Department of Art and Art History News + Announcements

PhD Candidate Awarded Residence as Visiting Scholar at USMEX

Thu. October 25, 2012


Alexis Salas (PhD Candidate in Art History) has been awarded a residence from September 2012 - June 2013 as a Visiting Scholar at The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies (USMEX) at the University of California, San Diego. The largest residential fellowship program in the United States for research on Mexico, each year USMEX brings together scholars from the social sciences, history, and related field to research and participate in the seminars, lectures, and workshops at the Center and at academic institutions in the San Diego/ Tijuana border area. The Visiting Scholars Program accepts applicants with their own funding to become part of the USMEX community and provides a space to conduct research and writing. This year the Center has four visiting scholars, including two visiting professors and two graduate students working on their dissertations. Salas is currently authoring the dissertation, “Performing the Making: Uses of Public Spheres of Collaboration by Artists in Mexico City, 1993-2003.” Her research considers the globalization of art, public spheres of collaboration, as well as the work of art and of the artist in dialogue with how art is defined.

Fine Arts Library Receives Collection of Noted Art Scholar Houlberg

Thu. October 18, 2012



A collection of around 1,200 books and catalogues that constituted the personal library of Marilyn Houlberg – Professor Emeritus of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago – and served as a resource for her research in the arts and anthropology of West Africa and Haiti, as well as related studies of popular culture in the United States, will become part of the collections at the Fine Arts Library.The College of Fine Arts has received a collection of materials from a noted scholar and academician in the arts and culture of Haitian Vodou.

Houlberg was an artist and leading expert on the arts and culture of Haiti and West Africa. A prolific writer on Haitian Vodou and its relationship to art, Houlberg contributed essays to a number of journals including “New Observations,” “African Arts” and “Aperture," and co-curated groundbreaking exhibitions on Haitian and African art, including the traveling exhibitions “Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou” and “Haiti: Vodou Visionaries.”

John Yancey, John D. Murchison Professor in Art at the university, says Houlberg’s influence cannot be overstated.

“Marilyn unveiled the complexity, power, and wonder of art and culture of Africa and the African diaspora,” says Yancey. “Her non-conformist aesthetics opened doors of perception for scholars, collectors and most importantly, for the artists themselves.”

Jules Buck Jones exhibits in Houston and Dallas

Mon. October 15, 2012

Jules Buck Jones
Primordial #2, 2012, 30x22 inches

Alum Jules Buck Jones (MFA in Studio Art, 2009) is showing a new series of mix-media drawings in an exhibit titled The Hundred-Handed Ones at Conduit Gallery in Dallas through November 24.

And for those attending the Texas Contemporary Art Fair in Houston, be on the lookout for Jones' installation Vulpecula in one of the main corridors. A kinetic piece that includes video and sound components, it "evokes sentient force in nature, myths of forest gods, apocalyptic fantasies, and fear of a vengeful natural world."

CLAVIS Hosts Three-Day Global Symposium

Fri. October 12, 2012

/ Synchronicity / 
Contacts and Divergences in Latin American and U.S. Latino Art,
19th Century to the Present
3rd International Forum for Emerging Scholars
October 25-27, 2012



The Center for Latin American Visual Studies (CLAVIS) in the Department of Art and Art History is pleased to announce the third annual International Forum for Emerging Scholars this October. Throughout the three-day global symposium, 14 panel discussions with 68 international scholars from over 29 research institutions will gather to investigate the multitude of perspectives that inform the artistic production and discourse of Latin American and U.S. Latino art from the 19th century to the present. Laura Malosetti Costa of Universidad Nacional de San Martin will act as this year’s Keynote Speaker.

The topic for this year’s forum is centered around the idea of synchronicity, an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar events that are causally unrelated. The forum seeks to present multiple, if sometimes dissonant, voices in order to call into question existing national and international historical narratives. Participants will present alternate modes of historiography that break down causality and homogeneity in favor of more critically comparative methods that better facilitate an understanding of artistic production at disparate moments and locations. This approach encourages scholars to think in wider terms, beyond established topics, in relation to other geographical and historical developments.

Download Full Press Release (PDF)

The Department of Art and Art History Remembers Donna Bruton, 1954-2012

Thu. October 11, 2012


Donna Bruton

It is with great sadness that the Department of Art and Art History reports the passing of former faculty member Donna Bruton. A thoughtful friend and amazingly patient educator, Donna taught in the department from July 1991 – August 1993 before taking a position at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she remained for the rest of career. A nationally recognized artist, Donna had paintings presented in group exhibitions and 15 solo shows. Her work is included in private collections in London, Germany, Holland, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Austin, as well as in private collections at the RISD Museum and the Gwanjiu Museum in Korea. Although her time in our department was relatively short, in the words of John D. Murchison Professor in Art John Yancey, “she had a profound and lasting impact on those who worked with her.”