Lauren Kalman Named Art Department Interim Chair

Interim Chair,
Lauren Kalman

The Art Department wishes to congratulate Sheryl Oring, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History, on her new position as the Dean of the School of Art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. We also wish to congratulate Lauren Kalman, Associate Professor of Fine Art and Elaine L. Jacob Endowed Chair, who was named Interim Chair effective October 10, 2022.

Kalman's administrative experience and multiple leadership roles within the Department of Art and Art History, and in the broader community, will help this transitionary period. Lauren is also an area coordinator of Core Studio, our foundations program, and has held this position for nine years. For the past 5 years she has been co-coordinating the growing area with Assistant Professor of Teaching Katie MacDonald. In this role she organizes and oversees 19 courses and approximately 300 students per semester. She recruits part-time faculty, trains and mentors new PTFs and GTAs, schedules classes, and develops curriculum.

Kalman has also been the graduate officer for the Department and has served as Assistant Chair. As the Graduate Officer, Lauren oversaw the graduate admissions process and new grad onboarding for the department; organized visiting critics and lectures for the grads; served as an advocate for the Department on Graduate School committees; and lead significant curriculum revisions for the MA and MFA programs in collaboration with the department Graduate Committee. Kalman also serves on the board of Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, the national organization of foundations educators.

"I am honored to be able to help guide the department through this transition as the interim chair," says Kalman. "I am grateful for all the support and advice I have already been giving, and for the help from all of our faculty and staff, and I want to thank Sheryl for her leadership through incredibly difficulty times for our Department. I am looking forward to helping the department to continue to thrive, through offering our students an array of exciting and unique educational experiences in the arts and supporting the creative and dynamic research produced by our students and faculty."

Oring, who joined WSU as Chair in Fall of 2019, successfully navigated the department through a series of unprecedented challenges. The pandemic required a quick and drastic shift to virtual operations. Through Oring's thoughtful and strategic leadership, and working closely with individual instructors, we were able to continue to offer value instruction and an enriching experience for our students. When the Community Arts Building flooded in summer of 2021, Oring worked closely with Facilities Management, faculty, and staff to repair a damaged boiler system and to renovate the woodshop, metals, and ceramics studios. "I have so appreciated the dedication that our faculty, staff, and students have shown through these challenging years of the pandemic and the flood," says Oring.

Sheryl Oring

Oring, whose work examines social issues through storytelling and public exchange, successfully accomplished a number of objectives focused on equity and inclusion, including diversifying the faculty and bringing more artists of color into the galleries.

Oring's other key accomplishments include working with Tom Pyrzewski, director of galleries and special programming, to show art related to Black Lives Matter on a billboard on Woodward Avenue; collaborating with groups in the community and on campus to integrate art into the fabric of the city and the university; and co-founding an initiative that brought the department together with the School of Medicine as well as churches and community groups to create a new outdoor mural commemorating African American progress in the medical field in Detroit.

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