Art faculty shares love of art

The art department has created a new program this year that challenges individuals to take 15 minutes out of their busy weeks to appreciate and learn more about art.

Faculty members of the art department have started a new program, #15forArt, as an active way to share their love of art with others.

Heidi Cook, visiting assistant art professor, says the art professor Julia DeLancey developed the idea. DeLancey came to Cook with the idea that a different staff member would present for 15 minutes every other Thursday on some work of art. The presentation can be about a piece of art the faculty member is currently working on or studying and is open to any who are interested in listening.

Cook says the event allows students to hear a new perspective of art from professors in ways they might never learn in the classroom.

“I hope it will give students a better understanding of how practicing artists talk about their own works,” Cook says. “A lot are good at making art and practicing the necessary skills, but many have trouble putting words to their ideas, and this is a way to hear how other artists talk about their work.”

Cook says with five new faculty members, this event allows staff members and students to learn about each other, as well as the faculty members who have been at Truman State University.

Laura Bigger, art professor in printmaking, presented Oct. 6 and says the event opens up to more than just those in the art community.


Art professor Laura Bigger’s presentation included a display of her current project, which explores the raw materials humans use in households and every day life.


Bigger says she presented on a project that she is currently working on that focuses on humans’ control over animals throughout ecosystems as well as the raw materials that go into a home and common household items. Bigger says she hopes to eventually use the pieces to create a floor plan. She says it was nice that she had a display available because it helped explain her work but that not all those who participate will have displays.

Bigger says #15forArt allowed her to put her thoughts together and talk about what she is working on.

Bigger says she thinks students can learn a lot, particularly about where they draw inspiration from and ultimately justify what professors are asking from students in their own projects.

“I think that it’s great for students to see that we are working artists or researchers and we’re working outside of what we teach,” Bigger says.

One of the new faculty members, art professor Lindsey Dunnagan, will present Oct. 20. Dunnagan says she thinks #15forArt is a great opportunity for people to explore art.

Dunnagan says the event also shows budding artists there are many different options in the field.

“I hope these lectures show students that there are unique pathways within art — all of us are so different,” Dunnagan says. “Everyone’s ideas are realized in unique ways and this shows students that they can make their career their own.”

Dunnagan says it is good for the professors to see what everyone else is doing because it’s making them more knowledgeable and helping them in their own work. She also says she thinks this opens connections and networking possibilities.

Dunnagan’s presentation will be about a body of work that focuses on identity and the perception of the self — based both in the real world and in the fictional memory. Dunnagan says the work is based on research she has been doing for about five years. Dunnagan will have pieces of her work to share with the students throughout the presentation.

The presentations will take place at 4:45 p.m. every other Thursday through April 6 in the University Art Gallery of Ophelia Parrish.

This article appeared in the Oct. 20 issue of the Index.