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UCA to Host 30th Annual Arkansas College Art History Symposium

By: Isabella Ragni, College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office

CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas will host the 30th annual Arkansas College Art History Symposium Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13, in McCastlain Hall, room 143.

“The art department is so pleased to host this milestone event celebrating 30 years of art history at UCA,” said Gayle Seymour, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication and co-founder of the symposium.

Established in 1991 by Seymour and Floyd Martin at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Arkansas College Art History Symposium seeks to encourage and recognize student achievement in art history in the state. Providing a much-needed forum for emerging undergraduate and graduate students, the symposium features 20-minute illustrated talks on a wide variety of topics in art history. The symposium also encourages cooperation among art history faculty throughout the state. Each symposium includes the participation of a guest art historian who typically comments on the student papers and presents a scholarly paper on their own research.

This year’s keynote speaker, Jessica Harden, is the director of design and content strategy at the Dallas Museum of Art. Harden has an MFA in museum exhibition planning and design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a BFA in studio art from the University of Central Arkansas, with a minor in interdisciplinary studies from UCA’s Schedler Honors College.

“We are also proud to have Jessica Harden, an alumna, whose professional work bridges art history and museum exhibit design, as the keynote speaker,” Seymour said.

Harden’s address is titled “From Idea to Experience: Using Design to Connect with Art,” and focuses on the process for developing design ideas, the collaboration required within large teams and how we use human-centric data and empathy to inform the environments that we create, as well as storytelling techniques and accessibility standards to present information, ideas and narratives related to the art.

The lecture will take place at 6 p.m. on March 12, in McCastlain Hall, room 143. A reception will follow.

The student symposium will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 13, in McCastlain Hall, room 143. Student speakers include Grace Lytle (UALR), Maegan Wise (UCA), Cassandra Christ (UALR), Olivia Fleming (UCA), Claire Webre (UCA), Nakeya Palmer (UCA), Avery Rudolph (UCA), Rachel Rubis (UAF), Mary Melissa Miller (UALR), Mackenzie Nunnally (UALR), and Madison Seiter (UALR).

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Seymour at gayles@uca.edu or (501) 450-3295.

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