It is with much gratitude that I welcome our students, staff, and faculty back to the Art + Art History Department this fall. Although a new Department Chair, my twenty-four years teaching at FIU have profoundly influenced the way I see the world and my sense of what is possible.
Although the term ‘visual’ is often applied, art is hardly limited to what we can see; and I would argue that the best art communicates far beyond mere surfaces, putting us in touch with the deepest sense of what makes us human. Whether we look back to images marked in the recesses of caves, to clay moved by fingers and thumbs, or ahead to technologies with impacts not yet fully evident, making is an integral part of who we are. Here you’ll find both stimulation and foundation to engage the questions of what, how, for whom, and why.
The creative process is an opportunity to re-envision our potential. In a time when change is occurring more rapidly than ever, both opportunities and challenges necessitate dexterity to become adaptable and resilient, and to persevere as we apply what we’ve learned to the world beyond the university. For this we need each other––to develop trust, offer support, and contribute to healthy competition so that we each reach higher goals and celebrate each other’s successes.
I’m grateful for each of you, your intrinsic value as individuals, and your unique gifts and insights. We’re all fortunate to have found our way to a community of creative people who, in myriad ways, strive to manifest that which words alone don’t easily express. As students, your time at FIU is an opportunity to discover and hone your talents, to share them with the world—as many of our alumni do. FIU Art + Art History alumni can be found exhibiting, working, researching, and teaching, throughout the art community of South Florida and beyond. What we learn here enables us to value the richness of our differences as well as the strength of our common bonds of humanity.
So, welcome back! You, our students, are our reason for being here, and our future. We want you to exceed us. Boldly embrace your journey with integrity, responsibility, and a vision of possibility.
Associate Professor of Art
Department of Art + Art History