The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute and University Housing has announced the appointment of Dr. Faisal Abdu’Allah as the new Faculty Director of The Studio: Creative Arts & Design Learning Community in Sellery Residence Hall. Abdu’Allah replaces Professor John Hitchcock, who was named Associate Dean for the Arts in the School of Education earlier this fall. Both professors are faculty in the Art Department.
Abdu’Allah is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work primarily evolves from the interface of photography, printed media, film, installation, and performance. His iconographic images of power, race, masculinity, violence, and faith challenge the values and ideologies we attach to those images and interrogate the historic and cultural contexts in which they originate. He came to UW–Madison in 2013 as the Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. Originally, from the United Kingdom, Dr. Abdu’Allah received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Central St. Martin’s College, a master’s degree from the Royal College of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of East London – all in London.
“This is a great opportunity for us to extend the notion of arts practice within the university and beyond,” said Dr. John Baldacchino, Director of the Arts Institute. “With Faisal on board, students, faculty and guest artists will participate in a wider range of opportunities underpinned by the great work done in The Studio, First Wave and our Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program.”
Professor Hitchcock has served as Faculty Director of The Studio since 2014. He is an award-winning artist who uses the print medium to explore relationships of community, land and culture. He has taught at UW–Madison since 2001. Prior to that, he was at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University.
“As Associate Dean for the Arts in the School of Education, Professor Hitchcock will work with the Arts Institute directly to enhance an understanding of the arts that is both open-ended and implicitly critical as a form of academic practice,” said Dr. Baldacchino. “With the addition of Faisal, and with John in his new role, many pieces are falling in place, helping us continue to build a fresh, dynamic approach to the arts at UW-Madison.”