New art history professor Annie Ewaskio outside Rhodes Hall on campus.
Credit: Emily Heath/Equinox Staff

Art and design welcomes new art history professor

KSC recently hired a new art history professor.

The department announced the loss of their previous art history professor during the buyouts in summer 2021. “The morning of the announcements of the faculty changes was the first time I’d heard about this,” Art and Design department chair Jonathan Gitelson said. “We had to act pretty quickly.”

New hiree, Professor Annie Ewaskio, is teaching two art history classes this semester. One class is an introduction to art history course, which includes looking at prehistoric examples of painting and contemporary art. The other course focuses on landscapes across space and time where students learn about the concepts behind art such as sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, painting, drawing and art photography. 

Ewaskio got an MFA in studio art from Grinnell College in Iowa, and then later went to Hunter College in New York to get an MFA in painting. With that, she also has teaching experience from public schools in New York, and a summer camp on Long Island for several summers. Additionally, Ewaskio was previously a professor at Marymount Manhattan College and American University in Washington, D.C. 

Ewaskio grew up 20 minutes down the road from Keene in Walpole and recalls visiting Keene State. “Sometimes as a kid, I would go to Keene State and just watch films in the Redfern Arts Center,” Ewaskio said. 

Besides being from the area, Ewaskio has other connections to KSC such as knowing the previous painting professor and knowing the current painting professor, Emily Lambert, who graduated from Hunter College a few years prior to Ewaskio.

Gitelson explained the process behind getting Ewaskio back to Keene, “I placed an ad through the human resources department,” Gitelson said. “We got a handful of applicants, but Annie really stood out to me.” 

When it came to hiring, Gitelson also mentioned some important qualities he was looking for in applicants. “Knowledge and experience with art history, just the basics,” Gitelson said. “It was [also] a matter of finding somebody to step in who could teach in the classroom.”

Ewaskio said that teaching so far has been going very well. “It’s been so much fun,” she said. “It seems like there’s a real curiosity [in the students] and [they’re] willing to engage with the content and talk about it, ask questions and have conversations about it with their peers.” Ewaskio also said she is enjoying the energy her students have been bringing to class, especially at 8 a.m. 

Ewaskio mentioned that she enjoys teaching because of the different perspectives her students have of art. “[I enjoy] conversations and hearing other people’s insights and seeing how other people do things,” Ewaskio said. “You never know what to expect… endless possibilities.”  

Ewaskio mentioned something unique that she is bringing to the program. “It’s a bit non-traditional to have somebody with an MFA teaching art history classes,” she said. “Coming from an art studio background, I feel like I can potentially make the work feel a little more accessible.”  

Gitelson said he is excited to see what Ewaskio will bring to the program. “She brings the perspective of an artist talking about art history,” Gitelson said. “And she brings an energy that is inclusive and engaging with students… I’m very happy she’s here and I hope everybody welcomes her and makes her feel welcome.” 

Ewaskio believes the classes she is teaching are important because it helps the art students with their own work. “[It’s] a very good background for an artist to have, or really anybody,” she said. “The ability to sit and look closely at an image and analyze it… can help you in other aspects of your life.” 

 

Nicole Dumont can be contacted at

ndumont@kscequinox.com

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