University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Art and Art History

End of Semester newsletter

Spring 2016

Sean Bayles, winner of the Paul Aschenbach Award
Sean Bayles, winner of the Paul Aschenbach Award

End of Spring Newsletter written by Kelley Di Dio, interim Chair

Dear friends of the Art and Art History department,

The end of the year brought its usual mix of success, stress, snow and sunshine! We had a jam-packed calendar of events that included guest speakers, field trips, prize competitions, the student symposium, a faculty retirement, awards ceremonies, a student social, and, of course, graduation! 80 students graduated in Studio Art, Art Education and Art History!


Each spring, our students in Studio Art, Art Education, and Art History present their best work from the academic year. In Art History, there is an annual symposium. This year, on April 25, we had our 11th annual Art History Student Symposium. This year, the following papers were given: Kirsten Beard, Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain: A Monument to Global Catholic Conversion; Jake Collins, The Gurlitt Trove and 21st Century Issues with Restitution; Rachael Nutt, Exploring the Maya Sky; Solomon Polshek, Walter Benjamin's Wish Image; Michael Reinertz, The Appropriation of Virtuous Acts on Trajan's Column and in Medieval Legend; Emilela Thomas-Adams, The Colors of Judgment: Depicting the Apocalypse in the Morgan Beatus; and Sydney Triola, Grave Steles in Fifth and Fourth Century Athens: A Woman's World.

The Studio Art and Art Education students compete in an annual juried show each year. The quality of work in the studio prize competition was impressive! Four students really stood out: Hannah Babiss, who won the Jennifer Goldstein Award; Sean Bayles, who won the Paul Ashenbach Prize; honorable mentions in the senior student category: Kelsey Rinder and Steven Chevalier. Junior student prizes went to the following: for the Hewitt Prize, Chloe F. Mills; for the Ian Crawford Prize, Grayson Crounse; for the Black Horse Fine Art Materials Award, Sarah Ingraham; and for the Frank Owen Prize: Emmi Headrick.

Two students from the Department received the Plotkin Internship Grant: Grayson Crouse, who will be working with fashion photographer Angelo D’Agostino. And Kira Bellis who will be working at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Four students received the department internship prize, generously funded by Elizabeth van Merkensteijn: Stanislas Walden who will be interning at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Amelia Garrison who will be at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Kate Fain, Brant Art Foundation Study Center, Greenwich, CT; and Paige Hanley, David Lewis Gallery, NYC.

Our students were also honored at the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Ceremony on May 20 in Ira Allen Chapel. Outstanding Senior in Art History went to Gabrielle Fernandez and Emilela Thomas-Adams; Oustanding Senior in Studio Art went to Stacey Brandt and Liz Powell (picture below, left to right). Students in the department who wrote CAS Honors theses were also honored at the ceremony: Liz Powell in Studio Art; Sydney Triola, Jake Collins and Kirsten Beard in Art History.

2 department alums received honorary doctorates at the University commencement ceremony: Bill Ruprecht, former CEO of Sotheby’s and the founder of our Mollie Ruprecht Fund for the Visual Arts; and Richard Erdman, internationally renowned bronze and stone sculptor.

Faculty News:

Bill McDowell’s book was launched at a celebration at Burlington City Arts. The book, Ground, has received excellent press coverage already, from the New Yorker, the Guardian, and CNN.

Prof. Di Dio won the University’s Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award in the full professor category.

Steve Budington recently had a 2-person exhibition with artist Jeremy Willis at Codependent in Brooklyn, NY.

Other Student News:

Amy Cymbala, Art History ’08, received her PhD in Baroque Art History from University of Pittsburgh in May 2016

Jake Collins will be attending the MA program in Art History at UMass-Amherst, beginning in fall 2016.

If you have news to share, please let us know

Changes in the department:

Madsen Minax will be joining the department as Assistant Professor of Studio Art, with a specialization in time-based media, in fall 2016.

Professor Lynda McIntyre, who has been a fundamental part of our program for many, many years (I won’t say how many, Lynda!) retired and was elevated to Professor Emeritus status. We wish Lynda a very happy, healthy, and productive retirement!

Our lecturer in 19th c. Art History, Jordan Rose, accepted a position at UC San Diego. Bravo, Jordan! You will be missed!

Tom Brennan our full-time chair will be back as of July 1!

I wish you a lovely summer full of good art! See you in the fall!

Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio
Acting Chair and Professor of Art History