough to have professor and artist Mary Farrell come and do a workshop with our class. Mary started the workshop by showing us some of her prints and discussing her process. It was helpful to see sketches and primary ideas on how her work came to be. After showing some work we came together as a class and Mary showed us drypoint techniques. Drypoint is when one works directly onto a copper plate with tools, with no ground. The technique is very direct and intense. There were a few tools that I was drawn to initially. The first tool was the mezzotint rocker. The rocker creates plate tone in specific areas; it is very exhausting because you have to rock back and forth in all directions on the plate two times, yet you get a beautiful dark area in the area that was rocked. Another tool that Mary demonstrated that I was very drawn is the roulette. The roulette has a head that spins and creates a charcoal-like mark on the plate. As a person who works primarily in paint and charcoal, this technique was very liberating. As a class, we created a test plate where we all got to make a mark on the plate and Mary showed us how to print it. Overall it was a very exciting experience to learn from Mary and to be able to examine her work and her process.

B. Mary Farrell’s Art/Sci Lecture

In Farrell’s public lecture, she discussed SOIL MADE VISIBLE, a collaborative project undertaken with her sister Pat Farrell, Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Mary Farrell’s description of Soil Made Visible

Soil, though silent, is vigorous, vivacious and alive as it nurtures seeds to germination, incubates microbes, changes its parent, and swims and swarms with life. The goal of this art-science collaboration is to make soil visible. We are a pair of blood sisters, a soil geographer and an artist. As we talked about the living, breathing, corporeal nature of soil, we became intrigued with the idea of burying a canvas to, quite simply, let soil make art. To us, soil seemed the perfect metaphor for exploring the underside of our sibling relationships. Drawn to the intimate association between soil and roots, and the important role root structures have played in Mary’s artwork, we chose to plant a root image below the surface.

We began our inquiry by carving and printing an image of a root on seven panels of wood, then burying the blocks of wood in the backyard soils of our seven siblings, who are spread across the United States. We imagined the root as the familial umbilical cord, connecting the siblings to the Kentucky earth from which we seven originated. We liked the idea of the continuous root system becoming disjointed as separate pieces from the same family lineage spread across the continent, earthed in various grounds. We left the wood panels in the ground for two years, then exhumed the panels and printed them again.

Students responses to Farrell’s lecture and related activities:

Lauren Zinkan:
Throughout Mary’s lecture, the audience is exposed to the different effects soil from around the nation has on a piece of pine. We see that the various locations the pine is buried has a different effect on the plank buried. Mary draws a parallel between this and the lives of her siblings. While they may all be similar in root, where they choose to live alters the course of their lives. This resonates with me because although we all start in one place, the universe affects us all differently and by the time we are “pulled out of the earth” we are completely different people who sometimes don’t even resemble who we once were. Furthermore, the process of creating this piece is a game of waiting. Other than the act of carving the initial root, burying, and printing, Mary did not play a role in the outcome of this project, she left that for the soil to do. Similarly, besides reacting to what is around us, we don’t play a huge role in the outcome of ourselves, but simply wait and see what we become. Although this piece is centered around family, I think we can look at it with a broader perspective and acknowledge that we are all just a plank seeing what effect the world will have on us.

Emery Bradlina:
One of the most salient relationships that Mary Farrell’s work captures so well is that between earth and human. During the time that we spent with her in class as well as hearing her present on her collaborative project, it was made clear that this relationship provides her a tremendous amount of inspiration. In her work that she showed us in the classroom, she explored this relationship by combining a topographic pattern and skin patterns that emulated one another. I saw her lecture as the most striking exploration of this relationship as the multidisciplinary approach allowed for the direct contact of man-made and natural. She stated that through the process, she found that what started as a study of soil became a study of the relationship between the “domestic and the natural.”

Her lecture opened with a thought-provoking anecdote about the number of microbes in a handful of dirt exceeding the number of humans on the planet. From the beginning, she emphasized the power that the soil held in the eventual outcomes of the project. Although there was control to begin with in the crafting of the blocks, in the end, what came of the prints was unplanned and dictated by the earth it was immersed in. I thought there was an interesting conceptual parallel to this loss of control and printmaking in general. When printing, even though you can partially anticipate how the final works will come out by looking at the matrix, the printing process will yield slightly unplanned variations each time. Farrell’s work in this project embraces the power of the unplanned in order to produce a beautiful, rudimentary representation of time and decay.

