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Forrest Solis named director of ASU's School of Art

May 16, 2022 - 6:25pm
The new director of Arizona State University’s School of Art wants to see art and arts education properly recognized for the important role they play in transforming the world for the better. A painter and associate professor, Forrest Solis said that she believes deeply in the value of arts education and feels fortunate to be a member of the School of Art and of ASU. She points out that she has numerous colleagues in the School of Art working at the intersection of, for example, art and technology, art and ecology, and art and health care, “but we haven’t really gotten to the place where we’re a central part of the conversation when it comes to use-based research.” Solis aims to strengthen the connection between such work and teaching and curriculum, “to get a foothold, and to demonstrate that artists make work that has the ability to advance and change...
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Double major defied the odds to achieve her dreams

May 4, 2022 - 9:24pm
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates . When Yishu Li graduated from art school in China, she had been playing piano as a professionally trained musician for 12 years. She had chosen to attend the technical secondary school (the equivalent of high school in the United States) so that she could focus on music. But she wasn't sure she wanted to continue studying piano, and she began to question whether she was on the right path. Li was a big fan of Japanese pop culture and had begun learning the Japanese language in elementary school, when she also taught herself how to draw. These two passions would end up becoming her focus several years later at ASU. Now, Li is graduating as a Barrett, The Honors College student with bachelor’s degrees in Asian languages (Japanese) and art (painting) from the...
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Finals week event focuses on mental health through fashion

April 27, 2022 - 3:56am
Ask any college student: Finals week can often bring a lot of stress, but Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts students at Arizona State University didn’t want that to be the case for their peers this semester. Based on their own experiences with stressful finals, several design students brainstormed how they could bring mental health in focus. The result: a collaboration for a pop-up shop with the Mayfair Group, a Scottsdale-based lifestyle brand whose merchandise features apparel with inspirational and uplifting messaging. The brand was inspired by CEO Sam Abrahart’s own struggle with mental health and her goal to create a more meaningful life through uplifting content. Assistant Professor Danielle Testa , who teaches fashion retail management, said she overheard her students talking about their own struggles with mental health as finals approached. The students then decided to promote kindness and positivity with a pop-up shop and fair that...
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Graduating ASU senior to launch sustainable fashion brand

April 26, 2022 - 9:00pm
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates . Her study abroad session may have been cut short due to the pandemic, but Macey Sierka will never forget the four weeks she spent in Paris and how it further fueled her passion to start her own clothing business upon graduation. Sierka will graduate this May with a degree in supply chain management from the W. P. Carey School of Business with a minor in fashion from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. During her study abroad experience, she took a course called “Business and Fashion in France” where she learned about the business aspect of the fashion industry from the perspective of luxury fashion brands. She gained several perspectives about fashion from her professors who were knowledgeable in areas including design, marketing and forecasting. “I have always loved clothes, but...
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On behalf of our animal neighbors: Printmaking grad looks to the natural world

April 25, 2022 - 2:53am
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates . Daniella Napolitano compares her creative practice to that of a natural historian informed by ecology, biology and natural history research. “One of my favorite projects I’ve worked on is a set of field guides I made for common Phoenix flora and fauna,” said Napolitano, who graduates this spring with an MFA in printmaking. “It stands out to me because it was my very first experience with using the letterpress and I was determined to try every new technique. It also helped me familiarize myself with a new environment after moving here from out of state.” Napolitano said she “observes animals and plants, translating information into a ‘popular’ rather than ‘scientific’ form: visual narratives that incorporate observation-based information with a whimsical approach to animal behavior.” Her thesis exhibition, “ Have You Seen Me?: A...
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Retiring Regents Professor honored with a photography exhibition

March 21, 2022 - 10:12pm
Editor's note: This story originally stated that the exhibit ran through April 2, but the exhibit has already closed. Northlight Gallery and the School of Art are honoring Arizona State University Regents Professor Mark Klett for 40 years of service to the university with an exhibition titled " Circle of Influence." More than 60 BFA and MFA alumni who have been mentored by Klett during their time at ASU have been invited to have their work represented. Their graduation dates range from the mid-1980s to last year. Most of the work in the show has been donated to Northlight Gallery and will become part of the Mark Klett Archive. “The show is a great honor for me,” said Klett, “showing the work of students I have mentored over my 40-year career at ASU.” Klett started teaching at ASU in 1982 when he joined the staff as a master printer before...
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Honoring a ‘cultural entrepreneur’

February 21, 2022 - 8:03pm
There are a couple of reasons Arizona State University Professor Bernard Young — who has a PhD in philosophy from Cornell — gives students when they ask why he calls himself a doctor when his expertise is in art education. The most important reason? “I’m Black,” he said. “There aren't too many of us.” Young’s comment came during an ASU Library event Monday night to celebrate the J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. Papers , the first archive to join the library’s Black Collections, recently created as part of the university’s LIFT (Listen, Invest, Facilitate, Teach) Initiative . Established in 2020, the goal of LIFT is to enhance and support the lived, teaching and learning experiences of Black students, faculty and staff. And if the initiative is successful, Young’s statement won’t be the case much longer – much of it is geared toward increasing not only the number of Black students, faculty...
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The importance of identity, representation in photography

February 10, 2022 - 8:29pm
Representation is a powerful tool that can be used to bring positive social change to our world. With the evolution of technology, more people are discovering artists who are sharing how social movements can be made through art, identity and representation. At Arizona State University, one faculty member is using his expertise to share how his thought-provoking work is bringing positive social change, one photo at a time. Granville Carroll, faculty associate at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts teaches a speciality course through ASU Online’s digital photography program, Identity and Representation in Photography. Carroll’s collectives are a literal and metaphoric representation of life through his eyes, introducing people to the concepts of Afrofuturism and identity. ASU News spoke with Carroll about the importance of representation in photography and creating an authentic, safe space for Black artists. Question: Tell us about the course you teach and the importance...
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New library collections feature one of ASU's first Black professors

January 17, 2022 - 9:18pm
While sorting through photos in the J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. Papers, one of many collections in the backlogs at ASU Library , Associate Archivist Elizabeth Dunham often joked that Grigsby was “a total dad.” A teacher and an artist, he traveled often to national conferences and took pictures of everything that caught his eye along the way, from random buildings “right down to the pictures out the plane window,” Dunham said with a laugh. Grigsby’s penchant for documentation may have been considered a charming character quirk during his lifetime, but today, it’s the reason ASU Library is able to offer a unique glimpse into the life of one of Arizona State University’s first Black professors in the fine arts department. And it’s a long time coming for members of Arizona’s Black community, said Jessica Salow , who was recently named archivist of Black Collections at ASU Library, a new role...
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Do species really 'invade'?

December 30, 2021 - 4:30am
About two weeks ago, The Guardian newspaper reported on the booming armadillo population in North Carolina. The first armadillo showed up in 2007, but since 2019 their numbers have skyrocketed. It’s suspected that climate change is the culprit; armadillos don’t like cold, and North Carolina hasn’t seen a bitter winter in a while. It’s news because it’s unusual, but what was not unusual was the language employed: “besieged,” “relentless march,” “nemesis” and “hunting aliens.” Invasion biology — the study of the harm done to ecosystems by species introduced outside their native habitats — got its start in the mid-1980s among an international group of ecologists studying Mediterranean ecosystems, which occur on every temperate continent. But some attitudes are changing in science. Arizona State University’s Matt Chew has co-authored several papers on the subject. Scientific American called him the “gadfly of invasion biology.” He is quoted in the New York Times...
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