Nassem Navab (MFA ’19) joined the faculty at The City College of New York in the fall as Assistant Professor of Art. “I’m very excited,” says Nassem, whose teaching focuses on electronic design and multimedia.
Ash Dahlke (MFA ’19), an artist based in Bisbee, Arizona, is one of four new commissioners appointed to the Arizona Commission on the Arts by Gov. Katie Hobbs. Dahlke is a 2D instructor and Union Gallery curator at Cochise College in Douglas and former board president of the Border Arts Corridor. Story
Ari Sturr (MFA ’22, 3D and Extended Media) spoke about her current installation, “Nature Dosing,” at the SNRE Seminar Series.
Elliott Jamal Robbins (MFA ’17) gave an animation screening and artist talk/Q&A on Aug. 26, at Everybody on East Grant Road.
Dwayne Manuel (MFA ’14) is one of three finalists for the the S’edav Va’aki Museum Mural Project.
Kevin Coochwytewa (BFA ’00) is featured in the latest First American Art Magazine, in which he writes about his top seven picks in the Native art world. Earlier, the Isleta Pueblo and Hopi art director/graphic designer had the honor of designing a 164-page catalog that examines the work of the late Jim Denomie, an Ojibwe (La Courte Oreilles Band) painter known for his colorful looks at U.S. history and Indigenous peoples of the Americas. The book accompanies an exhibition on view at Minneapolis Institute of Art through March 24, 2024. Photos
Mark Cowardin (MFA ’01) is presenting a sculptural solo show, “Until the Sun Moves,” through Oct. 28 in Kansas City, Mo. Details
Jody Servon (MFA ’00), an artist, educator and curator in Boone, N.C., published her first book, “Saved: Objects of the Dead,” co-authored with poet Lorene Delany-Ullman. They shared their project in more than 30 exhibitions and six literary journals before working with Artsuite on the monograph, which features over 40 photographs and prose poems about objects people save from loved ones who’ve died. “Our book offers people another avenue to explore the humanness of grief and loss,” Servon says.
Victor Navarro (BFA ’10) is presenting his retrospective exhibit at the Tucson International Airport! Details
Rachel Stiff (MFA ’12, Painting) received a residency at the Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area in Nevada. Rachel is a professor of art at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nevada. See her impressive work at https://rachelstiff.com/ and https://tinyurl.com/5432ftdu. Black Rock website: https://blackrockdesert.org/
Nathan Abel (MFA ’09, Printmaking) hosted the opening reception for his exhibition “Nesting” on Feb. 3 at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyoming. “In Nesting, the work tells the story of when my wife and I began planning a family. We anticipated problems but had no idea of the long and traumatic path ahead of us. It is through my work I hope to shed light on infertility, child loss, and adoption. I want to show the hardships and joy that can come with creating a family and honor the experience we and so many others have been through.”
Lisette Chavez (MFA ’14) visited our Book Art and Letterpress Lab, where she chatted with Professor Karen Zimmermann about her career and about the national APA Wayzgoose Conference hosted by the school. Chavez works remotely from Tucson as a research assistant for the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation. She also hosts a cool Instagram site, “Show me your print shop” as a resource for printmakers. Book art and letterpress labs from all over the world send her photos, and she posts them with information or tips shared by the printmakers! Chavez’s website
Robert D. Cocke (BFA ’72) made a generous donation of books in early January to the School of Art. The alum, who lives in Oracle, taught for 21 years at Arizona State University. “Getting lost in a Robert Cocke landscape is a welcome journey and a rewarding, transformative adventure,” wrote Robert Knight in a forward to Cocke’s 2010 book (below). Cocke’s work belongs to the public collections of the Smithsonian American, Crocker and Phoenix Art museums, among others. He has received honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, Western States Arts Federation, Ford Foundation and others. In February, his partner, Jane Kirkeby, also donated her art books. Wikipedia page
Kendall Crabbe (Ph.D. ’22, Art and Visual Culture Education) has been selected by her peers to receive the Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Runner-Up Award in Art Education. The National Art Education Association will honor the University of Arizona School of Art graduate April 13 in San Antonio.
Craig Cully (MFA ’99, Painting) was selected as one of the 35 shortlisted artists for the 2023 FiKVA – Figuratieve Kunst Vandaag Award for painters. His painting “Siphon” (currently on view in the Tucson Museum of Art for the 2023 Arizona Biennial) will be featured among the others selected for an online exhibition opening July 11 and will be in the running for the final award. The work is a response to the loss of his basset hound, Bertha, last year, while also seeking to express and glimmer of hope, he said. Website
Anna B. Garner (MFA ’14) saw her performance video “Just Below” become part of the permanent collection at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. https://youtu.be/0gKpSquQ-fk “(I’m) grateful to have my work in such an important institution, ‘the first museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts,'” she said. Garner’s website
Robert Edward Gordon (Ph.D. Art History, ’15) recently published “Buddhist Architecture in America: Building for Enlightenment” through Routledge. The book draws from Robert’s dissertation, “The Heart in the Matter: Design, Belief and a History of Buddhist Architecture in America,” under Professor Paul Ivey.
