Art and Art History

Our curriculum emphasizes three things: the connections between art-making and art history, the study of non-Western art and the importance of critical thinking and writing skills. Students acquire skills in visual analysis, familiarity with different approaches to the interpretation of works of art and training in the techniques of research in the humanities.

Recent Events

Capturing the Everyday

Walker Antonio art now a permanent part of Zach’s

Members of the culinary services team at Zach’s food court in the Mungo Student Center were celebrated in a series of paintings by Walker Antonio ’23. Capture the “everyday.” That was one of Walker Antonio’s assignments in a beginner painting class during the spring semester. What he captured expressed both the everyday and the extraordinary. “I decided I wanted to paint those who take care of not only me but so many others every day,” says Antonio ’23, a studio art major from Kilmarnock, Virginia. “When times got hard due to COVID-19, these workers took extra time out of their day to ensure the safety of not just their coworkers, but the students as well.” The paintings — Mr. Rod, Ms. Sandra, Ms. Finch and Kiwi — are all 24 x 18 inches, acrylic on Masonite. Antonio gifted the paintings to their namesakes, and the paintings now hang in the Zach’s food court in the Mungo Student Center. “It was a great pleasure working with Ms. Finch and Mr. Rod in organizing the painting and gifting of these pieces,” says Antonio, whose work is influenced by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon and Paul Gauguin. “The series that I call ‘Wofford essential workers’ is about story and emotion. That’s what I wanted to bring to light.” The gesture was been appreciated by Zach’s staff. “We were excited,” says Rod Martin, director of retail for AVI Fresh. “One thing that I’ve noticed about the students at Wofford is that they are very appreciative of what we do.” Donelle Finch, an AVI supervisor, considers herself a second mom to many students, including Antonio. “It’s overwhelming and heartfelt that he cared enough to paint a picture of us,” Finch says. Watch Antonio and Finch discuss the project with WSPA. See more of Antonio’s work and follow him on Instagram.

Yasmin Lee Wins Judy and Brant Bynum Fine Art Award

“Solitude” by Yasmin Lee

On May 20, 2021, Studio Art major Yasmin Lee (Wofford 2023) was selected as the 2021 recipient of the Judy and Brant Bynum Fine Art Award. This award was presented during a reception at the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg Gallery located within the Chapman Cultural Center. The Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg is committed to supporting fine arts education in the local community. In addition to hosting an annual youth juried show and donating art supplies to local teachers and students, they grant the Judy and Brant Bynum Fine Art Award to one college student majoring in Fine Art (2D or 3D) at college or university in Spartanburg each spring. The award is designed to support students’ passionate pursuits of careers in the visual arts. Lee won the award for a digital collage entitled “Solitude.” Describing her vision and process, Lee states, “This piece was an exploration of layering and texture. I wanted to maintain a few traditional elements while authenticating the scenery.” Her collage was also featured in “Hot Now,” Wofford’s 2021 student art exhibition, for which Lee also designed the promotional poster.

Printmaker Jamaal Barber Visits Wofford

Jamaal Barber leads a master class in the Richardson Family Art Museum

On May 5, 2021, visual artist Jamaal Barber visited Wofford to lead a printmaking master class and artist’s talk. Students, faculty and staff, and guests from the local community were invited to explore the process of reductive printmaking with Barber, through a hands-on workshop in which they created their own prints. Barber’s work features bold, graphic forms with the intricately carved patterns. Skilled in painting and drawing, Barber started experimenting with printmaking in 2013 after seeing a screen printing demo at a local art store. Printmaking soon became his primary focus. Barber uses his distinctive artistic voice to explore Black identity. His woodcuts and mixed media prints can be seen on display at ZuCot Gallery. They have also been included in the Decatur Arts Festival, Atlanta Print Biennial Show, and at various art shows around the Metro Atlanta area. Additionally, Jamaal has done work for Twitter, the New York Times, Penguin Random House, Black Art in America, and Emory University.

Paper Conservators Survey Tolbert Paintings

Conservators Geneva Ikle and Matt Johnson

Two paper conservators from the HF Group’s ECS Conservation Division visited Wofford recently to survey works on paper by artist Julia Elizabeth Tolbert, a South Carolina native who was active from the 1930s through the mid-1950s. Wofford houses more than three hundred of Tolbert’s works in its permanent fine arts collection, thanks to a generous gift from her family. The survey was made possible by a Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. During their visit to Wofford in early November, conservators Matt Johnson and Geneva Ikle met with Art and Art History students to discuss their career paths and current projects.

Artist’s Talk with Abigail Lucien

On October 22, 2020, interdisciplinary artist Abigail Lucien (they/she) visited Wofford virtually to deliver a virtual talk on their work. Raised in Cap-Haitian, Haiti, and the northeast coast of Florida, Lucien holds a BFA from Florida State University and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Working in sculpture, poetry, video, and sound, their practice looks at ways that cultural identities and inherited colonial structures transmit to the body and psyche by playfully challenging systems of assimilation through material. Lucien was named the 2020 Harpo Emerging Artist Fellow and is a recipient of a 2020-21 VMFA Fellowship. Their work has exhibited at museums and institutions such as MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY), Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA), UICA (Grand Rapids, MI), Museum of Fine Arts (Tallahassee, FL), Woman Made Gallery (Chicago, IL), as well as High Tide Gallery, Vox Populi Gallery, and The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA. Lucien is currently based in Baltimore, MD, where they teach as a full-time faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Sculpture Department at the MICA.

Jessica Scott-Felder

Meet Professor Jessica Scott-Felder

Jessica Scott-Felder, assistant professor and studio coordinator of studio art, is a visual and performance artist from Atlanta, Georgia. She teaches drawing, design, figure drawing, painting and printmaking. She completed her undergraduate studies in studio art at Spelman College and earned an MFA in drawing, painting and printmaking from Georgia State University. She also studied experimental printmaking at the Santa Reparata School of Art in Florence, Italy.

MacKenna Smith ’20

Meet MacKenna Smith ’20

MacKenna Smith completed a double major in art history and chemistry. Upon graduating, she also received the departmental honor award for art history. During her senior year, she participated in an internship with The Johnson Collection, curating an exhibit titled “Care Through Conservation: Behind the Scenes at The Johnson Collection.” After graduating, Smith relocated to Chicago, Ill., and began work in architectural restoration.

Recent graduates in art history and studio art are working with:

Clemson University
Smithsonian Institution
South Carolina Historical Society
Spartanburg Museum of Art
The Children’s Museum in Greenville
The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
The Johnson Collection

Art history and studio art students have completed postgraduate studies at:

Charleston School of Law
College of Charleston
Columbia University
Medical University of South Carolina
University of Georgia
Virginia Commonwealth University
Wake Forest University