The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Welcome New SoVA Faculty and Staff

SoVA is very pleased to welcome an exciting group of new faculty and staff. Joining us are new faculty appointments, visiting professors here for a year, and other faculty taking on full-time roles. We also have staff appointments filling newly configured administrative positions.     Ghislaine Fremaux, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Ghislaine Fremaux’s large pastel drawings examine the nude, sexuality, essential selfhood, and corporeality. The hypertrophy and amplified color of her figures recall her New Orleans roots, citing the excess and flavor of the carnivalesque. Ever pursuing studies of race and culture, piloted by black literature and Jewish histories and experience, Ghislaines work dignifies her every subject, honors one's unique experience, and conflates temporal hardship and the transcendent. ‘Ghi’ received her M.F.A. in drawing and painting from Penn State (2012) and her B.F.A. from Tufts University's School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2007). She will teach figure drawing and advanced drawing classes during 2012-13. Alicia Brogan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography Alicia Brogan’s photographic work focuses on Pennsylvania’s farmland and the relationship between humans and animals. She emphasizes the life cycle of the farm animal and gives viewers an honest and unsparing view of animal cultivation.  Alicia received her B.F.A. from West Chester University and recently received her M.F.A. from Penn State.  Even with digital advances in photography, her favorite classes to teach are in the darkroom developing and processing film. Andrew Hieronymi, Assistant Professor of Art Andrew Hieronymi's recent work focuses on the kinesthetic learning process in digital games. He creates interactive installations emphasizing the physical relationship between player and interface during the act of playing. Andrew has lectured and exhibited internationally in art venues and media festivals, such as Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, FILE, IxDA Interaction, Microwavefest, and Futureplay. He received his M.F.A. from the Design Media Arts department at the University of California, Los Angeles (2005) and a B.F.A. from the Geneva University of Art and Design, Geneva, Switzerland (1998). For that past six years, he was a full-time faculty member in the Interactive Design and Game Development department, Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia. Renée Kredell, Assistant Professor of Art Education Renée Kredell takes up an appointment as supervisor of student teaching. Her research interest investigates performance as critical pedagogy and the creation of performative engagements to facilitate dialogue. In 2008 she received the Astorino Fellowship to teach in Rome, where she helped Architecture and Landscape Architecture students create a series of performances as a form of site analysis and design. Most recently Renée was the property supervisor for the School of Theatre, and in 2011 served as the Interim associate director of Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities. Renée has a B.A. in theatre and dance from University of California at Santa Cruz, M.A. in Art from California State University at Northridge, and a Ph.D. in art education from Penn State. Will Kurtz, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Will Kurtz’s most recent work captures everyday people in the streets engaged in their daily comings and goings made from everyday colored newspaper and magazines. Unnervingly familiar in their gestures and actions, we recognize in his life-size sculptures all the common imperfections, blemishes, and physical excesses. He also has an uncanny capacity to capture the character of dogs. The byline of the Daily News article about Will at the time of his solo exhibition in New York in January 2012 described him as a “gray-haired, 54-year-old former landscape architect from Flint, Michigan, who moved to Brooklyn and captures life of the city in unique artistic style.” Will received his M.F.A. in sculpture from the New York Academy of Art (2009). Tom Laureman, Assistant Professor of Art Tom Lauerman explores the overlap of sculpture, ceramics, and design. His work is rooted in craft processes, tempered by an embrace of digital fabrication tools and a fascination with material experimentation. Tom received his B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts and M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He received the 2001 Horizon Award from the Museum of Arts and Design and a 2004 Illinois Arts Council Grant. Tom has participated in several residencies, including Kohler Arts/Industry, Pilchuck Glass School, and the ClayArch Gimhae Museum, South Korea. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Cynthia MannellaNickell Cynthia MannellaNickell formally joined the School of Visual Arts as financial assistant in August 2012, following a temporary appointment during spring semester. She manages SoVA’s general budgets, including all purchasing activity and travel, as well as overseeing facilities processes. Cynthia has been with the University for more than eight years and most recently held an appointment at Penn State’s Arboretum. Cynthia lives in State College with her husband Ken and three sons, Colin, Tanner, and Camden. She enjoys cooking, entertaining and spending time with family and friends. Marissa McClure, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Education As a researcher and teacher, Marissa McClure is interested in contemporary and historical theories of child art and constructions of childhood, children and visual and media culture, social theory in art education, community-based art education, and curriculum inquiry and design. Her articles and book chapters appear in several scholarly journals and anthologies. Her current book project, with Dr. Lynn Beudert of the University of Arizona, Curriculum Inquiry and Design for School and Community-based Art Education, will be published by the National Art Education Association Press in 2013. She was the University of Arizona 2010 College of Fine Arts recipient of the Charles and Irene Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching. Fredric Weber, Professor of Practice Fredric Weber’s career as a professional photographer spans over thirty years. The magic of the photographic process led him to educational programs hosted by the industry giant (at the time) Kodak, and Rochester Institute of Technology, where he gained experience in process management, digital imaging science and digital image processing. By the mid 90’s Fredric was managing University Photo/Graphics, which provided service, photography, and graphic design to University Park and the 20+ campuses. At the time, he also worked with a local commercial photographer and managed his own portrait photography studio. His experience in industry and institutions has helped shape his approach to teaching. Fredric is also interested in laymen’s science, philosophy, fast cars, and motorcycles. Eric Roman, Marketing Communications Specialist Eric is no stranger to Penn State, having previously worked and studied here. He earned his B.F.A. in 2007 and then served as photographer for the School of Theatre and taught in the School of Visual Arts’ Photography program and Penn State’s Elderhostel program, in addition to helping students develop cohesive portfolios. He holds an A.A. from the University of Maine and M.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute. Most recently he spent two seasons as the photographer for the Acadia Summer Arts Program on Mount Desert Island, Maine. His work can be seen at Ion Gallery in State College.