Department of Visual Arts
Ann Bartges earned her MFA from the Stamps School of Art & Design at University of Michigan in 2014, and her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics School of Art & Design at Alfred University in 2005. In her work, Bartges combines video projections, photography and live performance to investigate the disorienting merge of physical and simulated human presence in everyday life. Subtle narratives within her performances and installations explore relationships between memory, photography, representation, communication and the separation between self and image. Bartges' work has been exhibited in the United States, Denmark, Germany and Australia. She has been a resident artist at the Institut fur Alles Mogliche, Berlin (DE); Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris (FR); Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Skaelskor (DK); Threewalls, Chicago; and the Vermont Studio Center.
Sarah fell in love with holography as a medium for art as an undergraduate at Lake Forest College. At UT Austin she explored kabuki-inspired 18th-century Japanese courtesan prints for her MA thesis, then returned to holography for her doctoral dissertation. Because there was a wonderful Japanese film series featuring Ozu and other Japanese greats at Hogg Auditorium across those years--starring Austin's local community of adorable Mexican Freetail bats flapping across the screen at critically interesting and emotionally charged moments--she became interested in the phenomenology of cinematic experience and other aspects of film theory, leading her back to the strange place of the viewer in different forms of holography and contemporary art. Sarah wants her students to explore connections across disciplines and interests. No bats required, though there are scholarly Little Brown bats on the 4th floor of Merrill happy to collaborate!
Professor Nye has worked as a graphic designer but has also maintained a studio art practice for the last 20 years. She has exhibited and screened her work in the United States as well as in Europe. She is most interested with telling stories of conflicting human desires, best intentions, beauty and futility. She uses humor, pathos and the history of image to connect to ideas that cannot be accurately described with words. She is influenced by graphic design, film, animation, music, literature and the history of art--but also by the people she meets, the neighborhoods she has lived in and the headlines she reads.
Elizabeth Olbert has degrees in Painting and Critical Theory from Boston's Museum School and New York University. Following a successful career as a New York gallery artist, she is persuing investigations in critical writing. Olbert's critical perspective is Marxian, with an approach to visual language based in a contemporary understanding of the Frankfort School tradition. Olbert is currently collaborating on an artists' book project, funded by Penn State University, with Penn State printmaker Jean Sanders. This book, The Tendency of Nature, reexamines the ideas of 19th century anarchist and naturalist Pyotr Kropotkin in light of contemporary socioeconomic realities, and illustrates its observations with visual explorations of the social lives of horses.
Jesse Potts was born in Harrisburg, PA, but has also called NY, MT, VT, VA, MI and ME home. His sculpture and installations combine constructed and found objects, printed image, video, light, performance and sound. Kinetic and interactive components within the work link time-based functions to action and outcome. The work itself exists as the residual matter of a meditation on the relationship between time, sensory perception, culture and mortality. Jesse has been an artist in residence at the I-A-M residency, Berlin, Germany, The European Ceramic Work Centre, s’-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France. He has received grants from The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Vermont Arts council, The Kansas City Artist Coalition and VCU School of the Arts. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and reviewed by Hyperallergic and the New York Times.
Barbara Sullivan teaches drawing and foundations. Sullivan works in true buon fresco. She creates bas-relief work in this medium, she incorporates her pieces into full room installations. Her work celebrates and satirizes the quotidian of everyday life and also nature. She has twice recieved The Gottlieb Foundation Individual Artist Grant, a Pollock/Krasner Grant, a Maine Arts Commision Good Idea Grant as well as Percent for Art at The Maine State Capitol Building. Sullivan has been included three times in the Portland Museum of Art Biennial. She has shown widely in Maine and several times in group shows in New York City. Sullivan had her first solo museum show in 2007 at The University of Maine Museum in Bangor, ME. Barbara Sullivan is represented by Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, ME.