Between 40 and 70 students major or minor in Art at Willamette, and many more take studio classes taught by Art department faculty in the general education curriculum or other departments like Film Studies & Arts, Technology & Multimedia. An example of the creative and enterprising spirit of Willamette Art majors and minors can be seen through the continuing pursuits of some current students and alumni.
Some of our successful graduated are highlighted below!
Kelda Martensen, 2002
Kelda Martensen is a visual artist known for her work in printmaking, collage, book arts and murals. Her expansive and intimate gestures make adventurous use of space and explore the poetic nuance of longing. Her awards include the Bell Cramer Award in Printmaking and the Conceptual Visionary Award from Pratt Fine Art Center. Her teaching awards include the Dan Evans Innovation in Teaching Award, the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award, and Association of Women Faculty Graduate Award. Course work, grants, projects and residencies have taken her to Ireland, South Africa, Japan, France and Germany. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France in 2011 and at Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle in 2016. Her prints and artist books are in private and public collections including the City of Tacoma, Google Corporate offices, Special Collections Library at Washington University in St. Louis, Southern Graphics Council International Archive, Bokartas Contemporary Art Center, Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Studio for the Illustrated Book, University of Missouri and Willamette University.
Martensen is a tenured professor of art at North Seattle College where she teaches and serves as department chair of Visual Art. Martensen earned a BA with honors in Studio Art from Willamette University and an MFA with honors from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
Amy Thompson, 1999
Amy Thompson is a printmaker and graphic designer living and working in Reno, Nevada. She graduated from Willamette University with a double major in Studio Art and Biology in 1999, and earned her MFA in Visual Art from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2007. Amy uses printmaking and letterpress printing, installation, and book arts to create work that dances between art and design, between two and three dimensions. Influenced by the exactitude and precision of mathematical and scientific systems, her work is experimental and playful as she investigates the interplay between the spontaneous and the deliberate. She is currently the Manager of the Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada, Reno where she teaches courses in book arts, letterpress printing, and graphic arts.