Faculty News


Congratulations to Professors Mattern and Siddons

Congratulations to Andy Mattern and Louise Siddons for their faculty awards at the College of Arts and Sciences Convocation (August 28, 2018). Prof. Mattern received a Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence, and Prof. Siddons received the Wise-Diggs-Berry Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts.

Convocation 2018
Prof. Louise Siddons, Interim Department Head Jennifer Borland, and Prof. Andy Mattern



In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Richard Bivins

Richard Bivins

Richard A. Bivins (1939-2018)

Richard A. Bivins was born on October 21, 1939 in Shidler, OK, to Walter and Jesse Bivins. He finished high school in Barnsdall, OK, and then went on to study art at Oklahoma State University, completing his BFA in Studio Art in 1961. Bivins graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1965 with an MFA in Studio Art, focusing on ceramics. He joined the studio art faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Art Department at OSU in 1964. Bivins, who was of Cherokee descent, was inspired by Native American art throughout his long and active artistic career. During his 1976 sabbatical, Bivins studied Native American pottery in California, New Mexico and Mexico. He worked with the internationally-known potter Maria Martinez and other members of her family, as well as the highly regarded ceramic artist Paul Soldner. Bivins was primarily a ceramics artist, but he also taught courses in drawing and design at OSU. He was a highly regarded teacher by students as well as his colleagues.

Throughout his long tenure at OSU, Bivins was committed to service to the University and the Art Department, demonstrating a willingness to teach whatever was needed. He displayed deep curiosity and a profound willingness to learn new things; for example, he read over 40 books on Egyptian art and architecture in preparation for teaching a new art history class on this subject! In 1982, he received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to develop new upper level humanities courses at OSU. Bivins also led an Ancient Egypt Study Tour in 1983, and he contributed to the Elderhostel program by teaching a course in American Indian ceramics. He developed close friendships in the Art Department, especially with painters Dean Bloodgood and Marty Avrett. Bivins was promoted to Full Professor in 1981, the same year that he became Head of the Art Department. He led the Department until 1990, when he returned to full time teaching.

Bivins was also a highly regarded artist outside of OSU. He was represented by galleries in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and his work may be found in numerous private and public collections nationally and in China. He was also highly active as a curator, organizing exhibitions on ceramics, quilts, landscape painting, and prints, to name just a few areas of focus. In 1983 Bivins received both an Oklahoma Humanities Foundation grant and a highly competitive National Endowment for the Arts grant to support his well-regarded exhibition “Contemporary Native American Art,” which traveled nation-wide for eighteen months.

Active both regionally and nationally in the arts, Bivins was a member of the Native American Art Studies Association, the National Council for Education in Ceramics Arts, and the American Craft Council, among many other organizations.
Bivins retired from OSU in 1997, but he continued to be an active presence in the Art Department, curating exhibitions for the Gardiner Gallery. He died on March 10, 2018, at the age of 78.


Mark Sisson Honored with Regents Distinguished Research Award

Oklahoma State University recognized the achievements of faculty, staff, and administrators during the University Awards Convocation, December 6 at the OSU ConocoPhillips Alumni Center.  Mark Sisson was awarded the Regents Distinguished Research Award, which recognizes research excellence at Oklahoma State University.  Recipients of the award were selected based on the evidence of outstanding and meritorious achievements in research, which includes all creative scholarly activities.  

Mark Sisson Research Award
Mark Sisson pictured third from right.  Photo courtesy of Phil Choo.


Recent Awards and Honors

Associate Professor Louise Siddons was awarded the Davidson Family Fellowship at the Amon Carter Museum to work with the Laura Gilpin archive. She will be in residence at the Museum in October 2017.

Associate Professor of Art History Louise Siddons was awarded a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts grant for her forthcoming book on artist J.J. McVicker.

Associate Professor of Ceramics Brandon Reese's exhibition opens in July 2017 at the OSU Museum of Art.

Congratulations to Associate Professor of Art History Shaoqian Zhang, who won the 2017 College of Arts and Sciences Junior Faculty Research Award.

Congratulations to Professor of Painting Liz Roth, who won the 2017 Wise-Diggs-Berry Award for excellence in the Arts.


Faculty Awards and Honors, 2016-2017


Louise Siddons, Associate Professor of Art History

  • 2017 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) $20,000 grant to support a traveling retrospective exhibition of Oklahoma modernist painter, sculptor, and printmaker J. Jay McVicker. The grant will also fund the first scholarly book to survey McVicker’s career.

Irene Backus, Assistant Professor of Art History

  • Berenson Fellow, Villa I Tatti Harvard Research Center (International), 2016

Phil Choo, Professor of Graphic Design

  • Excellence Award for OSU MFA brochure, 46th Annual University and College Designers Association Design Competition, 2016.

Pouya Jahanshahi, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design

  • NY Designs Fellowship (Design Incubator), New York, NYC, 2016

Lisa J. Maione, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design (as a part of the art collective Fazed Grunion):

  • Van Eyck Academie Artist Fellowship 2016-2017, Maastricht, The Netherlands (international)

Andy Mattern, Assistant Professor of Photography

  • 90th Annual International Competition (Semifinalist, 42 artists selected from 400), Jurors: Alex Klein and Mungo Thomson Philadelphia, PA (international), 2016

Justen Renyer, Associate Professor of Graphic Design

  • The Golden Apple / Outstanding Educator of the Year, 12th Annual National Student Show and Conference, Dallas Society of Visual Communicators (national), 2016

Chris Ramsay, Professor of Jewelry and Metals

  • Tulsa Artist Fellowship, George Kaiser Family Foundation (International), 2016

Liz Roth, Associate Professor of Painting

  • Visiting Artist, Xiaoxiang International Printmaking Center, Changsha Normal University, Changsha, China (international), 2016

Priscilla Schwarz, Lecturer in Art History

  • Presented the Annual Kohler Lecture in Art History at Pomona College, Claremont, VA [travel, research, and honorarium for public lecture] (national), 2016

Mark Sisson, Professor of Printmaking

  • Sean Rudolf Purchase Award, Delta National Small Prints Exhibition (dsnpe), Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR, 2017
  • Third Place Award, Clemson National Works on Paper Exhibition Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 2017
  • 2 Purchase Awards, 27th National Works on Paper, University of Notre Dame Maryland, Baltimore, MD
  • George and Barbara Pratt Award, 29th National Works on Paper, Northern National 29th Annual Competition
  • Juror’s Award, 2016 Academy Center of the Arts Annual National Juried Art Exhibition, Academy Center of the Arts