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Caroline Woolard Named Inaugural Walentas Endowed Distinguished Fellow

Assistant professor of sculpture Caroline Woolard has been named the first recipient of the Jane and David Walentas Endowed Fellowship at the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia.

Woolard, a New York-based artist who creates sculptures, installations, and online networks, will use this inaugural fellowship to contribute to the creative and intellectual life of Philadelphia, and to Moore’s artistic and academic community.

"It is such an honor to be the inaugural Fellow at Moore," says Woolard. "With this Fellowship, I feel that practice -- which often feels too interdisciplinary, too collaborative, too disparate for traditional arts spaces -- is being witnessed, seen, and appreciated. The fact that it is a two-year Fellowship means that Moore College is respecting the pace, the temporality, the slowness that is required to develop community partnerships and to develop material tests to make new projects. This means that I can take risks, experiment, and fail, before unveiling an interdisciplinary art project across the fields of art and the cooperative business sector."

In collaboration with key organizations such as the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Woolard will produce a series of sculptures and public events between March 2019 and June 2020, including public talks, workshops, an exhibition at The Galleries at Moore (on view August 3 through September 21, 2019), an exhibition at the Free Library of Philadelphia (spring 2020), and a culminating publication.

As the Walentas Endowed Distinguished Fellow, Woolard will create sculptural objects for worker-owned businesses and self-organized groups, including a clock that relies upon water to mark intervals of time. Her project asks the questions: "Can an object interrupt the unavoidable antagonisms of working together? How do workers without bosses (i.e. worker-owners in cooperative businesses) transform workplace conflict?" Woolard will make, with the support of Moore studio technicians, sculptural objects that are meant to act as tools to facilitate difficult conversations about structural and interpersonal inequity. These objects will migrate throughout Moore and become a central part of the Free Library’s new Robert and Eileen Kennedy Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement, where they can be checked out to support the work of other community organizations around the city, including the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

"In the past two years, I have dedicated myself to learning anti-oppression and conflict transformation practices from AORTA, Kristen Baker, the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and Alta Starr at Generative Somatics," Woolard explains. "I continue to see the benefits of these trainings in my classroom. I am able to 'center' somatically and remain present amidst complex situations. I am able to work with students to identify the structural and historical forces which often manifest as interpersonal conflicts, and to transform conflict into generative action, opening space for transformation. I will use this Fellowship to continue my training in conflict transformation and anti-oppression practices."

Hiro Fukawa to Present Show at Manchester Community College

Associate professor of sculpture, Hiro Fukawa, presents a new show at Manchester Community College's Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery, March 28–May 7. An opening reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 28.

"'Fabular Objects' are objects from fables, art history, literature, and events that I found," says Fukawa. The show also includes four videos. 



Artist Yvonne Jacquette to Speak at HAS

Guest artist Yvonne Jacquette will give a lecture on her career and work at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at the University of Hartford’s Wilde Auditorium, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut. The event is part of the Hartford Art School’s Auerbach Lecture Series, and is free and open to the public.


Yvonne Jacquette attended the Rhode Island School of Design before she moved to New York City. In the late 1960s as an airline passenger, she was inspired by aerial views and began to study cloud formations and weather patters. She incorporated these into her sketches and paintings, and the aerial perspective became a defining element of her artwork. 


“It happened by accident, of course,” Jacquette said, regarding how flight inspired her artwork in an interview with art critic John Yau in The Brooklyn Rail. “I was going to visit my parents who had just moved to California, and I was in a plane with watercolors and I started to see that the clouds were amazing when you’re right in them.”


Jacquette’s work is included in the collections of more than 40 museums, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.


The Auerbach Lecture Series is made possible by The Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund of the Hartford Art School Endowment, Inc.. The fund brings visiting artists to campus twice each semester for one or two days so that they may deliver public lectures and spend time in the studios critiquing student work in a sponsoring department. Jacquette’s visit is sponsored by the painting department.

Pixar Animator to Speak on Campus

Animation artist Ricky Nierva will speak on campus from 2:30–4 p.m. on March 28 in Wilde Auditorium.

Ricky Vega Nierva attended California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Character Animation in 1994. He credits his visual style to close mentor and famed Warner Brothers and Disney designer, the late Maurice Noble. Ricky has worked with talented artists at Turner Feature Animation, Warner Bros., Baer Animation, and Hanna Barbera.

