Lake Douglas Fall ’22 Commencement Speaker, To Retire

Douglas LakeLake Douglas, PhD, ASLA, is the LSU College of Art & Design fall commencement 2022 ceremony speaker. Associate dean of research and development and associate professor of landscape architecture at the College of Art & Design, Douglas has announced his retirement from LSU after over 15 years of service at the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture.

A licensed landscape architect, Douglas has published numerous articles; books and book chapters; critical essays; and reviews in national and international anthologies, professional journals, and popular publications about diverse topics within the design disciplines, and his writings have received national and regional recognition. Public Spaces, Private Gardens: A History of Designed Landscapes in New Orleans (2011) received honor awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects and its Louisiana chapter, together with the Williams Award from the Louisiana Historical Association. Recently published books include Steward of the Land: Selected Writings of Nineteenth-Century Horticulturist Thomas Affleck (2014) and Buildings of New Orleans (2018). Douglas is also series editor of Reading the American Landscape for LSU Press.

“When Lake was appointed as the associate dean for research and development, the college did not have an advanced doctoral program,” said Alkis Tsolakis, dean of the College of Art & Design. “It is due to Lake’s efforts and intellectual pursuits that we have this program now.”

“Sitting where you are now, 50 years ago, I could not have imagined where I would be today,” Douglas addressed the College of Art & Design graduates at the commencement ceremony December 16, 2022. “Savor the periods of growth and success, but don’t let artistic stability turn into creative stagnation. Remember: it’s not as much about reaching the destination as it is enjoying the ride, living in the moment, and learning from past success and failures as you chart a pathway forward.”

Douglas received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from LSU, a Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a PhD in Urban Studies/Urban History from the University of New Orleans. His dissertation investigated 19th-century horticultural commerce in New Orleans as an agency of community cohesion, and his current research involves documenting cultural landscapes of the Gulf South through investigations of public spaces, domestic gardens, people, and written evidence. Other areas of interest include enhancing communities through cultural development, using research skills to inform design strategies, and developing communication skills in design through effective writing.

Douglas is also actively involved in grassroots efforts to enhance and increase public open space in New Orleans.

Watch the ceremony speech:


Design Building Renamed Julian T. White Hall

Design Building

Julian T. White Hall, formerly the Design Building, has been renamed to honor Julian T. White, the second Black licensed architect in the state of Louisiana. White was also LSU’s first Black professor who began teaching in LSU’s Architecture Department in 1971. In 2020, the LSU College of Art & Design unveiled a three-story mural of White in the atrium of the Design Building, which will now be named in his honor.

“Naming the building after Professor White honors the momentous impact he had on so many students, and all of LSU,” said Alkis Tsolakis, dean of the College of Art & Design.

Man painting mural

Artist Robert Dafford works on Julian T. White memorial mural in the LSU Design Building. Photo by BFA candidate Micah Viccinelli.

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LSU Museum of Art Exhibition Co-Curated by LSU Doctoral Student, Faculty Receives SEMC Award

Grant, Andy and Courtney in Boneyard exhibition at LSU Museum of Art

The LSU Museum of Art (LSU MOA) is honored and pleased to announce it has received awards in the 2022 Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Exhibition and Publication Competitions. This annual competition is open to museums in the southeastern region to submit exhibition and publication projects for review of merit. In the 2022 exhibition competition, The Boneyard: The Ceramics Teaching Collection was selected for the Bronze Award in the Under $25,000 budget category. The exhibition was co-curated by Andy Shaw, LSU associate professor of art/ceramics; Courtney Taylor, (former LSU MOA Curator and Director of Programs) currently Doctor of Design candidate and LSU College of Art & Design graduate assistant/Boyce Gallery coordinator; and Grant Benoit, former LSU MOA Educator and Manager of Public Programs.

Inspired by the visiting artist tradition, The Boneyard: The Ceramics Teaching Collection presented the energy and legacy of ceramics demonstrations through bisqueware. Included in this exhibition were over 200 bisque works that provide a valued resource for LSU School of Art’s top-ten ranked ceramics program. The ever-growing collection was displayed at LSU MOA to imitate the classroom use of the boneyard. The “boneyard” refers to the unique display on bisque works on high shelves in the studio, showcasing a variety of techniques, improvisation, and skill. Faculty and instructors pull bisque objects from the shelves in order to highlight specific techniques and attributes of form. This exhibition also featured rotating displays and a demonstration space activated by MFA students, local artists, and visiting artists allowing museum visitors to share in the boneyard tradition—to watch clay transform and to see artist-specific techniques shared in the openness of the craft tradition.

“Co-curating this exhibition with Andy and Grant was not only enjoyable, but incredibly rewarding,” Taylor said. “The collaboration between LSU MOA and the School of Art was a model experience curatorially, but also in terms of exhibition preparation and public programming. The exhibit featured LSU School of Art collections, was co-curated by a faculty member, and translated studio teaching methods into the gallery. There were also less-obvious collaborations that were integral to the project: current and former LSU student ceramicists facilitated public programs and the exhibition furniture was fabricated in LSU College of Art & Design’s Design Shops by students. The collaboration bolstered experimentation and engagement that expanded my own curatorial practice—and hopefully offered a model for deeper museum-college collaborations in the future.”

The Boneyard: The Ceramics Teaching Collection was a collaboration between the LSU MOA and the LSU School of Art. Previous partnerships between the School of Art and the LSU MOA inspired the proposal to highlight the ceramics bisque collection, “the boneyard” through a public exhibition. The resulting exhibition and the programming surrounding the exhibition were the result of an engaging and productive collaboration among the curators Taylor, Benoit, and Shaw.

The educational focus of The Boneyard and the inclusion of a studio space within the galleries of LSU MOA is reflective of the innovative visions at the museum, Shaw said. Through the studio space, audience members witnessed artists making works that would eventually be added into the collection. Audience members and demonstrating artists shared conversations about process and inspiration, benefitting both LSU art students and community members.

Watch a visiting artist share her process:


Taylor and co-authors Benoit and Shaw are publishing a chapter in the forthcoming book Dimensions of Curation: Considering Competing Values for Intentional Exhibition Practices, to be published by the American Alliance of Museums, applying the “Dimensions of Curation Competing Values Exhibition Model” using this exhibition as a case study.

Read the LSU Museum of Art press release.

LSU Art and Theater Talent Tapped by State to Improve Louisiana Cybersecurity

Mire and Streeter faces close upTwo LSU graduate students are collaborating with the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness on a series of high-profile Cybersecurity Awareness Month public service announcements with Louisiana flavor.

MFA candidate Isabella Mire is working with GOHSEP on three 30-second educational videos to roll out this October, which is national Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 

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