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Award Winners


Nicholas Bonner, Northern Kentucky University

Roz Crews, Portland State University

Shannon Forrester, Mont Ida College

Francine Foz, Truman State University

Kristian Gosar, Adams State University

Alex Hanson, University of Arkansas

Nora Hartlaub, Elizabeth City State University

Rachel Hines, Portland State University

Victoria Hoyt, Metropolitan Community College*

Audrey Hudson, Ontario College of Art and Design

David Janssen Jr, University of Idaho

Ashley Jonas, University of Dayton

Shannon Lindsey, University of South Carolina

Christopher Lowrance, University of Central Missouri

Joey Manson, Clemson University

Sarah Nguyen, University of Central Missouri

Deanna Ooley, University of North Texas

Sage Perrott, Utah State University

Kristin Pluhacek, Metropolitan Community College

Ralph Pugay, Portland State University*

Amy Reidel, St. Louis Community College & St. Louis University*

Stephanie Robertson, Ivy Tech Community College

Heath Schultz, University of Texas-Austin

Justin Shaw, University of Central Missouri

Jessica Simorte, Sam Houston State University

Jenny Ustick, University of Cincinnati

LaDawna Whiteside, Arkansas Tech University

Thanks to FATE Members for all of the above nominations.

*The 3 lucky winners will have their FATE 2017 Conference registration paid in full & their membership covered for 2017-18.



















Positive Space is FATE's monthly podcast providing opportunities for those passionate about art foundations to discuss and promote excellence in the development and teaching of college level foundations in art & design studio and history classes.


[ 4.12.17 ] While in Kanas City for FATE’s 16th Biennial Conference, we had the chance to have a thoughtful discussion about the ongoing choice to live a creative life & the artistic process with Enrique Martinez Celaya, artist, author and FATE’s 2017 keynote speaker. The conversation wanders & explores what it means to be authentic, have artistic success & find happiness in the studio, providing a unique relaxed point of view from this accomplished artist.

EPISODE 8Positive Space Episode 8 folks

[ 3.29.17 ] Get excited about the upcoming FATE Conference in Kansas City, as we discuss unique programming components, art venues, bars, bbq and all things KC culture with Caleb Taylor, Associate Chair of the Foundations Department at KCAI & the Co-VP for FATE’s 16th Biennial Conference and Alexandra Robinson, Foundations Coordinator & Gallery Director at St. Edward’s University, who happily claims Kansas City as her hometown. We reveal information about the Positive Space "Screen Scream Jamboree" events at the conference, where you can meet the podcast team, pitch us your ideas, add your voice to the podcast during our exclusive FATE conference interviews & make your own screen printed T-shirt with our fabulous podcast logo, or screen directly on the conference tote bag! This episode is jam packed with tips for making your conference experience a memorable one!

Alexandra Robinson is a military brat and has lived all over the world but claims Kansas City as her hometown.  Since 2012, she has been living in Austin, Texas and teaching at St. Edward’s University. Robinson is a die-hard Kansas City Royals fan. She is also a wife and mother to two young girls.  Robinson received her MFA from the University of Cincinnati and her BA from the University of Saint Mary in Kansas.

Her work ranges from installation to drawings and she has exhibited work throughout the U.S., including the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI, H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City, MO and The Lawndale Art Center in Houston, TX. Robinson has been a recipient of an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant, and Presidential Research Grants and SPICE through St. Edwards University. She is the current recipient of the Delayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction at St. Edward’s University.

Robinson has completed residencies at Urban Culture Project, Jentel Foundation and Brush Creek Foundation. Currently, she is Foundation Coordinator of the Department of Visual Studies and gallery director of the Fine Arts Gallery at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.

Caleb Taylor is a Kansas City-based artist and educator whose practice freely navigates the disciplines of painting, photography, collage, and sculpture. He is the recipient of the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant and Charlotte Street Foundation Fellowship, and has completed residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Urban Culture Project, and Ucross Foundation.  His work is published in New American Painting and has been exhibited at national venues including the Nerman MoCA, Grand Arts (KC), CUE Art Foundation (NY), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (NY), and Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art (KC). Taylor’s work is collected nationally and is included in the public collections including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Kansas Medical Center, and Polsinelli Law Firm (KC). He earned a MFA in painting from Montana State University-Bozeman (2008) and a BFA in painting and ceramics from Northwest Missouri State University (2004).  Currently, he is Associate Chair of the Foundation Department at the Kansas City Art Institute.  

