VISUAL ARTS PROFESSORS
CHAIR AND PROFESSOR OF ART AND DESIGN
DIRECTOR OF UND ART COLLECTIONS
BA from State University of New York at New Paltz
MA and PhD in Art History from Case-Western Reserve University
Professor Arthur F. Jones (who normally exhibits under the name Art Jones) has taught and served as Art Department Chair at the University of North Dakota since 2003. In addition, he is currently the Director of UND Art Collections. Jones received his BA degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz and his MA and PhD degrees in Art History from Case-Western Reserve University. Before his arrival at UND, Jones taught at the University of Kentucky and served as Art Department Chair at Radford University in Virginia. On three occasions, he was also a Scholar in Residence at the Pollock/Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, New York. Over the years, Jones has frequently served as a curator of art exhibitions—producing numerous catalog essays for museums and art galleries as well as other published articles and books. In addition to his achievements as a curator and scholar, Jones has also made and exhibited his own art throughout his professional life.
Early in his career, although Jones had a Ph.D. and worked as an art professor, his artwork was expressively childish in appearance. While much Arthur F. Jones Professor / Department Chair of his work over the past 15 years has involved somewhat more sophisticated techniques, recent pieces reveal Jones’ desire to “progress back” toward his earlier rawer tendencies in an attempt to recapture instinctive impulses he believes are essential for unadulterated creative expression. The themes of Medusa as a Non-Wearable Pendant and Bone of Contention with Barking Squirrel (which is a kinetic piece) emerged from capricious mental pictures formed during Jones’ impromptu manipulation of materials. The title of the former (which was an afterthought) reflects Jones’ fondness for three New York artists who he got to know well during his career. The subject of Medusa has been an important egalitarian feminist theme within Audrey Flack’s sculpture, while Dorothy Gillespie and Ibram Lassaw created small abstract pieces as wearable sculptures—as differentiated from more commercial jewelry. Because of the fragility of solder, however, Jones’ Medusa cannot be worn.
BFA Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art
MFA Printmaking from Tyler School of Art
Professor Kim William Fink has taught printmaking at the University of North Dakota since 1999. He received his BFA in Painting from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon and his MFA in Printmaking at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His recent credits include participating as Artist-in- Residence at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, Connecticut, and the KALA Art Institute in Berkeley, California.
Currently, Fink’s art explores issues of comparative culture and what is termed, “cultural memory,” implicit as well as explicit. He attempts to create a fusion of cultural realities that examine objective verses subjective visions and a synthesis between image and meaning, all of which define qualities that form us as individuals, as a group, and ultimately as a nation. Born and raised in the American West, Fink is fascinated with its truly postmodern expressions of popular culture. Fink likes to quote the poet Richard Hugo’s observations of the West’s ancient newness: “...Out West... the only thing is neon...”
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR PHOTOGRAPHY
BFA from University of New Mexico
MFA from University of Kentucky
Associate Professor Suzanne Gonsalez began teaching photography for the University of North Dakota in 2008. She received her BFA from the University of New Mexico and her MFA from the University of Kentucky. The imagery of Gonsalez’s photographs contains the metaphor of myths and dreams. Using the contemporary framework of her personal history and environment, she explores personal loss, religious and cultural identities as well as the qualities of everyday life. One of her current bodies of work, INTERIORS, is a series of prints based upon facets of everyday life expressed through the eye of abstraction. This portfolio documents elements of my life that hint at both a real world as well as an illusionary one. This gives way to the discussions of ordinary events viewed through the veil of eroticism of the everyday.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR PAINTING
BFA from University of North Dakota
MFA Painting and Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design
Todd Hebert received his BFA from the University of North Dakota and his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has been a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA; and the Core Residency Program at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. Among the numerous private and public collections that have acquired his work are the the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the The Neuberger Berman Collection, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and is represented by Devin Borden Gallery in Houston. In 2012 the North Dakota Museum of Art mounted a twelve-year survey of his work. Hebert has been an Assistant Professor of Art & Design at the University of North Dakota since 2012.
CRYSTAL HUI-SHU YANG
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR DRAWING
BA from Chinese Culture University
MFA in painting from Radford University in Virginia
PhD in Art with an emphasis in art education from University of Georgia
Associate Professor Crystal Hui-Shu Yang has taught drawing, watercolor, and art education at the University of North Dakota since 2003. She received her BA degree from Chinese Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan; her MFA in painting from Radford University in Virginia; and her PhD in Art with an emphasis in art education from the University of Georgia.
