The second in a series of interviews with faculty, this week’s post is a conversation with Assistant Professor Angie Piehl. Professor Piehl teaches drawing, painting and new media in the Art Department—and her students have been working alongside Professor Liz Roth’s in the Postal Plaza for the past couple of weeks creating installations that will be on view during the Genus Genius reception this Wednesday evening. Images from that project illustrate this post—enjoy the sneak preview! (And please forgive the camera-phone quality…)
Professor Piehl also serves on the Gardiner Permanent Art Collection Committee, which oversees acquisitions for the Art Department and OSU Museum of Art. I asked her some questions about how she envisions students interacting with the Postal Plaza, and how she’d like to see the Museum’s collection grow in the future.
Louise Siddons: How would you like the OSUMA Downtown (at the Postal Plaza) to change the way you and your students experience art in Stillwater?
Angie Piehl: I’d like the new museum to be a space of innovation and experimentation—a source of energy and excitement for our entire university, and our local community. I’d like to see a number of events and opportunities for students, and anyone interested in art, really, to have access to the arts—which is currently harder to experience without travel. The OSUMA means accessibility for me, and I’d love to see progressive things happen within that space. Exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and events that challenge people to think, and to inspire creativity, play, questioning, communication, interaction, and engagement with the arts.
LS: How do you see your role on the Collection Committee?
AP: As the person that continually harps on the idea of collecting the work of lesser-known, contemporary artists, works on paper, and works in non-traditional media.
LS: What do you see as the relationship between the Permanent Collection and the Gardiner Gallery?
AP: I see the Gardiner Gallery as an educational space, and I would love to see more shows curated and generated by our students, staff, and faculty, from the Permanent Collection.
LS: How do you look forward to using the permanent collection in the future, ideally?
AP: After the Permanent Collection acquires the work of vibrant, contemporary artists, relevant to young, emerging studio art students, it would be used in my courses to promote discussion about conceptually and formally relevant issues in class, create artistic responses from students, provide conceptual and technical inspiration, and be a source of pride among the students, staff and faculty. I would love to see the Permanent Collection begin to include non-traditional work, such as video or digital medias, and evolve to be a collection that people want to travel from elsewhere to view and be a part of.
LS: What do you find most rewarding about being on the OSU Art Dept faculty?
AP: I love my students, and I find them to be a pretty amazing bunch—I learn a lot from them. I love my colleagues, and feel really lucky to have such a collegial, warm group of cohorts and “co-conspirators” in the Art Department. I am hopeful we will continue to grow and evolve as a department in exciting ways, particularly with the help of additional resources that are badly needed right now. I know that this is a shameless plug for assistance and resources for the Art Department and the arts in general, but if communities are not nurtured by the arts, they stifle and wither, and become places that don’t thrive.
[AP, continuing:] In the Art Department we teach our students skill sets that allow them to think adaptively, and solve problems in unexpected ways—while this may sound a bit “abstract,” it is in fact something that makes them stronger thinkers, workers, and unique contributors to society. So I really believe in what we are doing together. I have high hopes for our department, and its potential role in the OSUMA. I believe the partnership is something that will bring interest and a richer sense of community to our university and to our city.
Come see what all the buzz is about! Join Professor Piehl and her students, along with Professor Roth’s class, at Genus Genius: Student Art at the Postal Plaza this Wednesday, October 19 from 7-9pm at the Postal Plaza, in downtown Stillwater.