UCA to host Arkansas College Art History Symposium

Event marks 33rd year of symposium

The University of Central Arkansas will host the 33rd annual Arkansas College Art History Symposium on March 9-10 in the Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts. 

A keynote lecture is at 7 p.m., on Thursday, March 9, and will be followed by a reception. The student symposium will take place on Friday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All events will be held in the Windgate Center’s Lecture Hall 167 and are free and open to the public.

Established in 1991 by Gayle Seymour, associate dean of the UCA College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and Floyd Martin, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Arkansas College Art History Symposium seeks to encourage and recognize student achievement in art history in the state. Providing a much-needed forum for emerging undergraduate and graduate students, the symposium features 20-minute illustrated talks on a wide variety of topics in art history. 

This year’s keynote speaker, Johanna Minich, is the consulting curator of Native American Art at the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio. Minich, who began her study of art history at UCA, completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in art history at the University of Georgia in Athens and a Doctor of Philosophy in art history from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She has curated many traveling exhibits and permanent installations for the Virginia Museum of Art including the following: “Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present” (2018); “In Our Own Words: Native Impressions 2015-2016” (2019-20); “American Land, American People” (2021); “Untold Histories” (2022); and Words Matter (2022). 

Minich’s keynote is titled “Native American Art in the 21st Century Museum” and focuses on the sea-change in the curatorial approach to Indigenous art and artifacts that has occurred in recent years. New research, visitor interest, and advanced curatorial strategies have resulted in exciting new directions that major museums have taken to respectfully discuss and display historic Native American Art, to elevate historic collections through the incorporation of Contemporary art from indigenous artists, and to provide more complete narratives through cross-cultural exhibitions and installations. This lecture will discuss current museum practices and focus on acquisitions, special exhibitions, permanent galleries, and online content development using case studies at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia. 

“The Department of Art and Design is so pleased to host this milestone event celebrating not only 33 years of art history at UCA, but the symposium is being held in our new Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts,” said Seymour.

Each symposium includes the participation of a guest art historian who typically comments on the student papers and presents a keynote and scholarly paper on their own research.

Students presenters include, in the order of their presentations, Brooke Horton (UCA), Genesis Cruz (University of Ozarks), Aneesha Saeed (UA Little Rock), Katelyn Elliott (UCA), Julia McPeake (UA Little Rock), William Whitledge (UA Little Rock), Ezra Chaviv (UCA), Kelli Ladwig (UA Fayetteville), Emily Granderson (UCA), Peyton Marie Bagwell (UCA), Emma Chambers (UA Little Rock) and Courtney Wilson (UA Little Rock). 

For more information, contact Seymour, at gayles@uca.edu or (501) 450-3295.

The UCA College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences includes the Departments of Art and Design; English; Film, Theatre, and Creative Writing; History; Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures; Music; Philosophy and Religion; Political Science; Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology; and the School of Communication. The college’s primary mission is the preparation of next generation of artists, scholars, and leaders for lifelong intellectual and personal growth.  Visit the CAHSS’s website at www.uca.edu/cahss or call (501) 450-3293 for more information.