Abdu’Allah to lead arts learning community

December 13, 2016
Photo: Artist — and barber — Faisal Abdu'Allah talks about his work while cutting the hair of volunteer Alison Jones Chaim during a live salon held in the Chazen Museum of Art lobby while he was serving as the Arts Institute's Spring 2013 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence.

Artist — and barber — Faisal Abdu’Allah talks about his work while cutting the hair of volunteer Alison Jones Chaim during a live salon held in the Chazen Museum of Art lobby while he was serving as the Arts Institute’s Spring 2013 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. Photo: Jeff Miller

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute and University Housing have announced the appointment of Faisal Abdu’Allah as the new faculty director of The Studio: Creative Arts & Design Community in Sellery Residence Hall. Abdu’Allah replaces John Hitchcock, who was named associate dean for the arts in the School of Education earlier this fall. Both professors are faculty in the Art Department.

Photo: John Hitchcock

John Hitchcock

Abdu’Allah is an internationally acclaimed artist who creates iconographic imagery of power, race, masculinity, violence and faith to challenge the values and ideologies attached to those images. He came to UW–Madison in 2013 as the Arts Institute’s Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. Originally from the United Kingdom, Abdu’Allah received his bachelor of fine arts degree from Central Saint Martins College, a master’s degree from the Royal College of Art and a Ph.D. from the University of East London.

“This is a great opportunity for us to extend the notion of arts practice within the university and beyond,” says John Baldacchino, director of the Arts Institute. “With Faisal on board, students, faculty and guest artists will participate in a wider range of opportunities underpinned by the great work done in The Studio, First Wave and our Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program.”

Hitchcock has served as faculty director of The Studio since 2014. He is an award-winning artist who uses the print medium to explore relationships of community, land and culture. He has taught at UW–Madison since 2001. Prior to that he was at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He holds a master of fine arts degree from Texas Tech University.

“As associate dean for the arts in the School of Education, Professor Hitchcock will work with the Arts Institute directly to enhance an understanding of the arts that is both open-ended and implicitly critical as a form of academic practice,” says Baldacchino. “With the addition of Faisal, and with John in his new role, many pieces are falling into place, helping us continue to build a fresh, dynamic approach to the arts at UW–Madison.”