2017

May 2017
Laura Beyerle Laura Beyerle is the rare individual whose intellectual curiosity and passion for art has propelled her to excellence in both of her majors: art education and art history. Her abilities in both of these areas shone through when she was the Annie Gooding Sykes Intern at the Palmer Museum of Art during the summer of 2016, when she worked closely with a new collection of Gifford Beal preparatory sketches and prints, then delivered a public talk about the relationships between the prints and a recently acquired painting in the museum’s collection. Laura simultaneously participated in the Summer Institute for Contemporary Art, a weeklong professional development for art educators, which lead her to populate her elementary school lessons with works of contemporary art during her student teaching experiences this semester. A State College native, Laura’s adventurous and outgoing nature has lead her to take positions of leadership in the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (as their treasurer) and in Penn State’s Swing Dance Club (as their secretary). I have been fortunate enough to have Laura in two of my classes and I am thrilled that her intelligence, thoughtfulness, and careful consideration of art history and art education are being recognized in her selection as a recipient of a Creative Achievement Award and in her designation as Student Marshal in art history this spring. Faculty Escort:  Dr. Dana Carlisle Kletchka Candice Driver Candice Driver hails from Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and will graduate in May with a major in art history, as well as minors in Spanish and in architectural history. She is a Stelts-Filippelli Intern at the Pattee-Paterno Library, where she has worked in Special Collections in Preservation, Conservation, and Digitization, and she has also been an intern at the Palmer Museum of Art. These internships have given Candice firsthand experience with the handling of art objects, the creation of archival storage systems, and even the mending of maps and pages with Japanese paper. During her undergraduate studies, Candice has been active as the Secretary of the Penn State Songwriter’s Club, for which she plans musical events and fundraisers, and she has also been a member of the University Libraries Undergraduate Advisory Group. She has acted as an Arts and Architecture Ambassador for the College, and led the planning of Penn State’s Arts Day. In 2015, she completed a summer study abroad at the Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, France. Having been admitted to the masters program in art history at Boston University, Candice is finalizing plans to continue her studies in art history in order to become a curator. Faculty Escort:  Dr. Nancy Locke Janet Purdy Janet is a second year PhD candidate in Art History, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, where she received her M.A. in Art History from Cleveland State University. Janet can best be described as a second-career student who came late (25 years after completing her undergraduate degree) to her intended field of study, African Art History. After a career as a graphic designer and creative director for a variety of corporations and non-profits, she has focused on a topic she is passionate about, the study of African Art History.  She presented a paper, “Ancient to H&M: The Persistent Role of Traditional Textiles in Ethiopian Culture,” at the Popular Culture Association National Conference in Seattle, Washington last spring. This coming summer she will be presenting a paper at the Triennial Symposium on African Art at the University of Ghana in Legon. She held internships at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Galleries at Cleveland State University, where she was assistant curator and installation designer for a major exhibition of African Art. Currently she is a Curatorial Graduate Assistant at the Palmer Museum of Art, and the Archives and Special Collections of Penn State Libraries, where she is working on African projects.  She came to Penn State with a University Graduate Fellowship, and has since then received numerous honors, fellowships and awards, the most impressive being the highly competitive Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study the Swahili language for two months in Tanzania last summer. This summer she will be travelling to the island of Zanzibar (with funding from a variety of research grants) to do preliminary research on her dissertation topic focusing on the arts of the Swahili people. Faculty Escort:  Dr. William J. Dewey  
May 2017
Andrea L. Middleton, Ph.D. candidate in art history, has been awarded a Graduate Student Summer Residency for Summer 2017 in the Institute for the Arts & Humanities, Penn State.  This will assist Andee in completing her dissertation on “To the Good Fortune of Arsione Philadelphus:  The Ruler Cult of Arsinoe II” (Advisor:  Dr. Elizabeth J. Walters).    
Apr 2017
This will assist her in completing her dissertation on “Beyond the Façade:  The Messages Behind Carved Swahili Doors.”  Her advisor is Dr. William Dewey.
Apr 2017
This will assist her in completing her dissertation on “Donatello Architetto: On the Order of Architecture in the Works of Donatello.”  Her advisor is Dr. Brian A. Curran.
Apr 2017
This will assist her in completing her dissertation on “To the Good Fortune of Arsinoe Philadelphus:  The Ruler Cult of Arsinoe II.”  Her advisor is Dr. Elizabeth J. Walters.
