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Faculty News 


Dr. Johnson conducts arts and culture research for Rhode Island state collaborative project:


Dr. Johnson worked with Rhode Island College Professor, Dr. Frances Leazes, Lucas Dieter and Providence College art history major, Patricia Krupinski, on a research paper entitled “Measuring Successful Arts & Culture Strategies” for the College & University Research Collaborative. The organization, a partnership between Rhode Island’s colleges and universities, generates non-partisan research to help lawmakers make economic development decisions. Johnson’s project, which recommended creation of a centralized Rhode Island Arts & Culture sector was one of five conducted by faculty at seven colleges and universities, funded by a $100,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation. In addition, she continued her research on Rrose Selavy, the gender bending alter ego of Marcel Duchamp, and began work on third wave feminist theory and pop culture icon, Beyoncé


Professor Kim Wimprine attends workshop and creates art in Hungary 

The workshop I attended was called Pre-Figurine and the Anthropomorphic Vessel. We studied sculpture from its earliest roots in pre-pottery. While I was in Hungary I was struck by their long-standing history, appreciation, emphasis, and economy in the fields of agriculture and art. These two subjects at first, may have seemed far apart to me, but what I quickly discovered was how much one relied on the other.
While visiting the site of an archeological dig I came across a loom, which depicted how Neolithic​ people of this region would have woven their textiles and apparel. I was fascinated by this straight forward yet very complex system and immediately found myself wanting to learn more. When I returned to the studio I built a makeshift loom off of a porch swing and began to learn how to weave, but I started feeling that I was not close enough to the "from scratch" methods and technique, which they would have been forced to resort to during the "new stone age". I decided it was not enough to buy yarn and learn to weave and decided that in order to feel closer to this particular time period and civilization, I needed to learn the process of harvesting wool from a sheep. This process led me to learning about carding the wool, washing it, and dying it. This process was long and labor intensive, but I enjoyed every minute of it and had a greater appreciation for the work Neolithic people had to go through just to begin making.
In the end I created two sculptures. One was a woven, yarn tapestry with broken ceramic tiles that weighted the warp (the set of lengthwise yarns) which are normally held in tension by the frame of the loom. My second piece was more of a collage and nod to the role agriculture plays in the materials used to make art. It was a collection of parts from an old wagon I found on the site of the farm which we lived, a woven textile I made, as well as some hay and wool which I had harvested and felted from the farm's own sheep. 

Professor Ann Norton conducts Bronze Age Research 

This summer Professor Norton conducted research on the Bronze Age Nebra Disk, found in 1999 in central Eastern Germany. It is now in the Halle Museum, along with other finds from the region. This artifact, with its cosmic elements of sun, moon and stars also holds similarities of another Bronze Age work, the Trundholm Sun-Chariot, found in Denmark.
While her studies have been focused in Asia, she has been interested for several decades in the migration of religious imagery and language from the area known as the ‘steppes’ of present-day Siberia and Mongolia towards the East. Moveable divinities of the heavens – the sun, moon, storms – as well as the sacred hymnal language of Sanskrit, traveled with the Central Asian nomads to Persia and on to India. The Sun-God, drawn by horses, spread far both East and West.
Nebra Sky-Disk, ca. 1500 B.C.E.



 Professor Heather McPherson was an artist at the Wassaic Artist Residency this summer.

The Wassaic Residency Program cultivates and supports community for emerging and professional contemporary artist, writers and other creatives. Housed in historic, landmark buildings, the residency program offers nine artists each month the opportunity to live and work in the heart of a rural community. The Wassaic Residency seeks artists, such as Heather, working in a diverse range of media who want to produce, explore, challenge, and expand on their current art making practices, while participating in a grass roots, community-based arts organization. Congratulations Heather!


Hot Salad  Closing Reception


Professor Heather McPherson exhibited her work at 186 Carpenter in Providence from 4/23/14-7/21/14. There was a closing reception on Sunday July 20th.



Professor Susan Lyman recently presented her art work at Boston Sculptor's Gallery.

During ArtWeek Boston, Boston Sculptors Gallery presents two Pechu Kucha style events – a rapid fire presentation rich with imagery and stories to illustrate how each sculptor develops ideas, responds to site and community, and engages audiences. The artists take you behind the scenes for a sneak peak into the how and why of their studio practice. The Boston Sculptors Gallery members offer the audience an unusual experience you can’t get in commercial art gallery and museum shows. Moderated by Ron Mallis, of BostonAPP/Lab, each event includes a lively Q&A. Free and open to the all ages, light refreshments included. The event took place on April 29th.


Professor Joan Branham  



Dr. Joan R. Branham of the Department of Art and Art History has been selected as the first Associate Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, effective January 2014.




Art History professor will be featured in an up coming film

Dr. Joan Branham will be contributing her expertise in PBS NOVA's "The Unshakable Hagia Sophia." premiering in 2014. Dr. Branham, a specialist on Medieval Art, is filmed and interviewed in San Vitale in Ravenna and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Two Person Exhibit

Professor Susan Lyman's paintings were featured in a two-person exhibition at the Global Headquarters of Cell Signaling Technology, a biotechnology firm and division of New England Biolabs. The exhibit was on view from March 22- May 10, 2014.  The location of the exhibit was Trask Lane, Danvers, Ma.,



 History in Color 


Big news from our newest faculty member, Nora Rabins, in 3 D Design whose work was featured in an exhibit in Tiverton RI. The opening reception was Sunday, March 2nd, at the Meeting House, 3850 Main Road.  




 Dr. Joan R. Branham of the Department of Art and Art History selected as Associate Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences



Dr. Joan R. Branham of the Department of Art and Art History has been selected as the first Associate Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, effective January 2014.

