Art History Professor and Student Collaborative Projects

Dr. Leisa Rundquist and Kate Averett to present results to Board of Trustees

Leisa Rundquist (associate professor and Department of Art and Art History chair) and Kate Averett (Class of 2015, BA in Art History) have been invited to the spring UNC Asheville Board of Trustees meeting on April 2 to speak on student-faculty collaborations.  Dr. Rundquist will be doing a presentation on “Social Geographies: Interpreting Space and Place,” an exhibition at the Asheville Art Museum (2014) that she curated with the assistance of Katie Johnson (Class of 2014, BFA Sculpture/Art History Minor).  Averett will describe her collaboration with Dr. Rundquist, what they are calling a “Curatorial Reconnaissance” project across campus to locate, find information on, and inventory artworks in academic buildings.  Kate has been contacting chairs and program directors to find university-owned artwork in public spaces, classrooms, as well as in faculty and staff offices.  She photographs the work; looks the work over for information on artist, title, date, medium; measures the work; notes any major condition issues; and assigns the work an inventory number.  She then uploads this information into a shared Google Doc for all parties.  While artwork collection inventories for the Janice W. Brumit Pisgah House and D. Hiden Ramsey Library are in place, one does not exist for artwork in academic buildings.  Moreover, the inventories that do exist do not always include information on location, size, and condition.

Dr. Rundquist views this project as the first step towards a more standardized inventory that could then lead to developing a plan with Administration on conservation and appraisal priorities.  This inventory may also be helpful for the relocation of particular artworks to areas and buildings better suited for the objects and/or for departments and programs in need of artwork for their spaces. "Curatorial Reconnaissance" can develop into an ongoing program—a team effort involving students, faculty, and staff—to promote responsible stewardship of the university’s art holdings.

Kate Averett was an intern at the High Point (North Carolina) Museum last summer.  While working with the registrar of the High Point Museum, she learned systems of cataloguing as well as conservation of artworks and historical objects, skills that she is using in this project. She has been accepted into UNC-Chapel Hill’s Masters program in Art History—ranked among the top 10% of Art History programs in the country. Kate plans to study contemporary art and hopes to continue her education, eventually working towards a PhD and a career within academia and research.