News from the School of Art and Art History
News from the School of Art and Art History

School of Art and Art History Newsletter

The students, faculty, and alumni of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa create extraordinary art and scholarship. Our monthly newsletter will keep you up to date.

Please submit your news and images for consideration for the SAAH newsletter. We'd love to share your accomplishments!

Student and Faculty News

3D Design

The 3D Design Program was invited to exhibit at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York in May.

The ICFF's Schools Showcase at WantedDesign Manhattan is a competitive 3D design showcase that gives talented students a rare opportunity to present on an international stage. Twelve students, led by 3D Design lecturer Vako Darjania, showed work they had completed during their courses. 

Visit the 3D Design website and Instagram

Tina Zhen Zhang

Tina Zhen Zhang (Art History PhD student) published a peer-reviewed article on ice-crack pattern in traditional Chinese windows. Using methods taught in Professor Rob Bork's seminar, she conducts geometrical analysis and argues for a design process that creates an impression of randomness in the window patterns. Read her article in Nexus Network Journal.

Zhang is specializing in Chinese art history. Her research interests include Ming-Qing art, pre-modern art theory, and painting catalogs. 

riel Sturchio

riel Sturchio (Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography) received a Spring 2023 Visionary Project Award from The Film Photo Award.

before the last lilac blooms is a collaborative decade-plus film photography project between twin siblings Bianca Sturchio (she/her) and riel Sturchio (they/she).

The collaborators utilize photography to provoke and examine the vulnerability they experience from their unique manifestations of queer identity, illness, and disability. Learn more on Sturchio's website and Instagram.


Gracie Baer and Stevie Delgado (Sculpture and Intermedia MFA students) were awarded Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio Fellowships for Summer 2023.

Baer wants to support Ana Mendieta’s archive at the University of Iowa and develop an active dedication and archive to the groundbreaking work the artist created in Iowa. | @graybaer

Delgado's project, To Kiss the Sun, will incorporate 3D printing, projection mapping, and printed plexiglass through laser cutting to create an interlocking sculpture with refractive images of an anomalous narrative about transitive periods in life. | @stevie.doe

Rachael Maxon

Rachael Maxon (Art History PhD student) received a Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio Fellowship for Summer 2023.

Maxon is specializing in Ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology. She plans to create an Omeka catalogue of several objects imported to Susa, Iran between 3000-300 BCE to better understand the collective memory of kingship at this site and region more broadly.

Heidi McKay Casto

Heidi McKay Casto (Visiting Assistant Professor of Ceramics) was selected as an 2023 NCECA Emerging Artist.

This prestigious award includes a fellowship, keynote lecture at the NCECA conference, solo exhibition, and national recognition as an artist. Learn more in CLAS feature article.

Watch Casto's Emerging Artist talk on YouTube and see more on her website and Instagram.

Alumni News

Sara Shreve-Price

Sara Shreve-Price (PhD American Studies 2013) was featured in a recent episode of The American Experience called The Sun Queen on PBS. The Sun Queen tells the story of chemical engineer and inventor Maria Telkes, who designed and built the world’s first successfully solar-heated modern residence and identified a new chemical that could store solar heat.

Shreve-Price studied architectural history at the SAAH and wrote her dissertation about solar house design in the first half of the 20th century. She teaches History at George School in Newtown, PA.

David Goist

David Goist (MA Art History 1972) received The David Magoon-University Products Conservation Advocacy Award from the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). The award is presented to professionals who have advanced the field of art conservation and furthered the cause of conservation through substantial efforts in outreach and advocacy. 

Goist is the Conservator of Paintings and Painted Surfaces at Goist Art Conservation in Asheville, NC.

Propelled Animals

Propelled Animals, Heidi Wiren Bartlett (MFA Intermedia 2015) and Barber (MFA Intermedia 2016) were invited artists for the LA VILLE EN MOUV’MENT FESTIVAL “the arts in the street” in Dakar, Senegal in June. The festival was the fourth edition of the international contemporary dance gathering in public spaces of Dakar.

Their work is made possible with the support of the municipality of Dakar, the United States Embassy in Senegal, the French Embassy in Dakar, Goethe Institute, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO For Creative Inquiry, and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

Follow the Propelled Animals on their website and Instagram. Find Heidi (website and Instagram) and Barber (Instagram) on their respective websites and social media.


The UI Stanley Museum of Art has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to support in-depth, interdisciplinary research focusing on the provenance of its renowned African art collection. 

Cory Gundlach (PhD Art History 2019), the Stanley’s Curator of African Art, will supervise the Mellon-funded team, beginning with historical objects from Africa.

The team will also lay the groundwork for provenance research on the Stanley’s collection of indigenous art from the Americas, much of which is from Ancient West Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia.

“I’m honored and excited to work for a university art museum that prioritizes sustained research on the ethical status of historical objects in its permanent collection and that is committed to using that research to manifest social justice,” says Gundlach, “and I’m especially grateful for the Mellon Foundation’s sponsorship of this important work.” 

Learn more in the Stanley Museum's Press Release.

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