Jack Risley, associate dean of academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), will be the next chair and Ruth Head Centennial Professor of the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin, effective July 1, 2012.
Amy Hauft, chair of the sculpture department at VCU, will also join the department as professor of art and will hold the Leslie Waggener Professorship in the College of Fine Arts, effective September 1, 2012.
“Risley and Hauft are seasoned administrators, renowned artists, and distinguished teachers whose unique talents rank them among the vanguard of artist-educators in contemporary academia,” said Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. “The college will undoubtedly benefit from their deep intellectual commitment to the field of art.”
As a teacher and administrator, Risley has held academic positions at the Yale School of Art, New York University, and the Cooper Union. He has served as a visiting lecturer at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Harvard University, and Rhode Island School of Design. His teaching has included both graduate and undergraduate courses in art.
Risley has been making and exhibiting artwork in prominent venues all over the world for the past 25 years, including exhibitions at Vienna Secession, the American Academy in Rome, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Yale University Art Museum, among others. He is represented by Postmasters Gallery in New York City, where he has had six solo exhibitions. He is the recipient of the Rome Prize, a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, and a Marie Sharpe Walsh Art Foundation Award. He has maintained an active studio practice and notable international exhibition schedule while distinguishing himself as an academic administrator. His work as an artist has been widely featured and discussed in the art press, which hails him as a notable American sculptor.
“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to join the College of Fine Arts,” said Risley. “The University of Texas at Austin’s deep commitment to the arts sets it apart from other institutions. The College of Fine Arts has great reach, and its influence can be felt nationally and internationally. The Department of Art and Art History has a potent mix of programs each with a long and distinguished history. There is an almost alchemical mix of ingredients—keenly ambitious students, renowned faculty, a picture-perfect campus, unrivaled libraries and archives, all in the midst of a city with great charm and a sense of humor.”
Risley studied at the Cooper Union, earned a bachelor of arts degree from Oberlin College and a master of fine arts degree from Yale School of Art. Risley has served on the Innovations Task Force of the International Council of Fine Art Deans since 2009. He is an active member of College Art Association, the International Council of Art Administrators, and serves on the Think Tank advisory board for Foundations in Art Theory and Education.
Amy Hauft earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of California Santa Cruz. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and then earned her master of fine arts degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hauft has lived and worked in New York City, where she produced large-scale architectural installations for museums and galleries worldwide. Her work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, the American Academy in Rome, and MoMA PS1 in New York City, among other venues. Her studio work has attracted notable recognition including highly competitive grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pew Exhibition Initiative, and Public Art Fund Grant, among many others, and has been widely discussed and critiqued in the national art press. Prior to her appointment in 2004 to serve as chair of the VCU Sculpture Department, Hauft taught for 14 years at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.
Risley and Hauft are husband and wife.
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