Tiffany Calvert named Chair of MFA in Visual Art program

Tiffany Calvert named Chair of MFA in Visual Art program
Beginning in the fall 2024 semester

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive

St. Louis, Missouri 63130
United States

Artist Tiffany Calvert has been named chair of the Master in Fine Arts in Visual Art (MFA-VA) program at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Calvert will begin in the fall 2024 semester, coming to Washington University from her current role as an associate professor at the University of Louisville.  

Calvert’s painting practice incorporates a wide range of technologies, from fresco, to 3D modeling, to data manipulation. In a Hyperallergic profile, John Yau compared her work’s “improvisational riffs and fractured views” to the work of Willem de Kooning. Calvert has exhibited work at the Lawrimore Project in Seattle, E.TAY Gallery in New York, Speed Museum in Louisville, Susquehannah Art Museum in Pennsylvania, Cadogan Gallery in London, and many more. She has participated in residencies including the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, I-Park, and ArtOmi International Arts Center where she received a Geraldine R. Dodge Fellowship. Calvert has received numerous grants, including those from the Great Meadows Foundation and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. 

“I am delighted to announce Tiffany’s appointment to our faculty as the MFA-VA Chair,” stated Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the school. “Her extensive expertise spanning traditional and contemporary practices is truly remarkable. Moreover, her innovative exploration of emerging technologies, including AI, aligns perfectly with our school’s strategic vision and promises invaluable benefits for our students.” 

Amy Hauft, director of the College of Art and Graduate School of Art, shared that “Tiffany’s creative practice and teaching philosophy are exciting additions to our collaborative, interdisciplinary faculty. I look forward to her insights and leadership and can’t wait to experience the perspectives she brings to our program and its curriculum. In addition to her work with graduate students, she also brings important new skillsets to the undergraduate students with whom she will work.” 

Since 2023, Calvert has been working on a series that uses machine learning trained on historical Dutch still life paintings to create an image printed on canvas. From there, she overlays a large, digitally designed, vinyl stencil, then paints over the canvas in oil.  She subsequently removes the stencil, resulting in a complex image with an uncanny painterly presence.  

In addition to her art practice, Calvert recently co-curated the exhibition Holding Pattern at the KMAC Contemporary Art Museum, along with members of the nonprofit network Tiger Strikes Asteroid. The exhibition explored the connection between fiber arts and their historic use to both store and disseminate information.  

Calvert is a frequent lecturer, taking part in a 2023 panel called “Appreciating Technologies: Technology, Craft, and Acquiring Skill in Contemporary Studio Practice,” at the College Art Association conference. She has also participated in panels on contemporary critical discourse as well as women artists.  

As chair of the MFA-VA program, Calvert will provide leadership in academic planning, recruitment, student learning, policy development, and more. The two-year graduate program enrolls about 24 students at any given time, all working to deepen their artistic practices in the context of a generous but challenging peer group and a tier-one research university. Graduate students mount their thesis exhibitions in the world-class Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on campus, a collaboration for which Calvert will play an important role.  

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