Author: Rick O'Toole

Election Day Printmaking Workshop for High School Educators

Fresh experiences (and the opportunity to explore letterpress) as well as techniques and projects to take back to the high-school studio (including programs with little or no printmaking equipment)!

Participants will create letterpress prints using wood and metal type on the Vandercook proof press. Polymer plate letterpress will be introduced. We will also explore the use of PVC foam board to make plates that can be used to create both relief and intaglio prints.

“Printmaking Studio” will include: morning instructional workshop, 10:00 am-12:30 pm; lunch 12:30-1:30 pm; and optional afternoon studio time, 1:30- 3:30 pm.

The maximum size for this workshop is 12 people. Participants will work directly with UConn Printmakers Laurie Sloan and John O’Donnell.

Tuesday, November 3rd. Register through the Department of Art & Art History, 860-486-3930 or The cost, including materials and lunch, is $25.00.

A boxed lunch will be provided. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary needs.

Erin Wiersma, Visiting Artist – 10/29/15 at 3:30 p.m.

Visiting Artist Presentation:  Erin Wiersma

Thursday, October 29, 2015, at 3:30 p.m.

Arena Gallery, Art Building, Storrs Campus



Erin Wiersma is an artist, born in Somerville, New Jersey. She received her Master of Fine Arts from University of Connecticut, Bachelor of Art degree from Messiah College, and studied at Instituto Lodovico in Orvieto, Italy.

Wiersma’s work explores the intangible aspects of the human presence using her own being as a point of reference. Through her drawings she seeks to discover a confluence of the spiritual and material.

Wiersma has exhibited throughout the US, including recent exhibitions at Mallin Gallery at Kansas City Artist Coalition, Kansas City, MO, Soho20 Gallery, NY, NY, Sarah A. Coyne Gallery at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, CA and Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC. Wiersma’s drawing practice is included in publications including OnVerge – CUE Foundation, Art21Online Magazine and Two Coats of Paint. Currently Wiersma’s work is being represented in Brooklyn, NY at A.I.R. Gallery and she lives in Manhattan, Kansas.

Wiersma is an Assistant Professor of Art at Kansas State University. Images of her work are at

Please contact Professor Judith Thorpe at with any questions.



Design Students Study Abroad in London and Explore the UK Design World

Junior-year Communication Design students are spending their Spring Semester studying at Central St. Martins in London, one of Europe’s premier art schools.  In a unique curriculum, they undertake projects collaboratively with their UK counterparts.  The program also incorporates an ambitious schedule of visits to design studios and museums.  To find out more, visit the UCdesignUK blog.

Our Best Advice for Building a Career in Art History

Prospective and current students often have questions about building a career in the arts and the choices they should make as undergraduates:

Should I apply for internships?
Is a Minor important?
How do I find that first job in the arts?
How do I format a resumé?

To help answer these questions, the Art History faculty have put together a new guide to entry level art history. It provides insights and guidance specific to UConn Art History students about resources both on- and off-campus.

Studio Art Student Wins Prestigious Mitchell Fellowship

Senior Julianne Norton, who is minoring in Studio Art, has received a prestigious Mitchell Scholarship to study in Ireland and work on a graphic novel next year. The George J. Mitchell Scholarship is awarded to applicants with unusual depth in their academic interests and exceptional records of focused contributions to society – those identified as having the potential to become national leaders.

Julianne Norton gives her Holster First Year Projects presentation at Konover Auditorium on Sept. 20, 2012. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

At UConn, Norton is completing an individualized major in international relations with a concentration in cross-cultural relations and a minor in studio art. In Ireland, she plans to earn a graduate degree in creative writing as she continues work on a graphic novel that includes a cross-cultural comparison with postmemory of the Holocaust and the Irish Famine.

Early on Norton cultivated her interests in the analysis of artwork. As a freshman in the honors program, she received funding as a Holster Scholar for a project that examined postmemory in five generations of her family’s artwork and included original paintings. Building upon this work, last year she presented at the U21 International Research Conference in Amsterdam and has since received a UConn IDEA Grant and a SURF Grant to fund work on her graphic novel.

