Department of Art and Art History Design

Expansion provides students with opportunities in letterpress and bookbinding

Wed. August 27, 2014

Metal type in drawer

Over this summer, Design Lab Coordinator Kevin Auer and Visiting Assistant Professor Colin Frazer opened the doors of DESL2 and embarked upon a rejuvenation of the workshop. DESL2 (Design Lab 2) houses the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type collection and is equipped with printing, photography, and fabrication resources.

Assistant Chair of Design Carma Gorman is thrilled at the changes. She recalled that Auer and Frazer “had a vision for how to reconfigure and augment the space’s existing resources to better support both its teaching and research missions.”


Auer preps the Columbian press for delivery to department. Photo by Alicia Dietrich

New presses, additional type, and a rearrangement of the workshop are a few of the changes that will benefit students and faculty in the program. One of the most exciting acquisitions is a mid-nineteenth century Columbian handpress that will be on long-term loan from the Harry Ransom Center.

“The Ransom Center is delighted to have the Columbian iron handpress join the collection of Rob Roy Kelly’s wooden display type at the Design Division’s printing laboratory,” said Richard Oram, associate director and Hobby Foundation Librarian at the Ransom Center. “This magnificent example of nineteenth-century printing technology will once again be in daily use. We look forward to collaborating with the Department on a variety of projects relating to printing and the book arts.”

Following a tip, Auer and Frazer found themselves in the university’s Document Solutions with Director Richard Beto, who saved numerous historic presses and type during his ten-year career at the university. Beto said, “How fortunate that the university has someone that values this lost art. I was fortunate that we could donate what we consider valuable tools in order for others to benefit.”

In addition to the Columbian press and the equipment from Document Solutions, David S. Rose of New York donated a Ludlow machine to the program, which will enable new type to be cast as use wears the collection. Rose heard about the need for the Ludlow through the tightknit letterpress community and offered the machine to the department.

Students from all areas of the department “can use the shop as part of a number of classes this fall that have letterpress and book binding components included in their syllabus,” said Auer. Gorman notes that the program’s letterpress and bookbinding resources “give UT students an edge over those who receive strictly digital training.”

"Letterpress printing slows down the process of graphic design and gives students time to consider typography and the three-dimensional aspect of typography," described Frazer, "For instance, our students can create their own wood type in the department's digital fabrication lab which pulls them away from the idea that graphic design is purely two-dimensional."

“Students who know something about letterpress are likely going to understand the concepts behind digital typography better than people who've never worked with metal type,” said Gorman, observing that “people who can ‘think’ in both analog and digital media, and who do have decent hand skills, have a distinct advantage over people who can work only in digital media.”
 

512stew runner-up for Core77 2014 Design Awards

Tue. July 8, 2014

512 stew spoon logo

2015 B.F.A. Design candidate project 512stew was the Student Visual Communication runner-up for the Core77 Design Awards. The project was a visual zine that present 18 perspectives on an aspect of Austin culture. The students "strived to go deeper than the surface through our intimate one-on-one experiences. In this book, there is text, photography, paintings, graphic design, and video. We have all worked hard to contribute our own style and understanding of these cultures."

Spring 2014 convocation and commencement

Tue. May 6, 2014

Two students showing the longhorn hand sign

We are proud to congratulate our newest graduates from our programs. Please join us for our commencement and convocation ceremonies:

The College of Fine Arts Spring 2014 commencement ceremony for undergraduate students will be held Friday, May 16, at 3 pm at Bass Concert Hall. Guests do not need tickets to attend the ceremony.

The Graduate School convocation ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 17, at Bass Concert Hall. The master's ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. and the doctoral ceremony will begin at noon. All guests must have tickets. Detailed information is available on the Graduate School website.

The university-wide ceremony will be held on May 17.

Undergraduate Research Week

Mon. April 28, 2014

Students pose in front of their research poster
From left to right: Ryan Robbins, Sarah Henkel, Abbi Strickland

As part of The University of Texas at Austin's annual Research Week, all department divisions displayed, presented and discussed their work and research. For the entire week, undergraduate students presented visual work from foundations, drawing and painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and transmedia throughout the art building.

At the Longhorn Research Bazaar, students from art education presented posters on topics of their research including Ethics in Visual Arts Education: Censorship, What Role Does Ethics Play in Visual Arts Education Research? and Where do Controversial Artworks Fit in the Art Education Classroom? Destiny Barr (B.F.A. Art Education, 2015) worked with colleagues Shaun Lane and Mattison Lyttle to research the topic Ethics in Visual Arts Education: Censorship. Barr described, "We looked into censorship in the art classroom and whether it is beneficial or whether it smothers the artist [sic] creativity." She continued to say, "The greatest thing was hearing different stories on censorship and how to properly collect facts and present them in a fashion that is understandable to someone who has not looked into the area we researched."

Undergraduate design students presented their visual zine, 512stew, at the Longhorn Research Bazaar. As part of design course Images in Communication, 18 students constructed their personal narrative view centered around cultures in Austin. Through the process, students learned the different roles of publication: publisher, author, editor, designer, marketer. Museum: Store was presented by 24 students from 3D Foundations who created products in response to works at the Blanton Museum of Art. Nine students who participated in our Learning Tuscany study abroad program, also displayed projects and visual works created during or influenced by their time abroad.

The second annual Undergraduate Art History Research Symposium took place during the university's research week and capstones the art history honors thesis experience. Seven art history students presented papers in their areas of research. Jen Nordhauser, who double majors in art history and biomedical engineering, said, "It was interesting going through the process of finding new images that were more conducive to a presentation." Nordhauser presented her paper on The Eternal Garden of Saint Louis: The Introduction of Naturalistic Floral Relief Sculpture at the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and plans to attend medical school and pursue a masters of public heath.

Julia Wang, double major in Government with a minor in African American Studies, noted that working with a faculty adviser made her "able to clarify the presentation of my research. I was made aware of the importance of choosing words that clearly define an idea I am trying to convey." Wang presented her paper Seeing Color Beyond its Representational Purpose: Art of the Early 20th Century and plans to attend law school to pursue criminal defense. With regard to the preparation the symposium involved, Professor Louis Waldman stated, "For six weeks, our most outstanding students learn what it is to revise and rethink their research, as their faculty advisors challenge them to take it to the next level. They learn ... to use constructive feedback and fold it into their work."

Syndicate content