As we launch the 2021-22 academic year, I look forward to a new phase in our world and our School. We are returning to campus for in-person classes after a year and half of quarantine during the global pandemic. Our students will once again have the opportunity to throw vessels on the wheel, design packaging in collaborative teams, print designs on screens, paint, draw, build, make, and utilize the extensive equipment and studios in our facilities to create new work. I look forward to seeing our students and faculty and staff populate the hallways and courtyards and watching the evolution over the course of the year of new pieces as students learn to create designs for new spaces and brands, jewelry and furniture, and art in multiple media.
This fall, we are excited to open our four on campus galleries to in-person programming and to launch the inaugural School of Art and Design’s Gallery Nights. Once a month, we will welcome the University and broader community to visit our galleries and view art in the School.
This semester, the School is offering 145 courses, including more than a dozen sections of courses added over the summer in response to growing enrollment. In addition, we are pleased to welcome two new tenure track faculty members, Dr. Gillian Sneed in Art History and Professor Avery Caldwell in Graphic Design, and 11 new lecturers: Cathy Nguyen, Sage Serrano Howard, Jackie Lo, Heather Roessler, Sofia Gonzalez, Tavleen Kaur, Linson Huang, Michelle Natividad Stein, Leslie Shershow, Sherine Towfiq, and James Bowman .
Last summer, in alignment with the College and University, the School launched an expansive diversity and inclusion initiative. But like everything in our School, it was unique to the needs and interests of our creative community. This initiative included students, faculty, and staff who collaborated in four groups: culture, curriculum, growth, and outreach, to develop and implement a series of projects to support the ongoing evolution of our School environment and ensure that we are responsive to the vital national movement to cultivate antiracism and an authentically inclusive community and address the specific needs of our students as we move into the future. I am excited to see this movement grow as new students and faculty join our community.
Reflecting on my two years so far at SDSU, I have developed three goals for the upcoming year.
Director’s Goals for the 2021-22 Academic Year:
- The School of Art and Design will be a place where everyone feels welcomed and included and a diversity of perspectives are valued and supported. Our staff and leadership will be consistent but also nimble and responsive to changing needs.
- The curriculum will be antiracist and expansive, presenting a global view of art and design. Students will receive a balance of theory and practice throughout the curriculum and will have opportunities to explore and learn digital and hand-based practices.
- We will co-create a student-centered environment where undergraduate and graduate students have learning experiences in the School and beyond that prepare them for success including engaging in professional experiences and leadership roles.
Director, SDSU School of Art + Design