Norton also earned a SHARE Grant in 2013 to work with Kathryn Myers in the Department of Art and Art History, researching Jewish Indian art and culture. She spent time in Israel during her Holster project and later studied abroad in the Czech Republic. On campus, she is active as a UCAELI Volunteer, HIPS Volunteer and event coordinator for the International Relations Association.


Freshmen Students Visit New York City

Professors Deborah Dancy, Ray DiCapua and John O’Donnell led a group of 35 freshmen students from the Foundations class on a fantastic day trip to New York City’s Chelsea gallery district. They visited an amazing slew of exhibitions, including Louise Bourgeouis, Neo Rauch, Judy Pfaff, Arturo Herrera and many more. Along the way, they made time for a short stop in at Printed Matter, a walk on the High Line, and a lunch break. The art was challenging and inspiring, and a fabulous group of students totally rocked it!

Education Abroad Expands Creative Vision and Enhances Professional Readiness

Higher education has embraced rigorous education abroad programs to encourage students to think like global citizens. The Institute of International Education notes that international experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education.

Globalization is changing the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and experience. Alum Shane Milano (BFA Studio Art: Communication Design ’12), a designer at national ad agency Hill Holiday, notes that during job interviews prospective employers asked many questions both about his internships and also about his study abroad experiences. Art history students aiming to build careers in museums and non-profits need global experience to complement their studies.

Our Study Abroad programs are faculty-led and provide classroom and experiential learning opportunities that are directly integrated with our curriculum. The semester-long program in Florence, Italy, focuses on observational drawing, painting, and photography, and uses the city and its art traditions for inspiration.  The semester-long program at Central St. Martins, London, takes students to a leading European art school to study design, typography, and book arts alongside their English counterparts. Art History students often participate in UConn’s Florence and Paris programs, both of which offer specialized art history courses. Learn more by visiting UConn Education Abroad.

Arts Internships: Laying the Foundation for a Career in the Arts

Internships are an excellent way to gain an inside view of the student’s chosen field, learn about different career paths, and start to build a network of professional connections. Internships can also provide valuable work-related experiences that give students a head start when they are ready to launch their careers.

Most AAH students undertake at least one internship, and many do two or more. Sometimes internships are taken during the academic year for credit, or they can be undertaken during the summer as independent professional-development experiences.

Students should consult their faculty advisors and the UConn Center for Career Services about internship opportunities. Career Services can provide assistance with resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn and other social media and networking tools, and interviewing skills.

These are some places that AAH students have interned:

Lego Winterhouse Studio ESPN The Magazine
Artefact The Taunton Press Curbstone Press
Real Art Ways Wadsworth Atheneum Florence Griswold Museum
Conde Nast Milestone Graphics Threads Magazine
Frick Collection Denver Art Museum Once + Future (NYC)
Hartford Courant Studio of Barbara McClintock, Illustrator Studio of David Johnson, Illustrator
9 West Center for Contemporary Printmaking

Careers in the Arts: Where Are AAH Alumni Now?

One of the persistent myths about arts education is that graduates will not be able to build satisfying careers or enjoy job security, benefits, and financial success.  The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project has interviewed over 90,000 arts alumni and gathered data about occupations, income, student debt, professional satisfaction and more. It’s a useful resource for all arts students and their families.

But what kinds of professional careers are our alumni pursuing? Many different ones! An arts degree is like a fan – there’s not one path forward, but many paths forward, based on the student’s interests, talents, and choices.

