New ETSU chair wants to showcase regional talent

Published 2:34 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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JOHNSON CITY — From ceramics and sculpture to printmaking and photography, both East Tennessee State University and the Appalachian Highlands are home to a range of talented artists.
For Dr. Tao Huang, it’s partly the responsibility of ETSU’s Department of Art and Design to showcase that talent.
“We collaborate with the community very closely and host many local artists in our galleries,” said Huang. “Our exhibitions show the diverse talents in the region.”
Huang, who holds a Ph.D. in architecture and design research from Virginia Tech University, is now the chair of the department.
“I come into a department with so many brilliant minds. Our faculty, staff and students constantly fascinate me with their bold ideas and grand ambitions,” said Huang. “I am here first and foremost to serve them, to help them realize their career and education goals. I am also looking outwards for more collaborations with other units in the university and beyond by developing more interdisciplinary programs and projects.”
She added: “I am always open for dialogues to promote art and design in the region.”
The university department operates two galleries, Slocumb in Ball Hall on the main campus and Tipton in downtown Johnson City. More than a dozen professors, with expertise ranging from art history to graphic design, teach in the department.
“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Huang as she supports her colleagues in realizing their goals and further advancing the outstanding opportunities the Department of Art and Design provides for our students,” said Dr. Joe Bidwell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Instructors offer a wide range of classes, covering topics that include drawing, painting, jewelry and metals, and more.
“If you are looking to learn some interesting hands-on skills to express yourself creatively, or to gain a little more understanding of this intimidating but captivating thing called ‘art,’ come take a class or two in Art and Design,” she said.
“Who knows,” added Huang, “you might find out that you do have what it takes to become an artist and designer.”
Dr. Kimberly D. McCorkle, ETSU provost and senior vice president for Academics, said the Art and Design department enriches the culture and quality of life in the region.
“At the heart of ETSU’s mission is to improve the lives of those in our region and beyond. A thriving arts community helps us accomplish that goal,” she said. “We are thrilled to have Dr. Huang join us at ETSU, and I cannot wait to see all that she and our faculty will accomplish over the next few years.”
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