The following students received 2017 College of Arts & Architecture Creative Achievement Awards in Art History this spring: Laura Beyerle, Candice Driver and Janet Purdy

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