Sam Fox School names Amy Hauft to lead College & Graduate School of Art

Also names celebrated sculptor Jack Risley to faculty

Amy Hauft (Photo: Courtesy of the artist)

Amy Hauft, the Leslie Waggener Professor in Sculpture at the University of Texas at Austin, has been appointed director of the College & Graduate School of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

Hauft also will serve as the Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman, Jr. Professor of Art. Her appointment is effective July 1, 2019.

Prior to joining UT Austin in 2012, Hauft spent eight years as chair of the Sculpture + Extended Media Department at Virginia Commonwealth University, and 14 years at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her large-scale architectural installations have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. During her tenure at VCU, the sculpture program was consistently ranked first in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

“Amy is an internationally respected artist and educator who has distinguished herself in previous leadership roles,” said Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School. “She has an infectious energy and authentic voice as an artist. She has a strong sense of faculty governance and organizational structure. And she has a proven track record of diversity and inclusion — all while building top ranked-programs of national excellence.

“I look forward to working closely with her to elevate our studio art and design programs in the College & Graduate School of Art,” Colangelo said.

Amy Hauft, “Period Room” (1998), installation view, Spruance Gallery, Arcadia University. (Photo: Aaron Eigler)

Chair of the search committee Adrienne Davis, vice provost and the William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law, noted that, in many ways, Hauft’s practice mirrors the values of the Sam Fox School. “Amy’s work is smart, ambitious and viscerally affecting,” Davis said. “It is at once deeply researched and rooted in the specific qualities and unique potentials of site and materials. She is an exceptional artist, an inspiring leader, and I am delighted to welcome her to campus as a colleague.”

Also joining the Sam Fox School faculty will be sculptor Jack Risley, the Meredith and Cornelia Long Chair of Art and Art History at UT Austin.

Jack Risley (Photo: Courtesy of the artist)

“In addition to teaching, Jack brings extraordinary administrative acumen and vision,” Colangelo said. “He will work closely with Sam Fox School leadership on strategic planning and interdisciplinary initiatives that I am confident will advance our distinguishability and mission in significant ways.

“Amy and Jack are very different artists, but share a deep conceptual rigor and commitment to the physical act of making,” Colangelo said of the pair, who are husband and wife. “Amy’s work is playful and poignant, immersive and reflective — challenging viewers to examine the ways we navigate and understand the spaces around us. Jack’s sculptures explore how materials shape our lives while slyly questioning the nature of artistic authority. I am proud to welcome them both to the Sam Fox School.”

Hauft will succeed Heather Corcoran, who has led the art programs since 2014. Corcoran will return to the full-time faculty as the Halsey C. Ives Professor.

“Over the course of her tenure, Heather has worked closely with faculty and students to implement important new curricular offerings that will allow the College & Graduate School of Art to flourish for years to come,” Colangelo said. “She is an exemplary leader and faculty mentor, as well as an exceptional designer, and she has had a tremendous impact on the Sam Fox School. I am honored to be her colleague and excited to see what she will do in the next phase of her creative work as we welcome her back to the full-time faculty.”

About Amy Hauft

Amy Hauft, “Counter Re-formation” (2009), installation view, Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University. (Photo: Courtesy of the artist)

Raised in Southern California, Hauft earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and then earned her master of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Hauft’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the American Academy in Rome; Galeria Wschodnia in Lodz, Poland; The Cooper Union, The New Museum, Franklin Furnace and MoMA PS1 in New York; and the Fluent Collaborative in Austin, among others. Major group exhibitions include shows at the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Neuberger Museum’s public art biennial. Her installation “700,000:1” is slated to open at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, in 2021.

Hauft’s many honors include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the St. Gaudens Foundation and the Howard Foundation, as well as grants from the Public Art Fund in New York and the PEW Foundation Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiatives. In 2016, she won a Sculpture Space Residency in Utica, New York, and previously completed residencies at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, and with the International Artists Museum in Lodz.

About Jack Risley

Jack Risley, “A Really Long Pole (1998-99). (Photo: Courtesy of the artist)

Risley studied at The Cooper Union and earned a bachelor of arts degree from Oberlin College and a master of fine arts degree from Yale School of Art. His work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, including a long association with Postmasters Gallery in New York.

Risley’s work also has been exhibited at The Brooklyn Museum, MoMA PS1, the American Academy in Rome, the Vienna Secession, the Yale Art Museum and other prominent venues. Prior to joining UT Austin, in 2012, he was associate dean of academic affairs at VCU’s School of the Arts; led the MFA program at New York University; and taught at The Cooper Union.

Risley’s many honors include a Pollock-Krasner Grant, Mid Atlantic Arts-National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. He currently serves on the board of directors and on the Commission on Accreditation for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Jack Risley, “A Long Tedious Smoothie” (2006). (Photo: Courtesy of the artist)
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