In addition to his studio practice, Taylor is a founding member of PLUG Projects (2011-2016), a curatorial collaboration in Kansas City focused on bringing fresh perspectives and conversation to the local art community. PLUG energizes artists and the public at large by presenting exhibitions of challenging new work, initiating critical dialogue, and expanding connections of artists in Kansas City as part of a wider, national network. PLUG is a recipient of a 2011 Rocket Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation, Spencer Museum of Art, and Charlotte Street Foundation.  Since opening, PLUG has curated forty-three exhibitions and countless public programs featuring the work of over two hundred national and international artists.

EPISODE 7Episode 7 Stacy Isenbarger

[ 3.08.17 ] We discuss empowerment, mentorship, writing prompts & how to encourage people to play to their strengths, along with all things foundations, with FATE President, Stacy Isenbarger, Assistant Professor of Art + Design & Foundations Coordinator at the University of Idaho.

In this episode Stacy Isenbarger discusses this project and the FATE Members Share. Please keep in mind you must be logged on as FATE member in order to access this linked content. 

Stacy Isenbarger is an Assistant Professor of Art + Design and Foundations Coordinator at the University of Idaho where she was received the 2015 Hoffman Award for Teaching Excellence. She currently serves as President of FATE. In cooperation with Integrative Teaching International, she created the publication State of Play with Anthony Fontana and continues to seek ways to innovate and share foundations pedagogies to strengthen a more dynamic, connective community. Stacy Isenbarger’s artworks incite viewers through dynamic interplay between media, space, and iconography. Isenbarger’s work simultaneously investigates ideas and materials, transforming the familiar into forms that challenge our assumptions of our environment and cultural barriers we build for ourselves. Isenbarger received her MFA at the Lamar School of Art at the University of Georgia (2009) and her BFA at Clemson University in (2005). 

EPISODE 6episode 6 folks

[ 2.08.17 ] Jessica Burke (JB), Georgia Southern University & Emily Sullivan Smith, University of Dayton thoughtfully discuss the role of a Foundations Coordinator, balancing administrative roles with teaching & the pros/cons of a unified foundations curriculum. 

Jessica Burke (Born in Wichita, Kansas) is a figurative artist and educator living in southern Georgia. She was raised on a steady diet of Saturday morning cartoons and Little Debbie Snack Cakes. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ms. Burke is an Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Foundations Program at Georgia Southern University. She is very invested in foundations pedagogy, an active member of Foundations in Art: Theory and Practice (FATE) and she serves as Associate Vice President of Programming on the board of Integrative Teaching International (ITI).

As an artist, she is interested in the affect of popular culture on identity. Her work has been included in competitive juried exhibitions nationally and internationally at the SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco, California; the Élysees Modern and Contemporary Art Fair in Paris, France; the Toshima Gallery in Tokyo, Japan; the LuXun Academy of Fine Arts, in Shenyang, China and the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition in Brooklyn, New York. Her art work is in many public and private collections throughout the U.S., including the City of North Charleston, Seminole State College and the National Living Treasure Museum in Yugawara, Japan. 

Emily Sullivan Smith is an Assistant Professor and the Foundations Coordinator at the University of Dayton’s Department of Art and Design. Having received an MFA from Kent State in printmaking, her studio practice is interdisciplinary and is constructed from a hybrid of printmaking and sculpture. Her work focuses on various permeations of the effects that human behavior has had on the natural world. A quote from John Muir, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” has been at the center of the research. Recent exhibitions include; a solo exhibition, Plight of Abundance, at Alexander Brest Gallery, University of Jacksonville, FL, a collaborative two-person exhibition, Your Place or Mine, at Kent State University in Kent, OhioArmstrong National 2D Exhibition, in Savannah, Georgia, The 30th Annual Tallahassee International, in Tallahassee Florida, Potsdam Prints in Potsdam, New York, where the work received a juror’s award. 



[ 1.11.17 ] Thoughts on Positive Space

Last October, we had the opportunity to attend the SECAC conference in Virginia and the Mid-America College Art Association conference in Ohio and asked participants at the FATE affiliate sessions to consider what positive space means to them. Special thanks to Lily Kounen and Guen Montgomery for inviting us to gather these thoughtful reflections on positive space.  

EPISODE 4Episode 4 guests

[ 12.14.16 ] Carrie Fonder, University of West Florida & Jason Swift, Plymouth State University discuss community engagement, assessing studio projects & art appreciation activities. In this episode we will also announce the FATE Shout Out award nominees & the three winners!!!

In this episode Carrie Fonder suggests the apps Blendoku and Isometric

Carrie Fonder is a mixed media sculptor and educator. Her creative practice focuses on hybrid works that play between two and three dimensions and often include kinetic elements. She holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a Bachelor’s in Fine Art from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. As the recipient of a Fulbright Nehru grant, she spent nine months living and making work in India. Currently, Fonder is working as a lecturer in the art department at the University of West Florida.

