UW–Madison Arts Institute Announces New Faculty Director for Creative Arts & Design Learning Community

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute and University Housing are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Faisal Abdu’Allah as the new Faculty Director of The Studio: Creative Arts & Design Learning Community in Sellery Residence Hall. Abdu’Allah replaces Professor John Hitchcock, who was named Associate Dean for the Arts in the School of Education earlier this fall. Both professors are faculty in the Art Department.

Dr. Abdu’Allah is an internationally acclaimed artist who creates iconographic imagery of power, race, masculinity, violence and faith to challenge the values and ideologies we attach to those images and to interrogate the historic and cultural contexts in which they originate. He came to UW-Madison in 2013 as the Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. Originally from the United Kingdom, Dr. Abdu’Allah received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Central St. Martin’s College, London; a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Arts in London; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of East London.

“This is a great opportunity for us to extend the notion of arts practice within the university and beyond,” said Dr. John Baldacchino, Director of the Arts Institute. “With Faisal on board, students, faculty and guest artists will participate in a wider range of opportunities underpinned by the great work done in The Studio, First Wave, and our Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program.”

Professor Hitchcock has served as Faculty Director of The Studio since 2014. He is an award-winning artist who uses the print medium to explore relationships of community, land, and culture. He has taught at UW-Madison since 2001. Prior to that he was at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University.

“As Associate Dean for the Arts in the School of Education, Professor Hitchcock will work with the Arts Institute directly to enhance an understanding of the arts that is both open-ended and implicitly critical as a form of academic practice,” said Dr. Baldacchino. “With the addition of Faisal, and with John in his new role, many pieces are falling in place, helping us continue to build a fresh, dynamic approach to the arts at UW-Madison.”

About The Studio

The Studio, a residential learning community located in Sellery Hall in the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, houses 64 residents in a co-ed living environment. The Studio is open to all incoming students regardless of their chosen area of study at the university. The Studio hosts a variety of events, ranging from community dinners with faculty members, visual and performing arts showcases, writing and music workshops and more. Surrounded by students from a range of creative backgrounds, residents experience a living and learning environment where collaboration fuels creativity and lasting relationships are made.

Together, Dr. Faisal Abdu’Allah and Marina Kelly, Creative Arts & Design Learning Community Program Coordinator, provide leadership to enact The Studio’s mission to create an arts and design-centered living-learning experience that encourages interdisciplinary exploration. The Studio is a diverse community, with a higher percentage of racial diversity and LGBTQ population than campus as a whole, and also partners with First Wave from the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives. Studio residents have played a key role in critical conversations about Campus Climate at the UW-Madison. In addition to his departmental position, Dr. Faisal Abdu’Allah will co-teach with Marina Kelly two semester-long 1-credit seminars for the Studio’s 64 residents.

For more information about The Studio, please visit: https://thestudiouw.arts.wisc.edu/

Video Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGkf3t2_FEQ

Photos: https://artsdivision.smugmug.com/2016/STUDIO