Brent Fortenberry Named Associate Dean of Research

Brent FortenberryThe LSU College of Art & Design has named Brent Fortenberry the new associate dean of research and graduate studies. Fortenberry joins LSU from the Tulane School of Architecture, where he was the director of the historic preservation program.

“We are thrilled to have Brent here to expand and strengthen art and design faculty research,” said Rod Parker, interim dean of the LSU College of Art & Design.

Fortenberry will work with faculty in the LSU School of Architecture, the LSU School of Art, the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, and the LSU School of Interior Design to spearhead research endeavors. As director of graduate studies for the College of Art & Design, he will also direct the Doctor of Design in Cultural Preservation program.

Fortenberry’s research and teaching areas include: historic preservation; vernacular architecture; digital documentation; architectural conservation; colonialism; Early Modern Atlantic world; heritage; outreach and education; architectural finish; and analysis and interpretation.

Prior to Tulane, Fortenberry was the associate and interim director of the Texas A&M University College of Architecture Center for Heritage Conservation. He previously served as the associate director for historic preservation, architectural history and archaeological research at the Clemson University Warren Lasch Conservation Center. He holds a B.A. in anthropology from the College of William & Mary, a M.A. in historical archaeology from Bristol University, a M.S. in historic preservation from Clemson University/College of Charleston, and a Ph.D. in archaeology from Boston University. He is also the founder and principal of Heritage Resource Management Consultants, LLC.

Fortenberry joins the faculty of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture.

Rod Parker Named Interim Dean of the College of Art & Design

Rod Parker

Rod Parker, School of Art Director

Rod Parker, Director of the LSU School of Art, has agreed to serve as Interim Dean of the LSU College of Art & Design following the announcement that Alkis Tsolakis is stepping down as Dean of the College of Art & Design effective September 1, 2023. Parker will fill the role until a permanent leader is selected, and he will continue as Director of the School of Art. Professor Parker joined LSU in 1981 and has been the Director of the School of Art since 2008.

“I am honored to have been asked to serve as interim dean during this time of leadership transition for our college,” Parker said. Read more about Parker.

“I am grateful for his experienced leadership during this time of transition,” said LSU Executive Vice President & Provost Roy Haggerty.

“The College of Art & Design is of vital importance to LSU, the state of Louisiana, and all whose lives are enriched by the fields of art and design. It is nationally renowned for its creative excellence and impactful research. We will quickly begin a national search for an experienced, dynamic, and visionary leader who will further elevate the college’s distinguished programs,” Haggerty wrote to the LSU community.

Tsolakis will continue as a School of Architecture faculty member, teaching in the Design Paris study abroad program this fall 2023.

“Please join me in thanking Alkis Tsolakis for the many contributions his leadership and research have yielded for LSU.”

LSU College of Art & Design

Meredith Gaglio a part of MoMA Exhibition Emerging Ecologies

Meredith GaglioMeredith Gaglio, assistant professor of architecture, collaborated on the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibition Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism, which is dedicated to both realized and unrealized projects that address ecological and environmental concerns by architects who practiced in the United States from the 1930s through the 1990s.

On view from September 17, 2023, through January 20, 2024, in the Museum’s Third Floor North Galleries, Emerging Ecologies will feature over 150 works that reconstruct how the rise of the environmental movement in the US informed architectural practice and thought. Models, photographs, diagrams, and sketches will be placed in context with archival materials such as posters, flyers, and articles to showcase innovative, fantastical, dystopian, and daring architectural projects that sought to navigate the fraught relationship between the built and natural environment. The exhibition celebrates the path-breaking environmentally conscious work of architects like Emilio Ambasz, Charles and Ray Eames, and Frank Lloyd Wright, while shining a light on many less familiar, historically significant practices like The New Alchemy Institute, Glen Small, and Mária Telkes.

“By highlighting projects that both foreshadowed and anticipated the ecological effects of overpopulation, the depletion of natural resources, and rampant industrial pollution, the exhibition looks to the past to suggest solutions for the future,” according to MoMa organizers.

Seven newly commissioned audio recordings that draw inspiration from these little-known projects will feature contemporary practitioners—Gaglio, Mae-ling Lokko, Jeanne Gang, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Amy Chester, Carolyn Dry, and Emilio Ambasz—sharing their thoughts on what contemporary architects can do to mitigate against climate change.

Gaglio was a historical consultant for the show and for the exhibition catalog, as well as lending her voice for the audio collage of architects and scholars who contributed to the exhibit. She wrote a piece in the “Counter Ecologies” issue of Art Papers in relation to the exhibition.