Ricky Nierva joined Pixar Animation Studios in May 1997. He began with the animation team as a visual development artist and did additional storyboarding on “Toy Story 2.” He was the lead character designer for “Monster's Inc.” and was awarded an Annie Award as the character art director for the Academy Award® winning feature “Finding Nemo.” Nierva was the production designer for another Oscar® winner, and Best Picture nominee, “Up” and most recently worked as the production designer “Monsters University.”

Nierva has illustrated a children's book published by Random House, titled “‘M’ is for Monster,” and his artwork is also featured in the books, “The Art of Monster's, Inc.,” “The Art of Finding Nemo,” and “The Art of Monsters University” by Chronicle Books. Nierva’s work was included in MOMA’s exhibition, “Pixar: 20 years of Animation” in 2006.

When not dreaming up new character designs, he enjoys triathlons, eating ice cream, and playing the ukulele.

Message from Dean Stuart

Being in a community often includes inviting guests to temporarily join the community to share time, talents and hospitality. The Hartford Art School has a long tradition of hosting visiting artists and scholars throughout the academic year, be it a studio class visit or something more formal and supported by one of our many endowed funds. These important guests bring to campus new perspectives, challenging ideas and expand our awareness of contemporary art and artists.

This year we host two significant guests: Mark Burns, the Georgette and Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair for the Visual Arts, and Billie Lee, a Jackie McLean Fellow.

Mark and his work will be featured in the Joseloff Gallery February 28–March 29, with a reception on Thursday, March 7 at 5 p.m. 

Billie Lee is collaborating in an experimental exhibition as learning space entitled Reading Room: Urgent Pedagogies in the Silpe Gallery from March 4–17.

As always, you are welcome to join the public events featuring these exceptional artists.


About Mark Burns

Mark Burns is a ceramic artist and educator who creates narrative, personal works with a pop sensibility and sardonic humor. He studied illustration at the School of the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio (BFA, 1972), before he moved to Seattle and completed his MFA at the University of Washington (1974). Burns often creates works that mimic or reference domestic objects commonly manufactured in clay by carefully splicing together elements of functional and decorative wares to create psychologically loaded tableaux. Simultaneously enticing and unsettling, Burns’ body of work embraces bad taste, strangeness, sex, and politics. His sensibility is often ascribed to his queer identity, and his visibility in the field has reoriented questions of suitable subject matter and created a platform for other artists to explore traditionally taboo content. Burns found early success after completing his graduate studies. He earned a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1976, and he had a solo exhibition at the Helen Drutt Gallery in 1982.

Additionally, he has taught at a number of universities and colleges around the country, including stints at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Burns joined the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1990, and he ultimately served as head of ceramics and chair of the art department. He was also recently selected as a 2016 – 2018 artist in residence at Harvard University. Throughout his career, Burns has exhibited widely and has been collected by many museums including the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Mark Burns was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 2018. 

About the Georgette and Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair for the Visual Arts

The Koopman Chair program was endowed in 1989 by the then president of the Hartford Art School Endowment, Inc. board, Georgette Koopman. The selection of the artist rotates through all studio disciplines. Past recipients have included George McNeil, John Coplans, Judy Pfaff, Cornelia Parker, Joyce Kozloff, and Ernesto Pujol to name a few.

About Billie Lee

Billie Lee is an artist, educator and writer working at the intersection of art, Pedagogy and social change. Her arts practice includes painting, video, and a documentary film project, Moving Home, that premiered at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2012. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from Yale Univeristy, and has held positions at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Yale University Art Gallery, Queens Museum, and the Doris Duke foundation for Islamic Art. As a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Lee’s dissertation project extends her interest in pedagogy through an examination on the cultural politics of difference in contemporary art and education.

Reading Room: Urgent Pedagogies activates and expands possibilities for learning and teaching in the university context—and around what we might deem “urgent” in our current moment—to stimulate new and informal ways of thinking about the classroom.

About the McLean Fellowship

The McLean Fellowship is sponsored annually by the University of Hartford and open to all seven colleges to promote a diverse faculty and advance the cultural competence of our campus community. Candidates are nominated by discipline and selected by a campus wide committee.