Katie Waugh: Learning by making
Katie Waugh is on her way to Arkansas! Katie is an artist and educator who recently accepted the position as head of the art department at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. The department offers degrees in graphic design and studio art, with minors available in studio art and art history. She took time to talk over the phone while she was driving her packed RV across the plains of Indiana.
Katie, give us some background information about yourself.
“Well, I’ve always wanted to be an artist and educator. I attended graduate school at the Savannah College of Art and Design at Atlanta where I studied painting. I also received a master’s degree in fiber and material studies from the Art Institute of Chicago. I center my artistic practice around materials and processes and how they can generate meaning.“
Why do you make art?
“Simply because I can’t not make! Making is a process of knowing and understanding. It’s been that way since I was a child. I see the world through a maker’s eyes.“
Why move to UAFS?
“I’m very excited by the department here and how passionate everyone is about educating students. What has been achieved in the last five years is remarkable. I want to keep that momentum going. Also, there’s a real, tangible connection between the school and the community.”
What does a department head do?
“I manage the day-to-day administrative work, but also plan how we will function in relation to the larger university and to the community. I will also be teaching.”
Tell me about your teaching philosophy.
“Art instructors get to know their students so well because we’re dealing directly with their creative ideas every day. I learn where my students are coming from and where they want to go and structure my classes to help them achieve those goals.”
Any final takeaways you want people to know?
“I am so very excited to start this new life in Fort Smith. I want to learn about how this community works and see what we all can accomplish together. I am 100% optimistic and excited!“
This column is produced by the River Valley Art Coalition. Our mission is to inform citizens and visitors of fine art exhibitions and education opportunities in Fort Smith and the surrounding region. We also highlight people who make the local art scene such a vibrant and important part of our community. To send comments or for more information on the River Valley Art Coalition contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fort Smith Regional Art Museum
1601 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith
• “A Family Affair: Three Artists, Three Visions, One Family”: On view through Oct. 11; featuring works by Dede Hutcheson and her daughters, Karen Hutcheson and Robyn Horn; visit website for a video tour.
• “Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic”: On view through Dec. 27; this exhibit is organized by Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibits and made possible through a grant from the Anna Cohn Community Fund.
• Call for Works! RAM Annual Invitational “Exploring Mindscapes: An Artist’s Reflection”: Submissions due Nov. 14, visit website for details.
• Youth Programs: Toddler Tuesday and RAM Saturday projects posted to RAM’s YouTube Channel, registration required.
• “RAM Homeschool“: Registration required. Music as an Art Prompt for ages 6-11; Studio Art for ages 12-18.
• “Curator Corner”: Monthly curatorial interview by assistant curator Samantha Rhodes about a different piece in RAM’s permanent collection.
• Lecture Live Thursdays: Monthly online lectures, registration required.
• Visit RAM’s website to see video tours and listen to podcast interviews by various artists.
Windgate Art & Design at UAFS
5210 Kinkead Ave., Fort Smith
• Temporarily closed.
Center for Art & Education
104 North 13th Street, Van Buren
• “Adult Art Competition”: On view through Sept. 27.
• “Raku Pottery Workshop with Winston Taylor”: Two-session, studio workshop, through Oct. 3, registration required.
• “Lions Club International PEACE Poster Contest“: Artwork will be accepted Oct. 1-15; visit CAE website for contest rules.
• Visit CAE’s website to see virtual tours, artist demonstrations, community events and projects created in the “At Home Summer Art Camp” album.