The payoff in teaching rarely manifests in the short run. Instead instructors quietly notice their former students stepping into their magnificence and manifesting their agency over time and from afar.
Typically this takes place away from their Alma Mater home. As senior Art and Art History majors, our seniors go through the ritual of a Public Gallery talk project, designed to lift them into the role as image educator. Dr. Katherine Smith, Contemporary Art Historian at Agnes Scott, likes to point out that this is is the moment when they “cease to be our students and become our colleagues”
It’s a meaningful passage and one the department cherishes–both as an emblem of the growth and power of our students, and because it demonstrates a successful strategic curriculum. In this lucky case, however, we get the chance to very literally welcome a former student as our new colleague (at least on a temporary basis).
We couldn’t be happier to have Dr. (abd) Becky Bivens with us this semester as Professor of Art 490: Exhibition Processes. In the course she will use the Dalton Gallery as a canvas from which to teach Gallery and Museum practices as a cerebral and hands-on professional practice.
Bivens’ is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Art History. Her Dissertation, to be finalized this semester, is called “Automatic Affects and Formal Feelings: Surrealism and Formalism in Mid-century Art Criticism”. She has an A.M., Humanities from the University of Chicago and graduated magna cum laude, in Studio Art, from our own Agnes Scott College in 2007.
She’s the recipient of many grants and fellowships, including the Ross Edman Fellowship, a Getty Research Institute Library Grant, a Thoma Foundation Research Fellowship in Twentieth-Century Abstract Paining and an Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Humanities Award at UI, Chicago Graduate College.
In addition she’s authored and presented multiple topics as invited lecturer at Loyola University, the College Art Association, the Southeastern College Art Conference, the Thoma Foundation, Northwestern University, the Modernist Studies Association and the University of Edinburgh.
We’re very excited to have Dr. Bivens rejoining us for the semester and we look forward to her contributions to the curriculum that she knows so well!