Hello UCA!

Announcements; Faculty & Staff »
By Leslie Macklin, Foundations Coordinator »

Hello UCA! I am excited to be a new faculty addition to the Department of Art and Design.

While I was previously part of an art program in southern Colorado, Conway is just a stone’s throw from where I grew up in Springfield, Missouri. It is lovely returning to the area, just not the humidity. Tolerating the new climate with me are my husband, son, soon to be daughter (expected early-Dec), two large shedding mutts, and an orange cat named Cheeto.

I received my MFA in Ceramics from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and have been teaching ceramics courses at different schools over the past ten years. Several years ago I was given an opportunity to head the ceramics and foundations program at Adams State University. Teaching foundations satisfied a creative part of myself I did not know needed satiating. My arts practice has always been interdisciplinary and teaching foundation courses allows me to share other facets of my skills and interests with students.

I am thrilled to be coordinating the new foundations program at UCA. The curriculum, a few years in the making, is innovative, echoes the direction of foundation programs across the country, and will better prepare students for upper division courses and professional practices. The coursework is rigorous and I hope the students will, at least one day, appreciate the uphill journey. As a foundations instructor, I encourage students to practice questioning, problem-solving, reflection, and communication. I value play, collaborative learning, honing technical skills, and analysis of historic and contemporary art. Service learning and community engagement are important to me as an artist and I aim to impart this value to my students. I am honored to be overseeing the evolution and success of this new program.

With the first few weeks on campus behind us, I have realized that the COIVD distanced campus community had made it less than ideal for meeting and getting to know everyone. However, I look forward to a time when we can all safely smile at one another, when I can recognize your faces with ease, and when I can say McCastlain or McAlister with confidence that I am referring to the correct building.