Camden Hardy (MFA ’12) led a storytelling project in which students created postcards for a University of Arizona Ph.D. class co-taught by Prof. Ellen McMahon. “Postcards promote an ethics of care that is often at odds with our culture of fast-paced, transactional consumption,” said Hardy, a doctoral candidate in Applied Intercultural Arts Research (AIAR). A reception for the students’ work was May 2 at the Palo Verde Gallery in the Grad Lab. Story
Kate Long Hodges (MFA ’06) and Ted Wade Springer (MFA ’98) co-hosted the May 13 Foraging & Fundraising event and sunset dinner at The Land With No Name Sanctuary on Saturday. Guests ate from the desert, learned about the history and culture of Sonoran biodiversity and sipped wild-crafted beverages while the sun set over the roasting pit. School of Art Director Colin Blakely and Assistant Professor Jennifer Saracino attended. Photos
Khaled Jarrar (MFA ’19) won this year’s DOXA Feature Documentary Award for his film “Notes on Displacement.” Khaled is the director and cameraman as he goes with a group of Syrian Palestinians on their journey that ends in Germany after troubles at borders in Europe. More details
Martin Krafft (MFA ’20; Photography, Video & Imaging) was granted a month-length residency at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. He used the time to finish up a documentary, “Ain’t Got Time to Die,” about a friend who battled terminal cancer. Details
Dwayne Manuel (MFA ’14) saw his art collaboration with the Phoenix Suns featured on the team’s main scoreboard in January. Manuel’s website
John Meyer (BFA ’82, Studio Art) was honored as the College of Fine Arts’ 2023 Alumnus of the Year — one of 15 alums being recognized by the university — on Feb. 2 and Feb 3. Profile and photos and announcement story.
Olivia Miller (BFA ’05) was appointed director of the University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) on May 19. Miller becomes the first woman to serve as the institution’s director. Miller, a School of Art alumna (BA ’05, Art History and Studio Art), earned her master’s in Art History from the University of Oregon. She joined the museum as curator of education in 2012, overseeing the docent and education programs before becoming curator of exhibitions in 2014. She has curated more than 30 exhibitions during her tenure, overseeing the restoration and return of the UAMA’s stolen Willem de Kooning painting, Woman-Ochre. She served as interim director for the past 10 months. Story
Haley Morris-Cafiero (MFA ’03) accepted a job as associate professor of Visual Art at De Montfort University in Leicester, England. Haley, who also earned a Ph.D. this year from the University of Westminster in London, uses her photography as an activist voice to fight discrimination and social invisibility. Her published monographs include “The Watchers” (2015), in which she captured strangers from across the world reacting to her weight, and “The Bully Pulpit” (2019). Morris-Cafiero’s website
Victor Navarro (BFA, ’10) was part of the large-format art exhibition, “Grand Scale,” at the Ventana Gallery at Roche Tissue Diagnostics in Oro Valley. The opening reception was Jan. 18.
Perla Segovia (MFA ’22) saw her 2022 glass and mixed media project “Huitzilopochtli” debut April 28 at the Ireland Glass Biennale 2023. The exhibition continues until Aug. 20 at the Coach House Gallery in Dublin Castle, Ireland. It brings together some of the world’s most innovative glass artists, designers and craft practitioners. Details and photos
Kaitlyn Jo Smith (MFA ’20) has been awarded a prestigious Alice C. Cole ’42 Fellowship in Studio Art from Wellesley College in Massachusetts for 2023-24. Given to an outstanding early-career artist, the fellowship “provides funds to support one year of unimpeded time and space to experiment, develop a body of work and focus on future artistic goals,” according to Wellesley. The $35,000 fellowship is based on nominations from prominent members of the national arts community. Kaitlyn’s “Fixtures” and “Lights Out” installations (pictured) are on display at the Arizona Biennial exhibition until Oct. 1 at the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block. She is an adjunct instructor for the University of Arizona School of Art.
Brian Stauffer (BFA ’89) received the Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators for his Nation magazine cover artwork that marked the start of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. “Although bittersweet, it’s a measure of so much that I love illustration for,” he said. Go to https://brianstauffer.com/ to see Brian’s website.
Erika Tenorio (BFA ’22) held her opening reception on Jan. 19 for “A Little Piece of Nicaragua,” the first official exhibition “where I can showcase Nicaragua in relief print.” The reception and show were at Groundworks Tucson.
Alex Turner (MFA ’20, photo above) saw his “1 Human (Border Patrol) with A.I. Recognition, San Rafael Valley, AZ” photograph acquired by LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art for its permanent collection (details: https://tinyurl.com/SOAturner23). The work, part of Alex’s BLIND RIVER project, was featured in the Marshall Gallery’s 2022 exhibition “The Intimacy of Distance: Explorations of the Figure/Ground,” curated by School of Art Associate Professor Lawrence Gipe and Douglas Marshall.