Although Yang’s early Buddhist theme paintings conveyed human suffering in this grievous world, she recently started to work on a new series related to the imaginative Buddha land. In 2004, Yang visited the Longmen Caves and Binglinsi Caves in China where she observed monumental Buddhist carvings as well as the Mogao grottoes (wherein 492 caves house more than 45,000 square meters of wall paintings and 2,415 colored stucco sculptures). The Buddhist art of the Mogao temple (also known as the art of Dunhuang) was created between the 4th and 14th centuries. Dunhuang, a trading oasis on the Silk Road situated in the Gobi desert and the beginning and the ending points of a perilous long journey, received countless caravan during its heydays. Stopping by at the temple of Mogao, survivors from the west gave gratitude to Buddha, while travelers from the east prayed forsafety in the face of an unpredictable future. The impermanency of life was deeply perceived here. Through art, the perpetual Buddha lands were visualized to console the earthly hearts.
Yang has drawn inspiration from Dunhuang art since her undergraduate years in Taiwan. Dunhuang, wherein the Western and Eastern cultures met during the medieval era, has a symbolic meaning to her.
After the trip to Dunhuang, Yang explains how her life and art were impacted by death and birth: I lost my mother when I was four months pregnant. In the last week of my mother’s life, I recovered a copy of Five Sutras of the Pure Land in storage. Through reading the sutras, I envisaged the afterlife paradise of bliss—a world constructed with the seven treasures: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, ruby, and cornelian. I described my vision to my mother. At the moment, I saw sparkles in her eyes, although she was no longer able to speak or move her paralyzed body then. I believe that she was finally free from her carnal body, which caused endless pain and agony in the last three years of her life. In the past two years, I have searched for my visual language to materialize the eternal Buddha land. It may take several years for me to complete this Buddhist series.
BA from Greenville College
MA from University of New Mexico
MFA from University of New Mexico
Professor, Patrick Luber has been teaching sculpture at the University of North Dakota since 1991. He received his BA at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. He then continued his education at the University of New Mexico earning his MA and his MFA. His intention as a professional artist is to participate in and contribute to the discipline of fine art through the production and exhibition of artworks and through the written word.
Beyond contributions to the discipline of fine art, Luber’s work as a visual artist communicates and reflects ideas that exist within the culture at large. His current sculptural artwork draws upon traditional milagro forms through which he questions the validity and boundaries between disinterested, decorative, and devotional objects. Lubers artwork calls into question how material culture appropriates and redefines objects and images (including works of art) and uses them in new and unintended ways. Luber’s plans for future artwork to include further research into the relationship between material culture and fine art. He would also like to continue writing about and giving presentations on various aspects of popular culture, art, and American history.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR ART HISTORY
UND ART COLLECTIONS
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR CERAMICS
BFA from University of Tennessee
MFA from Texas Tech University
Associate Professor Wesley L. Smith began teaching ceramics at the University of North Dakota in fall, 2006. He received his BFA at the University of Tennessee and his MFA at Texas Tech University. From 2003-2006 he was an Artist in Residence at Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft. As long as he can remember, he has always loved mythology, science, science fiction, animals, machinery, tools, toys, and technology. It is the melding together and mutating of these subjects and ideas, which he is addressing in his work.
Smith is looking for ways to turn reality off and allow glimpses into (or maybe let creatures out of ) his alternative reality. This fantasy realm can sometimes be scary or totally unbelievable. At the same time there is a sense of play and whimsy connected to children’s games and toys. These opposites present a constant challenge that inspires him. His work is the pursuit of new “realms of reality” and the objects and organisms within.
Currently Smith is working on several wall hanging/pedestal pieces and interchangeable ways to display them. They are pieces that address interaction between a main body and satellite forms or a main object and an unseen object. The components are interesting in that they may become interchangeable between various pieces, making them much like building blocks. Most of Smith’s work (past and present) draws upon specific aspects of popular culture, rooted largely in science fiction and childhood toys. He is also working toward a synthesis or amalgamation of these with a constant influx of new information from television, cinema, and toys.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR JEWELRY AND METALSMITHING
BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
MFA from School of Art at Illinois State University
Associate Professor Donovan Widmer has been teaching jewelry and metalsmithing at the University of North Dakota since 2004. He received his BFA at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from the Schoolof Art at Illinois State University. His creative research is concerned with a production of objects that examine the ways in which ideologies are affected by external institutions. The objects are meant to be amusing, sardonic, and peculiar. It is his intention to portray the realities of our failures and dysfunction, but equally celebrate the idea and initiatives towards progress.
Widmer’s current work investigates the subject of transience. As a condition of this precept, the temporal qualities of transience concurrently suggest a fragile and vulnerable state of existence as well as the subjectivities of preciousness. The sculptures are constructed to prolong the ephemeral phenomenon or display the residue of their degenerating processes. The works are designed to reference antiquated technologies and scientific instruments. The resulting sculptures explore science’s endeavors to objectify and categorize incorporeal subjects such as faith, theism, mortality, etc. In turn, the works imply the ways in which human thought and understanding evolve as newer models replace obsolete technologies and knowledge.
INSTRUCTOR UND ART COLLECTIONS
Department of Art X Design
University of North Dakota
3350 Campus Rd, Stop 7099
Grand Forks, ND 58202