Illinois State University Wonsook Kim School of Art is excited to present the recently named and first recipients of the endowed professorships named in honor of Professors Emeriti Harold Boyd, