The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host the 31st Annual Arkansas College Art History Symposium March 10-12.
Dr. Alison Kettering, professor emerita of art at Carleton College, will give the keynote presentation, “Black in Rembrandt’s Time: The Culture of Race in 17th-century Dutch Art,” at 6 p.m. Friday, March 12, via the artWORKS zoom lecture.
With a special interest in 17th-century Dutch art, Professor Kettering has taught a wide range of courses on early modern art throughout Western Europe, gender issues in Western art, portraiture, and the theory and methodology of art history. She is a past president of Historians of Netherlandish Art and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art.
The three-day virtual art history symposium also features 11 presentations by college students at UA Little Rock, University of Central Arkansas (UCA), Arkansas State University (ASU), and Henderson State University (HSU).
“The annual Art History Symposium is a way to highlight some excellent student research in Arkansas colleges and universities,” said Dr. Floyd Martin, professor of art history at UA Little Rock and a founder of the symposium. “For many students it is the first time they have an opportunity to present their work to an audience beyond a single class. While we will miss the informal discussions and interactions of a normal symposium, we are glad we can offer virtual talks this year.”
Wednesday, March 10: Messages of Hope and Hopelessness
2 p.m. – Madison Seiter, UA Little Rock, “Contemporary Art of Africa: Visual Narratives of Struggle, Activism, and Identity in Willie Bester’s Two and Three-Dimensional Works”
2:30 p.m. – Olivia Fleming, UCA, “Helen Zughaib’s Syrian Migration Series: Examining the World’s Largest Refugee Crisis through Art”
3 p.m. – Laurel Gaither, ASU, “The Conscious Insider: René Magritte & Surrealism”
Thursday March 11: Feminine Perspectives in Art History
2 p.m. – Jordan Hancock, UA Little Rock, “William Blake’s Ideas of Femininity Told through Pity and Enitharmon”
2:30 p.m. – Marti Jo Boren, ASU, “Women of the WPA and Different Versions of the Natural State”
3 p.m. – Skylar Stickford, HSU, “Power of the Female Nude”
3:30 p.m. – Cassy Christ, UA Little Rock, “Reconstructing History: Developing Feminist Identities through Non-traditional Materials and Applications”
Friday March 12- Session 3: Nonwestern Traditions, Craft and Culture
2 p.m. – Mackenzie Nunnally, UA Little Rock, “The Esoteric Craft of Kabyle Women: Traditions of Pottery, Textiles, and Geometric Motifs”
2:30 p.m. – Avery Rudolph, UCA, “Angkor Wat”
3 p.m. LeAnne Roberson, UA Little Rock, “The Old and the New: How Shawn Hunt’s Transformation Mask helps make Native American Art More Accessible”
The Arkansas College Art History Symposium was born through friendship and an awareness that undergraduate students in the state of Arkansas did not have an opportunity to present their research — an important experience for future art historians.
Martin and Dr. Gayle Seymour, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Central Arkansas, are the symposium founders and visionaries. The 30-year friends saw a need and established the Arkansas College Art History Symposium in 1991.
The symposium experience echoes the expectations given to professional historians. Students have the opportunity to formally present their work, network with students in the state with similar interests and give greater attention to the discipline. The symposium also provides a unique opportunity for art history faculty from colleges and universities across the state to interact.