Emma Lundquist:
Seeing Mary Farrell’s fourteen-foot long print was much more influential than I was anticipating. After watching her work and observing her other smaller prints, I thought I had a fairly good grasp on the overall themes and techniques she uses in her art. I was not prepared for the enormous project, both in length and time, to be quite so effective. Her use of nature and change to reconcile her own emotions regarding her family was so beautiful and astonishing to me. Farrell spoke about her daughter leaving for college and coming to terms with that departure with the series of birds’ nests in her prints; the thematic presence of these in her current work to me means continuously understanding and healing as birds must remake their homes. Family is obviously a core concept in her art and I was grateful to hear about her relationships with her siblings, especially her sister and collaborator Pat. It reminded me of my mother and her seven siblings all spread out from Indiana to Idaho.

Coming from a close family of artists, I constantly struggle with wanting to emulate them in my art and to have my own growth separate from them. To hear Farrell include them in her prints in their particular roles made me want to collaborate with them as I hadn’t before. I tend to be a bit territorial about my art, and it was really encouraging to see how I could still do my own thing but share it with my family. Sitting there listening to her talk about her siblings with fond exasperation made me miss my family so much my chest hurt; it made me want to span the gaps between all of us in the same tangible way. Farrell’s significance of carving the soft wood and burying it for two years is matched by the labor of reclaiming and reprinting the pieces to find they all still connect.

C. Mary Farrell’s production of lithographs

Photo credit: David Smith

Photo credit: David Smith

Professor of Printmaking, Janet Marcavage:

In collaboration with Professor of Printmaking, Janet Marcavage, and Intermediate Printmaking students, Mary Farrell produced two stone lithographs. Mary primarily works with etching and relief processes, yet was interested in the opportunity to create lithographs at Puget Sound. Stone lithography is a process that is over 200 years old, whereby a drawing is made on limestone with a greasy material. It is then etched with gum arabic and acid, which makes certain areas of the stone attractive to grease and other areas attractive to water, allowing for an image to be printed with many tones and autographic qualities.

Nests and root structures are a common subject in Mary Farrell’s work. During her visit, Mary explained that she began to work with nests as symbolic of her relationship with her daughter and the sense of home. During her visit here at Puget Sound, Mary borrowed three nests from the Slater Museum of Natural History. After sketching from these nests, Mary ultimately decided to focus on one small nest that held great elements of line and gesture, qualities that Mary seeks and responds to beautifully in her work.

Photo credit: David Smith

Photo credit: David Smith

Lab assistants Izzy Lidsky and Harper Shapiro prepared two litho stones in advance, graining them down to a smooth, even, grease-free surface. After sketching on paper, Mary drew on the stones, then they were etched and printed during the latter part of Mary’s stay. Stone lithography is a rigorous process with many steps. Students Izzy Lidsky, David Smith, Hunter Loftus, and Harper Shapiro collaborated with Mary Farrell and Janet Marcavage in etching and printing the stones. The lovely form, marks, and gesture that Mary drew on the stone came forth in the final prints. It was a satisfying collaboration.

Photo credit: David Smith

Photo credit: David Smith

Study Abroad in Roma!

Last spring, eight intrepid, imaginative students engaged in a Connections class, Rome:  Sketchbooks and Space Studies that combined scholarly research and studio practices, culminating in a three-week trip to Rome from May 14-June 4, 2018.  Below are brief yet vivid reflections on a transformative trip full of memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Each student also provided a photo that represented a meaningful moment in Rome.   Also included are photos of each student in their studio at the University of Washington’s Rome Center.

CONN 370 Students










Justine Jones

Justine Jones

The picture below is one of the happiest memories I have of Rome because it was a morning when Max, Rebecca and I woke up early to get breakfast, sit on a stoop, and paint the buildings around us. This image just captures how inspiring Rome was and also how the three of us bonded from living together.

I got the wonderful opportunity to meet and build relationships with people I may not have otherwise done without the trip to Rome. Studying abroad allowed me to separate myself from a comfortable environment where I knew everyone and really let me experience Rome and create new, genuine, friendships. Having studio time while in Rome was incredible. I was able to be surrounded by historic art every moment and I felt like that really charged my creative nature to create something of my own.


