Butler and UConn: Sure they’ve got basketball, but what about painting?

When I was an MFA student at the University of Connecticut, my original studio was in a little yellow clapboard house that overlooked the Gampel Pavilion, home of the renowned UConn Huskies basketball teams. During the season the place was mobbed, but the art students hunkered down and continued working nonetheless. I don’t think I knew anyone who actually went to a game, although one of the players was an art undergrad and showed up occasionally for my section of  Drawing I.  Last night, as UConn and Butler were winning their semi-final games in tough match-ups against Kentucky and Virginia Commonwealth University, I was Googling their art departments.

Butler, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, has a very small program that offers two BA degrees, one in Art & Design and the other in Digital Illustration. The three-person fulltime faculty includes one painter, Gautam Rao. Here are a few images of plein air paintings from his blog.

The University of Connecticut Art and Art History Department is much larger, offering both BFA and MFA degrees and a far more specialized faculty. Fulltime painting faculty include Deborah Dancy and Kathryn Myers. Laurie Sloan and Gus Mazzocca handle Printmaking.

Deborah Dancy “Jack and Jill’s Hill,”2011, oIl on canvas, 30″ x 30”

 Kathryn Myers, “Correspondences,” 2008, oil on wood, 7 � x 16.�

Laurie Sloan, Untitled, 2009, archival inkjet print with cut paper, 13″x18″
 Gus Mazzocca, “Blue Mikerline,” 2006, woodcut/digital, 24 x 48″
Good luck to Butler and UConn, who play the final game on Monday night. Did I mention that Coach Jim Calhoun, at $1.58 mil,  is the highest paid state employee in Connecticut? Think of all the faculty they could hire for the same amount of money. I hope the players haven’t missed too many classes.

Related posts:
Grounded in India
Deborah Dancy Muirhead’s abstract paintings tell tales of early African-Americans

Snaps of the 2008 Connecticut Biennial

Gouache-apolooza in Chelsea


  1. VCU on the other hand has one of the nations's best art departmetns ( http://www.vcu.edu/arts/ ) , consistently ranking within the top 10 in the US news rankings.

  2. Thanks for the link, Anon. Here's one for Kentucky:

  3. mMybe it would be an interesting experinment to put up a bracket for the art department's of each of these march madness schools…

  4. Tyler is that you??

  5. That's what I thought, too!

    Sharon, this is a brilliant alterna-look at March Insanity. And to extend the thought via a different sport, what one individual spends for a trip to the Superbowl for tickets, travel, accommodations and food, to say nothing of alcohol–to watch about 14 minutes of actual playing time–could start a small art collection.

    Chacqun a son gout. But, damn, there's some crazy gout out there.

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