Department of Art and Art History Alumni

Xochi Solis presents work in group exhibition at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Wed. May 27, 2015

collage of gray, orange, brown, and green circles piled on top of each other
Signs of an omen, 2015, gouache, house paint, acrylic, acetate, colored paper, naturally dyed paper, and found images on museum board, 7 x5 inches.

Xochi Solis (BFA in Studio Art, 2005) presents work in Flatlander at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition is on view May 21 – September 13, 2015.

Xochi Solis presents work in group exhibition at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Wed. May 27, 2015

collage of gray, orange, brown, and green circles piled on top of each other
Signs of an omen, 2015, gouache, house paint, acrylic, acetate, colored paper, naturally dyed paper, and found images on museum board, 7 x5 inches.

Xochi Solis (BFA in Studio Art, 2005) presents work in Flatlander at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition is on view May 21 – September 13, 2015.

In memory of Greg Ploetz, widow creates scholarships for Studio Art students

Fri. May 29, 2015

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man lying in bed with grandson baby
Image courtesy of Deb Ploetz

In memory of Greg Ploetz, Deb, his widow, will create the Greg Ploetz Art Scholarship for students in the Studio Art program to be awarded annually for the next ten years.

Ploetz was a Longhorn football player and alumnus of the Department of Art and Art History. He received his BFA in Studio Art in 1972. Ploetz was awarded a prestigious scholarship, given to the best art student, to attend a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Greg went on to receive an MFA in Studio Art in 1975 from the university.

“Art was his true love and passion,” said Deb.

Greg taught art and coached football in high schools and colleges for over forty years. In 2009 he left his last teaching position in Aledo, Texas.

“He was the most brilliant teacher I’ve ever known,” Deb told The Dallas Morning News. “He did such a wonderful job getting his point across.”

A three-year letterman at defensive tackle, Ploetz helped the Longhorns claim three Southwest Conference Championships in 1968, 1969, and 1971. In those three seasons, Texas posted a 28-4-1 record (19-2 in the SWC) and finished the season ranked among the Top 20 each year.

Ploetz was a starter for the 1969 National Championship team and played in Texas’ "Game of the Century” national-title winning victory over Arkansas with a hairline fracture in his ankle that year. After sitting out the 1970 season, Ploetz returned to the Longhorn team in 1971 and went on to earn All-Southwest Conference honors.

abstract painting with green, yello, blue, and red paint with lines
Painting by Greg Ploetz. Image courtesy of Deb Ploetz.

Greg passed away this May after suffering for more than a decade of complications from dementia and frontal lobe damage. On May 24, a celebration of life for Greg was held at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

He leaves behind his wife, Deb, and two children, Erin Ploetz-Cherkassky and Beau Ploetz.

Greg’s life and challenges have been chronicled in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Denver Post, and The Dallas Morning News. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Greg Ploetz Art Scholarship. For information on giving to the Ploetz scholarship, contact Andrea Keene 512/ 471–9270.
 

Alumna Hayley Woodward heads to New Orleans for fully funded graduate program

Thu. May 28, 2015

woman wearing dress and red scarf poses for photo on bridge with river behind
 

“My options were to continue in the professional world or to take a risk to pursue what I love,” described Hayley Woodward (BA in Art History, 2013). “I decided to follow my passion and apply to graduate school.”

Woodward will be attending Tulane University to study Post-Conquest mapmaking in Central Mexico. She received a full tuition waiver and generous stipend.

“Dr. Guernsey was present through my entire graduate school application process,” said Woodward. “She was also my mentor as an undergraduate.”

As a junior, Woodward discovered her interest in art of the Ancient Americas while in a Mesoamerican art history course taught by Dr. Julia Guernsey. Woodward recalled that Guernsey “breathed life into the ancient wall murals, animal figurines, and monumental stone effigies of the Pre-Columbian world.”

“I was hooked,” said Woodward.

She presented her paper, The Hollow Baby Genre: Implements of Elite Domiciles and Evidence of a Pan-Mesoamerican Tradition, at the Department of Art and Art History’s inaugural Undergraduate Art History Research Symposium, as well as at the South-Central Conference on Mesoamerica. Immediately after graduating, she traveled to Belize to do fieldwork at the Late Classic Maya sites of La Milpa and Hun Tun.

“At UT Austin, I was able to fully explore Mesoamerican art, using numerous resources such as the Art and Art History Collection, Benson Latin American Collection, Fine Arts Library, and many helpful professors and graduate students,” described Woodward. “My professors always went above and beyond for their students.”

After graduation, Woodward returned to Dallas and eventually began working at Samuel Lynne Galleries. She gained experience in all aspects of the gallery, from writing press releases and researching artists to working with clients and creating promotional materials.

“As an Art History major, I learned how to research, write, and communicate information in a succinct manner,” remarked Woodward. “That is exactly what I did on a daily basis at Samuel Lynne Galleries, in a contemporary art setting.”

This fall, Woodward will move to New Orleans to continue her research under Dr. Elizabeth Hill Boone, the Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art at Tulane. Boone is a renowned expert on Mexica (Aztec) manuscripts and received her MA and Phd in Art History from the Department of Art and Art History in 1974 and 1977.

“An interest in the Ancient Americas must run in my blood,” laughed Woodward. “While a student in Latin American Studies at George Washington University, my father took a course with Dr. George Stuart, the renowned National Geographic Archaeology Editor. While at UT Austin, I studied with his son, Dr. David Stuart, professor in the Department of Art and Art History. It is a small world indeed!”
 

Fidencio Duran named to the Austin Arts Hall of Fame

Mon. May 18, 2015

painting of women dancing and man blowing bubbles in front of house
Image courtesy of Fidencio Duran.

Fidencio Duran (BFA in Studio Art, 1984) has been named to the Austin Arts Hall of Fame alongside Heloise Gold and Allen Robertson. A ceremony will take place June 1, 2015.

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