Department of Art and Art History News

Jack Risley Appointed Chair of the Department of Art and Art History

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Jack Risley, associate dean of academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), has been appointed chair and Ruth Head Centennial Professor of the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin.

Jack Risley

As a teacher and administrator, Risley has held academic positions at the Yale School of Art, New York University, and the Cooper Union. He has served as a visiting lecturer at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Harvard University, and Rhode Island School of Design. His teaching has included both graduate and undergraduate courses in art.

Risley has been making and exhibiting artwork in prominent venues all over the world for the past 25 years, including exhibitions at Vienna Secession, the American Academy in Rome, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Yale University Art Museum, among others. He is represented by Postmasters Gallery in New York City, where he has had six solo exhibitions. He is the recipient of the Rome Prize, a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, and a Marie Sharpe Walsh Art Foundation Award. He has maintained an active studio practice and notable international exhibition schedule while distinguishing himself as an academic administrator. His work as an artist has been widely featured and discussed in the art press, which hails him as a notable American sculptor.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to join the College of Fine Arts,” said Risley. “The University of Texas at Austin’s deep commitment to the arts sets it apart from other institutions. The College of Fine Arts has great reach, and its influence can be felt nationally and internationally. The Department of Art and Art History has a potent mix of programs each with a long and distinguished history. There is an almost alchemical mix of ingredients—keenly ambitious students, renowned faculty, a picture-perfect campus, unrivaled libraries and archives, all in the midst of a city with great charm and a sense of humor.”

Risley studied at the Cooper Union, earned a bachelor of arts degree from Oberlin College and a master of fine arts degree from Yale School of Art. Risley has served on the Innovations Task Force of the International Council of Fine Art Deans since 2009. He is an active member of College Art Association, the International Council of Art Administrators, and serves on the Think Tank advisory board for Foundations in Art Theory and Education.