Max Forgan

Max Forgan

One of the most memorable moments of the Rome trip took place at the Villa d’Este. The mystical environment helped my imagination run free in a way I had only been able to experience as a child; ultimately serving as a testament to how powerful art can be. The group’s dynamic of looking out for each other is only explicable by a sense of inclusion, acceptance, and open-mindedness brought-on by such unique personalities. This translated through activities like communal dinners and especially when it came time to practice in the studio. By being around dedicated artists, I was able to garner honest feedback which helped me leap out of my comfort zone and apply techniques with which I was not yet comfortable. The end product was a reflection of many hours and risks made possible by learning through experience.

Elayna Caron

Elayna Caron

My experience in Rome was three of the best weeks of my life.  I tried to allow whatever experience that was destined to happen, happen. There is no better way to get to know a group of people than being thrown out of your comfort zone, into a country halfway across the world, in a new culture, and new space. Rome was a sensation overload, with smells of jasmine following you everywhere we went, the lingering taste of gelato, the sounds of drunk voices, and the golden light casting its shadows on each evening. We had the privilege of creating art while we were in Italy, I used this change of scene to break out of my medium and try new kinds of art making including the use of acrylic paint. I was inspired by the textures of the city and the raw vulnerability of contemporary art being created in Rome. I will never forget this experience.



Ian Chandler

Ian Chandler

Rome allowed me to experience a contrast between thinking as a professional and student artist. It was as if I were in an art residency, in a truly amazing place I’d never been before. The experience strengthened my personal goals as an artist and my connection to the UPS and larger art community.  My studio practice allowed me to experiment with texture and space in a new light. After seeing so much antiquity and classical art, my entire scope shifted and I was able to reflect on myself and my intentions as an artist on a new plane.


Walker Hewitt

Walker Hewitt

Going abroad is difficult, you are thrown out of your comfort zone.  However, doing this in a group fostered trust and a dynamic that is unique to just us. It was a privilege to be so close to everyone on the trip, they were so respectful and helpful and goofy and light-hearted and positive even when things were tough. I’m so grateful for all the time we spent together especially in group outings and communal dinners and games and art-making.

The studio time was an excellent culmination to the experience, it gave us time and space to be in our own heads and reflect on the trip as a whole, and encouraged us to savor the last moments of it all. I worked on a painting that included some of the most memorable, interesting and visually captivating subjects I had come across in Rome. It was a collage of images that I had collected throughout the trip and acted as a meditation on everything I had seen or done.



Rebecca Heald

Rebecca Heald

The image below is one taken of Walker and others whom I do not know from within the exhibit, “Take Me, I’m Yours” at the Villa Medici. Quite literally in this exhibit, but also in many museums and places we went and experienced throughout the three weeks, we were allowed, if not encouraged, to take, touch, and interact with art and space in a way that is quite different, if not inexistent in the United States.

When experiencing another culture, especially for the first time, having people beside you with similar intent is powerful because everything our group did together was amplified simply by being in the presence of one another. Living in close quarters with the same initial, directional confusion allowed us to find comfort in knowing that we were all clueless, yet curious to discover and excited to share what we discovered.

My studio practice was a jumble of sorts at the beginning for everything that I absorbed up to that point seemed worthy of translating into some form of tangible reflection. As I pressed on, however, studio time allowed me to reflect as I experienced – a practice that helped shape and formulate thoughts, places, and days.



Kiri Bolles

Kiri Bolles

The photo below is from a long walk back to our apartment some of us took along the Tiber. We saw locals fishing for eels and enjoyed the evening light on the water.

Being abroad with this group worked really well. There weren’t too many of us and since we were all in the same apartment building we were able to have community dinners almost every night.

I loved doing little watercolor landscapes throughout the trip when we visited different locations. Even though I did something unrelated for my studio work, the highlight for me was the opportunities to do some plein air painting.



Anj Cunningham

Anj Cunningham

The photo below may seem like a strange photograph to have chosen, however, for me, it represents motion, transformation, and general intensity, all words I would use to describe my understanding of Rome. This is a photograph of the biggest fountain at the Villa d’Este in Tivoli. We learned that this fountain had been transformed into an extravagant centerpiece during the 1930s after Bernini’s original fountain was dilapidated beyond repair. This, to me, was both an amazing vision of how water acts, and a profound example of the reinvention and dramatization of something from the past.

During the time that we were in Rome, we were all able to see various examples of how the past had and has been invented, reinvented, destroyed, enhanced and generally the way things have changed. Being in this group allowed everyone to comprehend these observations all in very different and profound ways. We were able to share ideas, thoughts, and realizations as we traveled through the rich timeline that is Rome.

This community allowed for the studio time to be productive for some and overwhelming for others. It was quite a task to begin to work through and reflect on the fast-paced experience we had all taken part in. The studio served as a reminder that although time moves with the same rhythm and terrifying pace of water (like the fountain in the photograph) we always have the ability to create a kind of sanctuary for contemplation, understanding and, if appropriate, work.


Celebration and Commencement

Celebration and Commencement

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his [her/their] vision wherever it takes him [her/them].  We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.                                                                             -John F. Kennedy

These wise words were part of JFK’s commencement speech at Amherst College in 1963.  They were uttered in this season of transition, of closing one chapter and commencing the next. Members of the Department of Art and Art History would like to commend our senior art and art history graduates who are setting off to nourish the roots of our culture and society.

Above photos, Senior Show opening reception, receiving cords and awards. Photo Credit:  Jessica Leech

This year Department of Art and Art History graduates will sport 3-D prints of the Athena of Velletri bust pictured below.  Athena, goddess of war, wisdom, and handicrafts serves as an icon of the vision, bravery, and imagination that our graduates bring to the wider world.  It’s also pretty cool to be able to take advantage of the new Makerspace in creating these additions to our graduates’ regalia!

Congratulations graduates!

The Lansdowne Bust of Athena of Velletri, 2nd-century copy after a Greek original of circa 430–420 B.C. by Kresilas, Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons

Transition is perpetual!  Please enjoy the impressive slate of recent student and alumni accomplishments that exemplify the unique visions that guide the members of our department’s community. 


2018 Student and Alumni News!

Carolyn Corl ’15 completed a competitive internship at the Filoli Gardens in San Francisco and is entering the University of Oregon’s Landscape Architecture MFA Program in the fall.

Ayse Hunt ’19 (double major in Art History and Computer Science) has received the prestigious Lora Bryning Scholarship for 2018-2019.

Mary Thompson ’19 (Art History) was awarded the Religious Leadership Award and the Cyrus Ames Wright Scholarship for the academic year 2018-2019.

Kelsey Eldridge ’12 has passed her General Exams and is now at the stage of ABD (all but dissertation) in the Ph.D. program of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University.

Haley Andres ’14 is working as a Graduate and Fellowship Associate at the Posse Foundation.

Erin Weary ’13 (Sculpture) received her MFA in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Alison Grimm ’12 (Sculpture) received her MFA in Sculpture from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Katharine Threat ’20 (Art History major) has been awarded a Summer Internship at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum of Modern Art in Washington, D.C. as Gallery Guide for Summer 2018.

Eight Art and Art History majors were awarded AHSS Summer Research Grants:
Ian Chandler (Sculpture)
Elayna Caron (Painting)
Ally Hembree (Printmaking)
Walker Hewitt (Painting)
Ayse Hunt (Art History)
Sophia Munic (Sculpture)
Ronda Peck (Ceramics)
Mary Thompson (Art History)

Dina Mustakim ’16 will be earning an MFA in Production Design at Chapman University in Southern California.

Maia Raedar ’16 will enter Western Washington University’s Secondary Education Master’s Program in the fall.

Bryn Thomas ’14 will be attending Tulane University in New Orleans, to begin her MSW (Master of Social Work).

Aaron Badham ’11 accepted a tenure-line position in the Department of Art at Hastings College in Nebraska where he will be the Sculpture Area Coordinator.

Olivia Sherman ’17 will attend Tyler School of Art’s MFA program in the fall. She was awarded a full ride fellowship and a monthly stipend.

Louisa Raitt ’15 is completing her M.A. degree at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts this spring.  She has been accepted by the same institution to continue her graduate studies as a Ph.D. candidate studying Spanish Art History from the 13-15th centuries with full tuition coverage and stipend for five years.