Jason Swift earned his BFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1994, his MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1997 and his EdM in 2003 and EdD in 2009 from Teachers College, Columbia University.  He was Artist in Residence for the Curatorial Experiences Program at Maryland Institute, College of Art from 1998 to 1999, guest lecturer at the New School University and at the Central Academy of Fine Arts’ Art Education Leadership Academy in Beijing, China in 2005 and a resident at the Vermont Studio Center in 2006 and 2010.  In 1997 Jason was the recipient of the Amalie Rothschild Award, and in 2005 he received the Enid Morse Fellowship for Teaching in the Arts.  In 2004 he co-founded the Pearl Street Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.  Jason has served as the Director of Exhibition Proposals, Curation and Grant Writing for artHarlem in New York City, a member of the Board of Curators for Visions in New York City: Short Films and Video Group and currently is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Granite State Arts Academy and the New Hampshire Art Educators Association.  In 2016 he became the Vice President of Development for Integrative Teaching International.  Jason has taught at Queens College and Teachers College, Columbia University in New York and is currently Associate Professor of Art Education in the Art Department at Plymouth State University where he coordinates the undergraduate and graduate programs in art education.  In his studio and research practice Jason investigates the influence of experiences upon the artist’s visual vocabulary.  His artwork has appeared in exhibitions in the United States, China and South Korea.

EPISODEepisode 3 guests

[ 11.09.16 ] Art professors Jenna Frye and Ellen Mueller have a lively discussion about teaching 4D foundations courses, time management skills and Janet Jackson.

For a further inspirational read in regards to this episode, Ellen Mueller suggests "You Are So Kind to Think of Me" by Allison M. Vaillancourt.

Jenna Frye is a self-described maker, teacher, and joker living and working in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her creative work and ideas about educating artists have been showcased nationally and at several annual conferences including the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design and The College Art Association. Frye is a member of the full-time faculty at MICA where she also serves as Coordinator of the Electronic Media and Culture program and founded the college's first dedicated foundation student Maker Space: The Make Cool Stuff Lab. You're likely to find her designing nerdy toys and games for her students to learn with, fiddling with the latest techno-crafts or maybe just playing with blocks. Jenna holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology as well as an MA in Digital Art and an MFA in Sculpture.

Follow Frye as forelock_on_top on instagram [here]

Ellen Mueller has exhibited nationally and internationally as an interdisciplinary artist exploring issues related to the environment, hyperactive news media, and corporate management systems. She received her MFA in Studio Art from University of South Florida, and currently teaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Recent artist residencies include Ox-Bow, Ucross Foundation, Nes Artist Residency (Iceland), Virginia Center for Creative Art where she was a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow, Signal Culture, Playa, and Bunker Projects (Nov/Dec 2016). Mueller has published a foundational art textbook with Oxford University Press entitled Elements and Principles of 4D Art and Design (February 2016).

Connect with Mueller on twitter @emueller9 [here]

 EPISODE 2 Episode 2 guests

[ 10.12.16 ] Art professors Chris Ireland and Peter Reichardt have a lively discussion about teaching studio courses online, assessment and the possibilities of utilizing Pokemon in foundations. 

Chris Ireland is an exhibiting artist and educator. Originally from Cleveland, OH. Ireland earned his BFA in Photography from the Cleveland Institute of Art (2003) and an MFA in Digital Media at Washington State University (2007). Ireland currently resides in Stephenville, TX where he is an Associate Professor of Art at Tarleton State University. He is the coordinator of the Art and Digital Media Studies programs, and teaches courses in digital imaging and new media. His research is based on representations of family and personal experience through the vernacular of photography. His works have been featured in exhibitions at numerous venues both nationally and internationally, including the Center of Contemporary Art (Seattle, WA), the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (Denver, CO), Blackbox Gallery (Portland, OR), Midwestern Center for Photography (Wichita, KS), Artspace 111 Gallery (Fort Worth, TX), and the 500x Gallery (Dallas, TX).

Visit Ireland's Tarleton Art and Digital Media Blog [HERE].

Peter Reichardt (b.1981, Texas) received his MFA from Washington State University in printmaking in 2007 and his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in drawing 2005. He has exhibited his work across the United States and is a featured artist at Ipso Gallery, Fresh Produce in Sioux Falls. He received an Austin Critics Table Award for his collaborative installation entitled Camp Base Camp in 2010 and was featured in the national publication, “New American Paintings, West 108”, in 2013. Currently he teaches studio art courses in The School of Design at South Dakota State University in Brookings.


Launching the Imagination 5th edition

[ 9.01.16 ] Professor and author Mary Stewart of Launching the Imagination discusses how she came to teach foundations, her teaching strategies and approach to teaching students with little background in art.


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