“I am one of the voices you’d hear in the exhibit,” she said. “In the audio tour, I discuss the history of the New Alchemy Institute and its relevance to contemporary architecture. I also speak to the importance of understanding the rich history of ecological architecture in an ‘audio collage’ with other experts in the field.”

Gaglio is a historian of modern and contemporary architectural technology, urbanism, and the environment, with previous experience in professional practice. Her research interests include the development and implementation of sustainable community planning and architectural strategies in the United States from the late-1960s through the early-1980s. Read more.

She is also speaking at The Third Ecology conference sponsored by MoMA and the European Architectural History Network (EAHN) in Iceland in October 2023.

Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism is organized by Carson Chan, Director, the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment, and Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, with Matthew Wagstaffe, Ambasz Institute Research Assistant.

More about MoMa

More about the LSU School of Architecture

Photography Professor Ariaz Published in Washington Post

lsu school of art faculty jeremiah ariaz

Jeremiah Ariaz, professor of photography

Jeremiah Ariaz, professor of photography, took a sabbatical in 2022 to photograph newspaper offices across his home state of Kansas, “thinking of them as beacons of democracy in a divided America.”

“The photographs celebrate the civic function, labor and technology at the heart of local newspapers’ production, while also documenting an industry in peril as the country loses on average two newspapers a week,” he said. In the last two decades, over 2000 papers have closed nationwide.

Ariaz photographed 135 news offices in all. Recently, one office he visited multiple times, The Marion County Record, found itself embroiled in a controversy embodying the concerns behind his project – about community, division, democracy, and first amendment rights. These issues collided with real time events after law enforcement raided the newspaper office as well as the homes of its editor, owners, and reporters, seizing computer equipment, routers and cellphones, becoming an international news story. 

“Reporting has been widespread from outlets such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Guardian,” he said. “I’m thrilled to have an opinion column published in The Washington Post.”

Read the piece.

“See the Kansas weekly that’s standing up for press freedom” included 12 of Ariaz’s photographs from his visits to The Record.

Washington Post Opinion page. Photo by Jeremiah Ariaz, courtesy of Washington Post.

Washington Post Opinion page. Photo by Jeremiah Ariaz, courtesy of Washington Post.

Ariaz’s next publication, The Kansas Mirror: The Fourth Estate in the Heart of America is forthcoming. The 32-page tabloid in the style of a newspaper contains his photographs alongside essays from 10 contributors: Kansas newspaper men and women from across the state. It happens that the Maron County Record’s editor, Eric Meyer contributed a column to the publication. The paper will be released in September 2023, and was made with generous support of the Tallgrass Artist Residency, Volland Foundation, and the LSU Provost Arts/Humanities Fund.  

The photographs will be on exhibition in October 2023 at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong.

Read more about The Fourth Estate project.

New to LSU: Q&A with Huili Wang

huili wang

Huili Wang is an assistant professor of interior design at the LSU School of Interior Design. She is an interdisciplinary researcher who investigates physical work environments, and designs learning environments. She was a key contributor in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded Technical Assistance to Brownfields community visioning projects. She has certification in Designing Early Childhood Outdoor Environments from North Carolina State University and participated in Texas projects as a trained OLE designer.


What is your background?

I received a PhD and an MS in Interior and Environmental Design from Texas Tech University, and a B.S. in Environmental Design and a MA in Fine Art, from Yangzhou University, China. Prior to joining LSU, I gained teaching experience at South Dakota State University. As an interior designer, I participated in various design projects including hospitality, showhouses, sales offices, the development of new communities, and residential design.


What are your research interests?

My main research interest is physical work environments, including investigating flexible office design solutions that perform well for multi-generational workforces, and gaining in-depth views on workspaces in the future.

My dissertation was a mixed method research project that focuses on increasing understanding of how specific workplace design features affect millennial new hires’ transition outcomes, including job satisfaction, job stress, organizational commitment, and turnover intention. The mixed method research collected and analyzed data from two online focus groups and 252 online survey responses. The results indicate satisfaction with workplace design features significantly predicts millennial new employees’ transition outcomes.

My secondary research interest revolves around designing learning environments, including classroom design for autistic children and early childhood outdoor learning environments.


What is your teaching philosophy?

My experiences in education and industry have led me to believe that employability skills are keys for students successful at long-term jobs or careers. My current teaching philosophy has evolved around how to create a supportive learning environment where students can learn actively and be prepared to enter professional positions. My teaching practice is founded in three concepts to reinforce students’ employability skills: fostering collaborative learning, applied knowledge, and inclusion and empathy.


