USD Magazine Spring 2013
present their work in every area of visual arts to a panel of arts professors, to the senior thesis, when students pres- ent a written thesis and advanced work — often resulting from independent studies with an individual professor — to arts faculty and peers. “We are a small department by a lot of standards, but the proximity to faculty can be enormously valuable,” says Wiese. “The students get real connections with fac- ulty and those connections are often across disciplines.” All of which often lead to enviable opportunities. Take Zawlacki, the art-historian-writer-roving-mechanic, for example. On a quiet weekday, he leads a guided tour of the current exhibition at the Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries in Founders Hall: “Character & Crisis: Printmaking in America, 1920–1950.” As one of three student-curators working last semester under the direction of then-guest curator Derrick Cartwright, he helped develop themes and interpre- tations for the exhibition and extract the final print selections that document the social, political and economic upheavals in the early- to mid-20 th century, which is work undergraduates rarely have a hand in. In a stroll through both galleries, he points out his favorite piece, talks about the piece he considers the most powerful, expands on the themes presented and reveals nuances within the works of art. His expertise is undeniable.
“I can give you a pretty good argument for why every piece is here,” says Zawlacki with the confidence of a practiced pre-professional.
Can Bilsel, chair of the Department of
Art, Architecture + Art History (center); senior art major Noé Olivas (above right).
The Hoehn Print Study Room and the University Galleries — comprising the Hoehn Family Galleries, May Gallery and IPJ Fine Art Galleries — are invaluable resources for USD and the larger San Diego art community. The print study room houses one of the finest print libraries in California, as well as USD’s permanent collection, curated by Victoria Sancho Lobis, which represents the his- tory of printmaking from the 15 th century to the present, including works by masters such as Goya, Rouault and Rembrandt. Endowed through generous gifts from Robert and Karen Hoehn, the print collection, study room and galleries combine to create the consummate print pro- gram in San Diego, leading to creative partnerships with institutions like the San Diego Museum of Art. Lobis encourages faculty across campus to participate in the gallery exhibition lecture series and to develop curricula around the collection itself and the exhibitions, such as the Spanish classes that incorporated a Goya exhi- bition into their studies or the theater students who have written and performed monologues inspired by exhibi- tions. Students like Zawlacki are welcomed as program-
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