Jonathan Steele ’14 returned as a visiting ceramics faculty member during Chad Gunderson’s junior sabbatical

Lianna Hamby ’17 was accepted into the University of Washington’s Museology Graduate Program.  She will begin her master’s degree in the fall.

Art History Alumni

Andrew Griebeler ’09 (Art History and Biology double major), Ph.D. candidate in Art History at UC Berkeley

  • Andrew is a recipient of a three-year (2016-2019) David E. Finley Fellowship of the CASVA (Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts) intended for research and travel in Europe related to his dissertation on Byzantine manuscripts of herbal medicine.
  • Andrew was awarded a two-year fellowship (2014-2016) from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to pursue his dissertation research at the Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florence.
  • Andrew won first prize in the 2012 student essay competition of the International Center of Medieval Art (New York, NY) for his paper: “Picturing Time and Eternity in Sixth-Century Ravenna.”

I got my first taste of art history and of the artistic heritage of the medieval Mediterranean at the University of Puget Sound. As a direct result, I am currently completing a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Medieval Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Studying art history at Puget Sound provided me with the tools required to succeed in my current graduate program and in my research: a critical eye and an attention to detail, skills in written and oral communication, and an ability to evaluate and combine different kinds of evidence.

I am now completing my dissertation on the history of botanical illustration in Byzantium from antiquity to the early modern era. My research has taken me to libraries and museums throughout Europe. After earning my Ph.D., I hope to settle into a career in a museum, university, or library.

Andrew at Chenonceau 

Hannah Lehman ’17 (Art History and Politics & Government double major)

Majoring in art history at Puget Sound allowed me to grow as a thinker, writer, and communicator. Through my courses and assignments, I learned to not only argue my point effectively but to think about the many facets of a work of art or situation. I was asked to think critically about my own viewpoint, while also considering others. I currently work at the San Jose Museum of Art teaching kids in the galleries and also leading hands-on art projects.  My studies at UPS have meant that I am able to thoughtfully design tours and facilitate conversations in a manner that enhances students’ understanding of art and creates connections between the works they see at the museum and their experiences in the world outside. The many presentations and class discussions I was asked to lead prepared me well for leading student groups, while the breadth of coursework prepared me to discuss works that span media, subject, and art historical influences. Additionally, my professors offered me the support I needed to explore my own interests in art history and forge my way through the complexities of figuring out what one should do in life.  In the next 5 to 10 years, I hope to attend graduate school and continue museum work. 
Hannah in Prague in summer 2016

San Jose Museum of Art

Tosia Klincewicz ’14 (Art History and English double major)

I can’t deny that having graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2014 with a degree in English & Art History, I felt equally full of purpose and totally directionless. Nevertheless, I forged ahead with my diverse and carefully cultivated toolkit of skills in writing, research, argumentation, critical thought, storytelling, and appreciation for beauty, and found my way into a Communications role with the Seattle Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. This role places me squarely at the intersection of written and visual aesthetics, and my day-to-day work centers around advocating for good design in the built environment. I couldn’t be happier with where I’ve taken root, and I hope to continue to build a career that allows me to work with creative professionals and to contribute, in some small way, to making the world a safer, healthier, more beautiful place.

Tosia Klincewicz

The current exhibit at the Center for Architecture & Design (from which AIA Seattle operates): Futurama Redux: Urban Mobility After Cars and Oil (photo credit: Trevor Dykstra)

Michelle Reynolds ‘12 (Art History and History double major)

Michelle earned an M.A. from Syracuse University in 2016.

Prior to my time at Puget Sound, I had never thought about art history or museum work as options for future employment. Thanks to various research projects, work-study positions, and faculty support, I realized my academic and professional passion for examining the ways in which audiences interpret and interact with works of art. I cannot imagine pursuing the work I do today without drawing on critical thinking and effective communication skills which have their roots in my four years at Puget Sound.

Three years in graduate school and a variety of gallery and studio manager positions later, I have spent the last year working at the Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College as their Curatorial and Programming Coordinator. In this role, I assist with curatorial projects and facilitate educational experiences for the College community while managing the museum’s social media presence and coordinating marketing and publicity efforts. I’m looking forward to working with our constituents to expand visitation and meaningful engagement with our collection and exhibitions in-person and online.

Michelle Reynolds

Wellin Museum