What is your first impression of LSU & Louisiana?

I really like Mike the Tiger. Every time I go to campus, I visit him and exchange greetings. Also, I enjoy the food in Louisiana and the warm smiles on people’s faces here.


Courtney Barr Named New Associate Director of the LSU School of Art

Courtney BarrCourtney Barr, professor of art/graphic design, has been named associate director of the LSU School of Art. Barr has been a faculty member at LSU for 15 years, and a manager of the Graphic Design Student Office (GDSO), which provides professional design services for university departments and local community organizations.

As associate director, Barr works with School of Art Director Rod Parker to manage the school’s administrative activities. Barr works with fellow faculty, art students, and the community as a liaison on many projects.

Barr is a graphic designer, letterpress artist, and educator. In her work she uses visual explanations to reveal new understandings and perspectives. She merges digital printing techniques with letterpress printing to create unique information/art pieces. Her professional graphic design work has received recognition from AIGA (the Professional Association for Design) and the American Advertising Federation. Her work has been published nationally in the Print Regional Design Annual and Graphic Design USA magazine. She has received research grants, including the LSU Council on Research Summer Stipend Grant and a Junior Faculty Travel Grant. In addition, she has collaborated with researchers on grants from the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. Barr received her BA from Lynchburg College and her MFA at East Carolina University.

Read about the LSU School of Art.

Courtney Taylor Named the Director of Galleries for the LSU College of Art & Design

Courtney TaylorThe LSU College of Art & Design has named Courtney Taylor the Director of Galleries for the college. The newly created role will manage the galleries, which display art & design exhibitions featuring work by LSU students, faculty, alumni, and visiting artists and designers. Galleries include the new Barnes Ogden Art & Design Complex gallery, the Clark and Laura Boyce Gallery in Julian T. White Hall (formerly the Design Building), and the Glassell Gallery in downtown Baton Rouge.

“With two recently opened exhibition spaces on campus joining a well-established gallery downtown, this is an incredibly exciting time to join the College of Art & Design and make the galleries a hub for creativity and connection,” Taylor said.

“I’m looking forward to working with faculty and students—there are so many experiential learning opportunities—but also working across campus and with Baton Rouge communities to pursue interdisciplinary, collaborative programming that deepens engagement with art and design in our city, state, and beyond.”

Taylor has over ten years of curatorial experience, including six years in Louisiana. She served as Curator and Director of Public Programs at LSU Museum of Art for five years directing the exhibitions, collections, and public program teams. She has curated solo exhibitions of Louisiana artists such as Martin Payton, Katrina Andry, and Malcolm McClay, as well as regionally and nationally recognized artists such as Letitia Huckaby, Carrie Mae Weems, Julie Heffernan, and Delita Martin. Many of these exhibitions traveled to venues across the state and nation and included publication of exhibition catalogues. Taylor’s curatorial research focuses on art, environment and ecology as well as inclusive museum and gallery practices. She recently completed a chapter on exhibition design analyzing interpretive focus, curatorial power, and curatorial intent published in Dimensions of Curation: Considering Competing Values for Intentional Exhibition Practices. Prior to moving to Baton Rouge, Taylor was Assistant Director and Curator at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas where she managed collections, exhibitions, and education. She has worked in collections, exhibitions, publications, education, and conservation departments at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville; Gilcrease Museum; and Philbrook Museum of Art. Taylor holds an MA in Museum Science and Management from the University of Tulsa, a certificate in Archival Studies from LSU, and BA in history and art history from Hendrix College. 

Taylor will work with the gallery coordinator to schedule upcoming exhibitions in the areas of art, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Contact for Courtney Taylor exhibition inquiries:
(225) 578-0856


Allison Young Receives 2023 ATLAS Grant for Book on South African Artist

Allison YoungAllison Young, assistant professor of art history, is a 2023 recipient of an Award to Louisiana Artists and Scholars (ATLAS) grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents for her current book project on the South African born artist Gavin Jantjes.

The book will be the most comprehensive study to date on the oeuvre of pioneering Jantjes, and “situates his work at the nexus of anti-apartheid activism and avant-garde artistic milieux of the late twentieth century,” Young wrote.

A prolific printmaker, Jantjes is one of the primary African Diaspora artists with demonstrable connections to international postwar movements such as Pop and Conceptual Art. A leading arts advocate of the Black British Art Movement, he wrote the agenda for Britain’s “New Internationalism” project of the 1990s, making an impact on institutional approaches towards representation, globalization, and equity at the turn of the millennium.  