Feb 2017
“Canon Fodder,” a School of Visual Arts exhibition curated by Aaron Ziolkowski, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History, grapples with the canon of art history and its impact on contemporary art and artists. The exhibition, which opened on Monday, January 30, in Zoller Gallery and runs through Monday, February 6, features works by Ziolkowski, SoVA students, and alumni. Some participants created work specifically for the show, prompted by Ziolkowski to think of a meaningful work of art and make a piece of art in response to it. “The exhibition title addresses how we can use the canon for material to create new art and makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to cannon fodder,” explains Ziolkowksi. “Some artists choose to be well informed about art history and others are not interested because it might foreclose their thinking. Some don’t agree with which artists are considered canonical. Others just want to do something different.” “Canon Fodder” is Ziolkowski’s third curated show in the Zoller Gallery, although he has worked on many others since coming to Penn State for his master’s degree in art history in 2011. His other Zoller exhibitions include Farima Fooladi’s M.F.A. exhibition in fall 2016 and “Odd Couples,” a spring 2016 show pairing SoVA M.F.A. students and Art Education graduate students in the process of making corresponding work based upon artists’ descriptions. This is the first exhibition in which Ziolkowski displays a suite of his own work. “My work is obsessed with art history,” he admits. “I’m trying to show that too much knowledge of art history is stifling—like I am producing a collage of the past instead of something new. I want to foreground the exhibition with that work and move into the group work to present a wider spectrum and nuanced way of dealing with art history.”   Before attending Penn State, Ziolkowski earned his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in art history at UCLA and worked for a period as a gallery guard and museum guide at the Long Beach Museum of Art, and as a guard and intern for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where he wrote a blog post about the amount of time security guards spend around art compared to curators and guards’ insights about the art.  A native of Long Beach and an only child, Ziolkowski credits his parents, who both have backgrounds in the arts, for his initial interest in art. At Penn State, he attends as many arts-related events as possible, including plays and music concerts, explaining that he is making up for what he missed while an undergrad. “I didn’t take full advantage of the opportunities I had as an undergraduate. After working for three years and going back to school, I realize how privileged I am to be doing something I like,” Ziolkowski continued. “It could be easy to reduce Penn State to football, but there are all kinds of opportunities for students, and Penn State is very good about supporting that range of interests.” Ziolkowski is currently working on his dissertation on the origins of large-scale, abstract paintings as lobby art in semi-public, architectural spaces in mid-’50s to early ’60s in New York and other major metro areas. His advisor, Sarah K. Rich, associate professor of art history, has helped him think about art from different perspectives. “She has the most flexible thinking process,” said Ziolkowski. “I’ve never seen someone so good at all the different parts of being a professor—teaching, writing, and advising. She is also involved with visual artists in class and in critiques, which I admire.” Ziolkowski’s admiration extends to other members of the department, including Evan Pugh Professor Anthony Cutler, for whom he serves as a research assistant. “It has been rewarding to see his research,” said Ziolkowksi about Cutler. “It is helpful to witness the whole scholarly process first-hand from the way that Dr. Cutler collects and organizes his information to the writing and submitting of articles.” Ziolkowksi advises students to make connections with other students they admire. “Find and make opportunities to work with people you like. Most of the shows I have worked on happened because I liked and respected the artists as people first. The connections between SoVA and Art History are important, and I hope that people continue to build relationships between the two.” The closing reception for “Canon Fodder” is Monday, February 6, 5–7 p.m. For more information about “Canon Fodder,” visit the SoVA website: http://bit.ly/2jwimGB    
Jan 2017
Tess Kutasz, Ph.D. candidate in art history, received a Roth-Thomas Award To Supplement a Fulbright Grant, from The Lois Roth Endowment.  Tess spent the 2015-16 academic year on a Fulbright Grant research her dissertation on “Christina, Queen of Sweden, and the Politics of Antiquities Collection in Early Modern Rome.” http://rothendowment.org/project-support/sweden-roth%E2%80%90thomson-awards/  
Jan 2017
New Exhibit Reveals How Penn State Research Influenced Widely Used Solar Design Technique Post Date:  Monday, January 9, 2017 A new Penn State exhibit will show how research at the University in the 1950s influenced a passive solar design technique widely used today. “Research Wrapped in Aesthetics: The Air Wall” will be on display in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library in the Stuckeman Family Building, January 16–May 5. The exhibit will include images and documents from Penn State’s libraries and archives, as well as a newly built model, all showing how Penn State faculty were among the first to explore solar design techniques intended to make the new glass buildings more comfortable and efficient. In the 1950s, architecture professor A. William Hajjar worked with faculty and students in architecture and engineering on what seems to have been one of the first projects to build and test a double-skin glass façade. In 1959, they created the Air Wall Test Building, a temporary structure on the University Park campus with exterior walls composed of two layers of glass forming a ventilated airspace used to remove or store heat. The current exhibit is the result of research by an interdisciplinary team of Penn State faculty and graduate students who, in 2015, rediscovered the story of the Air Wall when California architect Mark Hajjar, William Hajjar’s son, gifted his father’s architectural records to Penn State’s Special Collections Library. The research team has constructed a ½”=1’ model of the Air Wall Test Building, as well as several computational models, all of which help the researchers analyze the different set-ups proposed by Hajjar in 1959 and better understand how this early technology compares to the technology of today. Hajjar’s project in the 1950s was sparked with funding from the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (now PPG), which allowed for the construction of the Air Wall Test Building, including equipment inside the structure to monitor its performance. While from a distance it looked like a typical mid-century “glass box,” it featured double-skin glass walls. That type of wall was discussed by architects as early as the 1920s, but had never been rigorously tested. It did not reappear in architectural practice until the 1980s and has become a common feature of glass buildings in the past two decades. “Placing the Air Wall in the historical context of the 20th century leaves no doubt that Hajjar’s ideas were far ahead of his time,” said Ute Poerschke, associate professor of architecture and leader of this project. The Raymond A. Bowers Program for Excellence in Design and Construction of the Built Environment has funded the research into the history of the Air Wall and development of computer simulations. In addition to Poerschke, other members of the research team are Henry Pisciotta, arts and architecture librarian; Moses Ling, associate professor of architectural engineering; David Goldberg, practitioner instructor in landscape architecture; Laurin Goad, Ph.D. candidate in art history; Mahyar Hadighi and Mina Rahimian, Ph.D. candidates in architecture; and Anthony Vischansky and Marie McKenna, both 2016 M.Arch. graduates.