The purpose of creating this associate dean position is to expand the ability of the School of Arts & Sciences to work with its constituents.  In this new position, Dr. Branham’s duties will largely be focused on faculty development, including initiatives to help faculty to achieve professional success, particularly with regard to scholarship activities, and she will also assume responsibility for some existing faculty affairs functions within the School.  In addition, Dr. Branham will participate in initiatives to foster the liberal arts mission of Providence College.

Dr. Branham joined the Providence College faculty in 1995 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1999 and Professor in 2009.  She served as a research associate and visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 2001-02 and was Acting Director of the Harvard Women’s Studies in Religion Program in 2007-08.  She has also been Chair of Fellowships (since 2004) and Vice President (2006-12) for the W.F. Albright Institute of Archeological Research in Jerusalem.  At Providence College, Dr. Branham was Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence from 2003-07 and has chaired the Department of Art and Art History since 2008.  Her teaching and publications have focused on sacred space in late-antique architecture as well as modern reconstructions of the Holy Land.  Dr. Branham will transition to her new role as Associate Dean during her final semester as chair in Spring 2014.  Among her many service activities at Providence College, Dr. Branham was a valued member of the Arts & Sciences Advisory Council from 2009-13.

Dr. Branham’s professional experiences have demonstrated her interest and ability in promoting faculty support initiatives, her leadership, organizational, collaboration, team building, and planning skills, and her ability to think broadly to serve as an advocate for the arts & sciences.



Ann Norton's Article Published in National Geographic

The arts of Afghanistan tell the story of this country’s history of radical change. This article illustrates how the traditional craft of carpet weaving has taken on modern themes, producing a war-related art form. The author also describes several organizations that have arisen to teach traditional art forms and business-oriented subjects to young Afghan students.

Thomas Strasser's Greek-American Collaborative Project



Art History professor, Dr. Thomas Strasser has recently created an extensive, interactive website that explains his Plakias Stone Age Project which takes place in Greece. This Greek-American collaborative project funds research on the Stone Age discoveries around the village of Plakias in southwest Crete. To learn more about the project, click the link  and visit the website:  Plakias Stone Age Project 



Heather McPherson Featured on Art Blog


Painting Professor, Heather McPherson, was recently recognized on the art blog, "Two Coats of Paint". Blogger, Sharon Butler displays Heather's work on her website and discusses the process behind it all. To read the full story and see Heather's artwork click on the following link: Two Coats of Paint


Professor Joan Branham to be Featured in Film

Art History Professor, Dr. Joan Branham will be featured in PBS NOVA's "The Unshakable Hagia Sophia." premiering in 2014. Dr. Branham, a specialist on Medieval Art, was filmed and interviewed in San Vitale in Ravenna and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

James Baker Installation 


Professor Emeritus of Studio Art James Baker is featuring his work From The Hermetic Museum at Salve Regina University. His installation will be exhibited from November 14 - December 19. The gallery installation is comprised of objects and images evoking the working spirit of a studio.



 John Fazzino Raku Ceramics Project


On Saturday, October 26th, Ceramics faculty member, John Fazzino orchestrated an outdoor Raku Firing. The group worked outside the ceramics building in this Japanese pottery process.


The pieces of pottery are taken out of kiln while still glowing and placed into a container of combustible materials to cool.  These materials cause a reducing atmosphere which create the intense colors and patterns.


Kim Wimprine Exhibits Her Work  

On October 10th, a reception was held for our new ceramics professor, Kim Wimprine's installation at RISD's Ceramics Department's Triennial in the Woods Gerry Gallery.  Kim's work combines different media such as wood and rope and incorporates her ceramic elements in one unique installation.

Joan Branham Gives Lecture on Dead Sea Scrolls 


Art History Professor, Dr. Joan Branham gave a lecture titled, "Jerusalem and Qumran at the Time of the Dead Sea Scrolls" at Temple Emanu-E in Providence, on October 8th. This lecture was in conjunction with the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition at the Boston Museum of Science.


 Eric Sung Leading Service Trip to Ecuador


Photography professor, Eric Sung, is leading a service trip with Political Science professor, Jeff Pugh to Ecuador from January 4th to January 18th, 2014. The program, "Visualizing Peace and Justice" will combine photography as well as political science in one, interdisciplinary course. Eric Sung explains that, "the purpose of the program is to explore how art and photography are used to bring about social change, engage in political activism, and create spaces for reconciliation after conflict."

Students will stay in an indigenous village, living with families, for a week. While in the village, students will work with the families and other members of the community on a photography service project. The group will then move to the capital city of Quito, where they will visit the Center for Meditation, Peace, and Resolution of Conflict. Students will work with local elementary schools on an anti-bullying and conflict resolution training program. The program's emphasis on service and politics will use photography as a way to raise further awareness about these issues. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to establish a stronger academic community without violence and a greater focus on peace.

 If interested, please contact Eric Sung, or Jeff Pugh for further information about the application process.


Heather McPherson Exhibits Work in New York City


Painting Professor, Heather McPherson exhibited her work in a show titled, Eastern Argus: One Hundred Eyes. The exhibit is was held in the TNC Gallery in Manhattan from August 24th-September 30th. Click Here For Art Blog


Sara Young Receives Prestigious Residency


Sara Young, Gallery Director at Providence College has been awarded an artist residency at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington for June 2014. 


Catholic and Dominican

What does it mean to be a Catholic and Dominican college? We invite you to explore this question and the distinctive mission of Providence College.
About Providence College's Catholic and Dominican Identity