Here are some of the different professional titles held by our BFA Studio Art alumni:

Graphic designer Medical illustrator Cinematographer Graphic Novelist
Web designer Photojournalist Animator Art conservator
Stop-motion animator Advertising director Brand identity director Display designer
Jewelry designer Studio art professor User interface designer Editorial illustrator
 Art teacher Ceramicist Web developer Photography editor
Textile designer Fashion designer Interior designer Cartoonist
Art therapist Exhibition designer Architect Marketing director

And these are professional titles held by our BA Art History alumni:

Gallery director Museum curator Museum educator Archivist
Fundraiser Research librarian Museum registrar Gallery manager
Arts administrator Public programs director Art history professor High school teacher
Journalist Auction house specialist Visual resources librarian Art appraiser

These are some of the companies and institutions where our BFA and BA alumni work or have worked:

Pixar Metropolitan Museum of Art The New Yorker Magazine
Google Creative Labs Philadelphia Museum of Art Yale University Press
Ideo Real Art Ways Sol Lewitt Studio
Wolff-Olins Mystic Seaport Museum Hill Holiday
Crispin, Porter, & Bogusky Princeton Architectural Press Ogilvy & Mather
Coach Stoopid Buddies Studios Alice + Olivia
Twitter Lego Anthropologie

Contemporary Art Galleries Recognized as Top Ten Place to View Contemporary Art

The Culture Trip, an influential website, has named the Department’s Contemporary Art Galleries as one of the Top Ten places to view Contemporary Art in Connecticut.  The article notes that CAG focuses on “forefronting the biggest trends in contemporary art and exploring interdisciplinary crossover. Architecture, design, photography, performance, music, film, video and fine art all rub shoulders within and on its walls, and series of artists talks and art criticism also provide debate and discussion.” CAG is in good company on this list, which also cites the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and Real Art Ways.

AAH Students Win Major Awards At Connecticut Art Directors Club

Our BFA students won several major awards at the Connecticut Art Directors Club Awards Night. Recent graduate Mikey Karpiel earned the Judge’s Choice Award and a Gold Award for “Dog Days,” and a Silver Award for “New Appliance.” Juror Aaron Goodman said, “The combination of style and substance made it one of my favorites in the show.” Current students Fei Fei Luo and Haley Taylor also accepted scholarship awards for Illustration and Graphic design, respectively.

The Connecticut Art Directors Club is  the leading independent professional organization serving the Connecticut creative community.

Congratulations, UConn artists!


Donate to the Gus Mazzocca Visiting Artist Program

The Art & Art History Department is pleased to announce the creation of The Gus Mazzocca Visiting Artist Program.

During his distinguished forty-two year career at UConn, Professor Emeritus Gus Mazzocca was a leader in promoting and developing artists’ residencies at arts schools and universities.


Tom and Carol Dillon, in honoring Gus, are putting forth a dollar-for-dollar challenge up to $10,000 to match new donations to The Gus Mazzocca Visiting Artist Program Program Endowment.

Join the Art & Art History Department in nurturing new art and educating the next generation of artists by making your gift today!

Please contribute your gift online through the UConn Foundation.

If you have questions, please call the Department of Art and Art History at 860.486.3016.

Student Exhibition Inaugurates the Visual Arts Installation Space

Studio Art major and University Scholar Antonio Campelli has inaugurated our new Visual Arts Installation Space with an exhibition, “Stray Light,” funded by UConn’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fund and IDEA grant fund. The piece is hauntingly beautiful, visually and emotionally compelling.  On April 24, over a hundred students, faculty, staff, friends and family came to support Antonio and celebrate our new professional-calibre installation space. Many thanks to Ray DiCapua and Gary Krewson for their dedicated work in creating VAIS over the course of the past year.  Check out a video clip of this piece here: QuickTime Movie download


Art & Art History Students Excel, Win Prestigious University Awards

Art & Art History students have proved themselves to be high achievers, sweeping some of the University’s most prestigious awards for undergraduate academic achievement and research.

Three Art & Art History students have been awarded University Scholar status, the highest honor for academic achievement, and one which enables students to undertake an independent research project with a team of faculty advisors.  To put this achievement in context, only twenty-two awards are given.

Six Art & Art History students received IDEA grants, which enable students to pursue an independent project that i s creative, innovative and entrepreneurial.  Only twenty IDEA grants are awarded to the entire student body.

“We’re very proud of the academic and creative success of our students,” said Department Head Anne D’Alleva. “This reflects the faculty’s strong commitment to mentoring our students, and the University’s willingness to embrace and promote achievement in the arts.”

