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Michael Wille named director of the School of Art

image of Michael Wille

Michael Wille

The College of Fine Arts has named Michael Wille as director of the School of Art effective July 1, 2016. Wille has served the School of Art as interim director since July 2014.

Wille began his career at Illinois State University in 2001, where he is a professor of art with a specialization in painting and drawing. Over the past 15 years, he has taught studio courses and mentored graduate students, and has been active in national organizations such as the College Art Association (CAA) and the National Council of Art Administrators (NCAA).

As a CAA Professional Practices Committee panelist, Wille presented on Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Standards in Washington, D.C. in 2016. He was a recipient of an NCAA Emerging Arts Administration Fellowship in 2015. Prior to being appointed interim director, Wille served as associate director of the School of Art from 2009-2012. In 2010, he was selected as a member of the first cohort of participants in ISU’s Leadership Initiative, and in 2005, he was awarded the university’s Service Initiative Award.

“This university is a special place for my family and me,” stated Wille. “Coming up through the faculty ranks, I have a strong sense of who we are as a School of Art and as a university. Having the opportunity to lead an established, high-achieving School of Art like ours is a privilege. I look forward to working with our faculty, the teaching artists, and scholars, and in continuing to shape and grow an even better School of Art for the future. With an eye toward helping students succeed in the studio and beyond, growing our school’s profile, and increasing our national visibility are goals of mine as director.”

In addition to being a professor and an administrator, Wille is a successful contemporary artist whose small-scale abstract paintings have been included in numerous solo and/or group exhibitions around the United States and abroad including venues such as Hoffman LaChance Contemporary in St. Louis, Galleri Urbane in Dallas, Resolution Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the University of Mississippi Art Gallery. Additionally, his paintings were a part of the exhibit Mapping the Terrain: New Directions in Abstract Painting in Louisiana.

Wille’s abstract paintings have been featured in the critically acclaimed periodical New American Paintings five separate times. Wille recently curated exhibitions centered on trends within the field of abstract painting, including Microscopes and Binoculars at Hoffman Lachance Contemporary. Wille has lectured about his work at various academic institutions including Temple University in Tokyo, Japan, the University of Iowa, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, where he was an artist-in-residence in February 2009.

Michael Wille received his master’s degree in fine arts in painting from Bowling Green State University and his bachelor’s degree from Millikin University.

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