Brian Horton (MFA ’99) was remembered on April 8 at The Land With No Name Sanctuary. Horton, 51, died on Dec. 15, 2022. Born in Ohio, he was “a fantastic sculptor” who also designed and built guitars and was “an excellent guitarist,” said Moria Geoffrion, retired School of Art director who mentored Brian in sculpture while he was a student. “The memorial was really lovely.” Obit
Pauline Pedregon (BFA ’08, Studio Art) died on Feb. 4. Her art has been displayed across Tucson; she designed and sculpted an award given to Mayor Regina Romero; and she had one of her paintings on display in former U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s D.C. office. Details See her work on YouTube and on the Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery website.
Alex Turner (MFA Studio Art, ’20) and Ryan McIntosh (BFA Studio Art, ’07) showed their work at “The Intimacy of Distance” exhibition at the Douglas Marshall Gallery this fall in Santa Monica, California, along with Prof. Sama Alshaibi. Turner, McIntosh and Alshaibi chatted with the SoCal Cats alumni chapter and School of Art Director Colin Blakely during a special event on Oct. 23. The exhibition was co-curated by Prof. Lawrence Gipe.
Bella Maria Varela, (MFA Photo/Video/Imaging, ’21 ) has been named to the 2022 Provost’s Early Career Fellows Cohort at the University of Texas at Austin. Varela moved to El Paso, Texas, after receiving her master’s at the University of Arizona to attend the Border Art Residency (BAR), where she helped establish a new arts and philosophy program — Transformative Learning Communities — in elChamizal, a barrio on the US/Mexico Border. Read story
Dorsey Kaufmann (MFA ’20, Illustration + Design) Kaufmann exhibited her multimedia installation, “Ripple Effect,” in Venice, Italy as part of the ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition, “Cities of the Future: Living Together.” “Ripple Effect” is an interactive sound installation that visualizes contamination data of local water quality and then translates the data into sound waves. Read story
Kaufmann was listed as one of ArtConnect magazine’s “Artists to Watch 2021,” stating “Dorsey Kaufmann’s series Years of Lost Life exemplifies the power of when art and science merge. The project … visualizes the dangers to a whole community in the Sonoran Desert due to corporate mining … is clearly well researched … with a clear educational baseline.” Read Q&A
Cherise Smith (MA ‘97/BA ‘91, Art History) received the Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art by the Smithsonian American Art Museum for her book “Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective.” The book is the first in-depth examination of the artist’s provocative paintings that sample images of racism from consumer culture. Dr. Smith is an inaugural Scholar in the African American Art History Research Initiative at the Getty Research Institute for 2021-2022, and she is the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in African American Studies and a professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies and art and art history departments at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research has been supported by the Getty Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research at Harvard University. She has worked in the curatorial departments of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Saint Louis Art Museum among other institutions. Read story
Chris Gall (BFA ’85) has created a Wilbur and Wilma Homecoming illustration for the University of Arizona for the past 10 years. Gall has received over 50 major awards from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Art Magazine, The New York Art Directors Club, and Print Magazine. His artwork has been shown major national publications like Time, Newsweek, People, New York Times, and Washington Post.
Adriana Gallego (BFA ’97, Painting and Drawing) was appointed executive director of the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona. “I’m trained as a painter, but I am at the service of other artists,” Gallego said.
Jessica Gonzales (BFA ‘12, 2D Art) created this mural, “Seeds of Wonder,” in two days outside the Wonder House / Fogo de Chao at SXSW in Austin, Texas, in March. The mural depicts the excitement of finding and pursuing your passions, while also incorporating a taste of Tucson flare.
Clare Benson (MFA, ’13), a photographer and interdisciplinary artist, is being featured in a three-person exhibition, “On the Arctic Edge — Artists Explore the Far North” at Scandinavia House in New York City from Oct. 22 to Jan. 28, 2023. Benson’s work in Arctic Sweden in coordination with space scientists and indigenous Sámi reindeer herders has been exhibited internationally and published in the 2017 book “The Shepherd’s Daughter.” Website
Nassem Navab (MFA, ’19) and Anh-Thuy Nguyen (BFA, ’10) were featured in a compelling four-woman exhibition “Dialogues” at Tucson’s Yun Gee Park Gallery. Read story
Sadie Shaw (BFA, ’19, Art & Visual Culture Education) landed a new position with the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona. Read story
Sarah Hardesty (MFA Painting ’05) saw her solo show “Time Binding” reviewed by the Washington Post. Read story The show was held at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia, where Sarah is a resident artist and an assistant professor at Marymount University. See the show’s catalog and her website.
Adam Rex (’96 BFA Studio Art) mentored aspiring illustrators and writers as the fall writer-in-residence at the Himmel Park and Woods Memorial libraries in Tucson from August to October. Read Q&A
Aline Kominsky-Crumb (BFA, ’71) died Nov. 29 in France. She was 74. A close collaborator of her cartoonist husband, Robert Crumb, she was a founding member of the influential all-female collective that produced the anthology Wimmin’s Comix, a long-running feminist comic published from 1972 to 1985. A documentary about their life, “Crumb,” was released in 1994. Read obit