Illustration Student Wins Highly Competitive National Scholarship

BFA student Hayato Jin Kawai’s illustration, “FUN WITH KIM AND DENNY”, has been officially selected by the Society of Illustrators in New York, for their Student Scholarship Show. In addition, Jin was one of a select few students to receive a scholarship from the Society.

 The Society of Illustrators exhibition is truly the top showcase for up-and-coming illustrators, and we are  proud to have Jin be a part of it. His work will not only be exhibited in the Museum of American Illustration in New York, but it will also be featured in the Society’s catalog, which is distributed to editors and art directors around the world.

This is the first time the University of Connecticut has had a student selected. The selection process is highly competitive, as the Society only selects about 5% from their pool of entrants for the exhibition. Of those, only a select few receive scholarships.


Sculpture Students and Alumni Exhibiting at ArtSpace, Windham

From the conceptual to the material to the technical, contemporary sculptural practices represent a rich, multifaceted area of investigation for art students.

Utilizing various techniques such as metal fabrication, constructed environments with sound and video projection and labor intensive installations, Ashley Frato, Antonio Campelli, Andrew Janevey and Katrina Orsini are four young artists and students who are consciously embracing the formal, historical, technical, political and personal features of this practice in ways that deserve our attention.

AS IS is an exhibition that reflects both the depth and span of some of the artwork being created in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Connecticut.

We hope you can join us the opening at ArtSpace Windham, on March 27 at 7:30 PM.

AAH and Creative Writing Establish Counterproof Press

Counterproof Press is an exciting new collaboration between the Creative Writing Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and programs in Printmaking, Communication Design and Illustration, as well as the Design Center Studio, in the Department of Art + Art History at the School of Fine Arts.

Counterproof Press will facilitate collaborative studio projects whereby students, faculty, and visiting artists/scholars from various disciplines collaborate to produce limited edition art objects, artifacts, and publications.

We will develop a collection of yearly projects, events, and collaborations that will be documented and published by Counterproof Press.

Counterproof Press also plans to initiate internships, courses, donor subscription programs, membership programs, fundraising events, and operate on a regional, national, and international level by leveraging internal and external funding support.

This initiative will have high visibility via its online presence with a dedicated identity, website and associated exhibition, print, social media marketing, PR and promotion.

For upcoming projects in 2014 and 2015
Penelope Pelizzon: Creative Writing Program, English Department
Mary Banas: Communication Design, Art + Art History Department
Cora Lynn Deibler: Illustration, Art + Art History Department
Alison Paul: Illustration, Art + Art History Department
Laurie Sloan: Printmaking, Art + Art History Department
Edvin Yegir: Communication Design & Design Center, Art + Art History Department
Mark Zurolo: Communication Design, Art + Art History Department

Paul Muldoon: The 51st Wallace Stevens Poet, English Department
Sharon Butler: Visiting Artist in Residence; Art+Art History Department


Widely considered to be the greatest English-language poet of his generation, Paul Muldoon was born in Ireland in 1951. He has published over a dozen collections and has been honored with the Pulitzer Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He will visit UConn on April 10 as the 51st Wallace Stevens Poetry Program guest. His visit is sponsored by The Hartford, the UConn Humanities Institute, and the English Department Speaker’s Fund in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Muldoon will generously allow students to print one of his new poems as a limited-edition letterpress booklet created by Design Center and hand-printed by student artists in the Printmaking studio. This will be the inauguration of what we plan as an annual project to coincide with each year’s visiting Wallace Stevens Poet.

Happenstance involves a collaboration/encounter between a group of student poets, artists, and designers. Happenstance is an improvisational and experimental creative charrette to be held at the Printmaking facilities in Bishop to facilitate dialogue between poets and visual artists; this encounter will result in a collaborative product in the form of a limited edition publications and an exhibition.

Sharon L. Butler, an artist and writer, maintains an award-winning art blog, Two Coats of Paint, blogs for The Huffington Post. Her art work is included in private collections in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Baltimore, Tampa, Philadelphia, Providence, Berlin, London and Kyoto.

Sharon Butler will be in residence throughout this semester to create a series of prints. Students will benefit by learning to professionally edition the works and by observing Sharon’s art and process.