“My scholarship reflects on the mediation that takes place between the interior space of an artwork and the social, political, and cultural contexts with which it is deeply intertwined,” Young said.   

“Ultimately, the project will be of benefit beyond enhancing the scholarship on Jantjes’ art alone – it is demonstrative of a truly transnational research methodology, and makes the case that diaspora artists like Jantjes should be understood as central, not peripheral, to a truly global history of postwar art.”  

The Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars (ATLAS) program provides support for major scholarly and artistic productions with potential to have a broad impact on a regional and/or national level, and on a broad academic and/or artistic community.

Young is assistant professor of contemporary art history at the LSU School of Art, and an affiliate faculty member in the department of African and African American Studies (AAAS). A specialist in postcolonial and contemporary art of the Global South, her scholarship centers primarily on African and African-Diasporic artists and art histories, with focus on questions surrounding migration, transnationalism, and political engagement in contemporary art. She is engaged in research on the intersection of contemporary art, environmentalism, and social justice in Louisiana.

This competitive award will enable her to take leave from teaching for the academic year 2023-24, and to dedicate this time fully to research and writing. She also plans to travel to the United Kingdom and South Africa to conduct additional research during the fellowship year.

Learn more about the LSU art history program.

Tara Titone the New Director of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum

LSU Hilltop Arboretum at twilight, illuminated building reflected on pond water

Tara Titone has been named the new director of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum, a “living” museum of native plants in Baton Rouge, where students and faculty conduct research.

Tara Titone“We look forward to working with Tara! We are sure the under her stewardship the Hilltop Arboretum, a corner of Paradise in the middle of Baton Rouge, will continue to grow and blossom!” said Alkis Tsolakis, Dean of the College of Art & Design and interim director of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture.

Titone has over 20 years’ experience working in the private, public and nonprofit sector. From her time spent between landscape architecture firms in New York, NY, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Baton Rouge, LA, she has specialized in leadership, fundraising, community outreach and sustainable design. She received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree from Louisiana State University. 

Previously, Titone served as Director of Finance and Economic Development and Chief Operating Officer of Build Baton Rouge, where she directed all agency operations and oversaw the design and implementation of community-driven programs and master plans.  

Titone enjoys interacting with a wide array of stakeholders, community partners and volunteers, as well as design professionals and consultants, as she believes that exceptional spaces require the thoughtful assembly of diverse perspectives, experiences and expertise.

She will oversee the nationally-recognized Hilltop facility for research, teaching and service activities and assist the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum with fundraising for operational support and educational programs to engage the broader community. 

About Hilltop Arboretum

The LSU Hilltop Arboretum is a 14-acre museum of native plants located on historic Highland Road in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The award-winning facility designed by Lake|Flato Architects of San Antonio, Texas, offers beautiful views of the natural landscape, including a pond with an elevated wooden boardwalk surrounded by native aquatic plants. The arboretum showcases an extensive collection of more than 150 species of Southern native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Hilltop strives to educate its audience about the importance of sustainable design for a healthier future and how each of us can make a difference within our own community.

The arboretum is striving to be a nationally recognized center for the study of plants and landscape design. An integral part of the College of Art & Design, students and faculty of the college, particularly the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, use the arboretum for research, teaching, and service activities. The Friends of Hilltop Arboretum are continually developing education programs to engage the broader community, and through fundraising and programming, are providing operational support.

Learn more about Hilltop Arboretum.

Learn more about the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture.



Nam Wins 2023 TDC Award for Living Typography

hands on plants spelling word LOVE

Hye Yeon Nam, associate professor of digital art, won a TDC Award in Lettering for “Living Typography,” a robotically seeded living interface for collective music making.

Living Typography is composed of a microcontroller, capacitive touch sensors, plants, and planting media. The interface is grown from robotically planted seeds in computationally generated planting patterns. The living matters – the plants and soil – act as a sensor network. Touching a zone of the living interface will play a sample from a sound palette of environmental recordings.

“People can touch, feel, listen to, and experience Living Typography while they appreciate the beauty of typography and nature,” Nam said.

Nam was art director for the project, collaborating with Brendan Harmon, assistant professor of landscape architecture, and Ka Hei Cheng, Ph.D. candidate in Experimental Music and Digital Media (EMDM).


Living Typography from Hye Yeon Nam on Vimeo.

Echo from Hye Yeon Nam on Vimeo.

About TDC

The TDC competition, established in 1953, is the longest running, most prestigious, global typography and type design competition. Now in its 69th year, these awards are all about how letterforms are used and drawn, recognizing typographic excellence and celebrating new typeface designs in all global languages.