The Employee Recognition Committee of Staff Senate would like to congratulate the Department of Art & Art History for the December 2004 Department of the Month award.
In addition to serving more than 150 art majors and nearly 50 art minors, the 12 full-time and six part-time faculty in the department support multiple outreach services to the campus, the community and the region. Through the Walker Art Gallery, students and selected artists showcase their works. The campus and the community benefit from the exceptional graphic design abilities of art department students through DPI, and for fun each October, the department sponsors a traditional crowd-pleaser--the Halloween pumpkin carving contest.
The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA), one of only a few such state art museums in the nation, traces its roots directly to Kearney State College/UNK art faculty. Of those faculty, two have served as interim directors; several have been members of the MONA Board of Directors. Their guidance in the creation and development of the MONA has been instrumental in the museum’s success. The partnership between the art department and MONA strengthens each entity, and offers the community opportunities to understand and appreciate the arts. In the fall of 2003, the UNK Department of Art and MONA co-hosted the 2003 Nebraska Art Teachers Association Conference. In 2002, the department hosted the Southwest Conference of High Schools.
In recent years, a number of senior art faculty have retired or have started phased retirement plans. Of those faculty, at least eight will enter emeriti status having served the KSC/UNK campus for more than 35 years; some, for more than 40 years. The successive generation of faculty is a diverse group of individuals coming from across the United States, as well as Canada, Russia and Thailand. The diversity of today's department gives UNK students exposure to many styles.
The second largest art department within Nebraska colleges and universities, the department, in collaboration with the College of Education, provides classes for all elementary education majors. Further, the department partners with the communications and computer science departments to offer an interdisciplinary multimedia program.
Because of its distinction and its support of outreach opportunities, we hereby honor the Department of Art & Art History as the Department of the Month for December, 2004.