LSU College of Art + Design’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Carmon Colangelo will deliver the commencement address at the fall graduation ceremony on December 19. Colangelo received his MFA in printmaking from LSU in 1983, and he now serves as dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to this position, Colangelo was chair of the Division of Art at West Virginia University and director of the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia.
Originally from Toronto, Colangelo grew up with parents who stressed the importance of higher education. “My parents emigrated from Italy, and they always put a high value on getting ahead by pursuing a university degree,” he said. Colangelo found his love of art early in life, but it was not until LSU that he realized his own passion for teaching. “At LSU, I got the chance to teach a lithography studio, and that is when I fell in love with it,” he recalled.
Since his time at LSU, Colangelo’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the US as well as in Argentina, Canada, England, Italy, Korea, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. His work has been collected by the nation’s leading museums, including the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
As an academic leader, Colangelo remains an active faculty member and still makes his own art. “At the moment, my position offers the perfect balance—allowing me to lead a school of art, architecture, and design at a research university with an internationally renowned art museum, where I can also be a part of the process of organizing exhibitions and building an amazing collection.”
Colangelo received a BFA from the University of Windsor before he made his way to Baton Rouge for graduate studies. “I was tired of the cold and looking to move south,” he laughed, “and LSU was looking for printmaking students to build the graduate program.” His most memorable times at LSU were the food, the unique culture, and the campus atmosphere. “Above all, though, I met my wife at LSU,” Colangelo said. “Susan Berry was in the MFA program, as well, and we married shortly after we graduated.”
Colangelo has kept his relationships and memories from LSU close, and he continues to foster more as his connection to the school grows. “I am honored to receive this award and recognition. It is hard to believe that all these years have passed by so quickly.”
Get to Know Dean Colangelo . . .
Favorite Song: “Stairway to Heaven”
Favorite Band: The Shins
Favorite Movie: A Beautiful Mind
Favorite Food: Thai
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Favorite Sport: Ice hockey
Written by Kristen Higdon