A tenured instructor, I have been teaching full-time at De Anza College since 1999.
Art has been a part of my life since childhood. My father worked as a commercial illustrator,
photographer and art director, both my brothers pursued artistic careers, and our
family life always revolved around exploring the visual arts. I feel privileged to
be a teacher and I love to share my passion for art!
I received my undergraduate education at State University of New York at Binghamton, graduating with honors in art history with a minor emphasis in studio art. After college, I worked for several years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, developing an interest in non-Western arts. Moving to the Northwest, I earned a Master of Arts degree from University of Washington, receiving support through a recruitment scholarship. My thesis addressed Lakota art and my focus of study was Native American art history, though I also pursued courses in African as well as American and European art history. I then earned a doctorate degree in History in Art from University of Victoria, British Columbia, where I received a three-year fellowship supporting my education in Canada. My doctoral dissertation addressed Native American basket weavers of Northwestern California.
After leaving Canada, I lived in Arcata, California, conducting research and teaching part-time at Humboldt State University for two years. In 1996, I began teaching as assistant professor of art history at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. After working in Ashland for three years, I accepted a tenure-track job at De Anza College. Since working at De Anza, I have developed several new courses, building the non-Western art history program. In 2002, I was a participant in an NEH-funded summer institute, Maya World, which included travel to Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico with leading scholars in Pre-Columbian art and Mayan studies. In fall 2007, I entered the Arctic Circle, visiting several artists from Inupiaq communities. In the summer of 2008, I traveled to Peru in order to study indigenous arts and archaeological sites as a participant in an NEH-funded summer institute, Andean Worlds, New Directions in Scholarship and Teaching. The following summer, 2009, I traveled to Senegal and Mali, West Africa, as a participant in a Fulbright-Hays summer program, studying West African arts and cultures with an emphasis on textiles and contemporary arts. In the summer of 2010, I was a participant in an NEH-funded Landmarks Workshop titled "African-American History and Culture in the Georgia Lowcountry" held in Savannah and the sea islands where I studied the African roots of Gullah Geechee basketry from elders in the local sea island communities. I spent several weeks during the summer of 2011 traveling in the Central Valley of Mexico and Oaxaca, documenting contemporary Mexican artists and craft production.
My past research projects include art and environmental issues in Northwestern California, patronage relationships between Native American weavers in Butte County and white collectors in the early 20th century, and documentation of Andean weaving styles and current revivals of these styles in the Sacred Valley near Cusco. In 2009, I published a textbook, Cultural Diversity in American Art History: An Introduction to Intercultural Studies Through Visual Arts. I am working on a revision of this textbook for 2016.
Between 2011-2014, I worked as a curatorial consultant on a traveling exhibition, Africanizing Christian Art, focusing upon master Yoruba carvers from the Ekiti Workshop, Nigeria, from the middle of the 20th century, who were working under the support of Fr. Kevin Carroll, a well-known pioneer patron of Yoruba arts. The exhibition was held at the Dormantine Retreat and Conference Centre, Dromantine, Northern Ireland, in the fall of 2012, and at the Museum of African Art, Tenafly, New Jersey, summer, 2013 to spring, 2014. In October, 2012, I cataloged the Kevin Carroll Collection of African art at Dromantine Retreat Centre while in residence in Northern Ireland (as a sabbatical project). I completed a video project documenting the patronage of Kevin Carroll and African Christian art in 2016.
My fall, 2013, sabbatical included a 5 week trip throughout Guatemala where I studied Mayan backstrap weaving techniques. I fell in love with the Lake Atitlan region and returned fall, 2014, to Santiago Atitlan where I studied basic conversational Tz'utujil (local language) and learned how to use the Tzolk'in, a Mayan calendrical system.
In the summer of 2018, I traveled a month in northern India visiting a number of textile cooperatives and temple sites. I am working currently on a digital photo project of arts and architecture from India.
My other passions in life are traveling, hiking and cross-country skiing with Phoebe, my "aussie-cattle-mix" dog. I am also a perpetual (and passionate) student of Astrology (Evolutionary) so when you meet me, tell me your "sun sign"!
See you soon in class! Catie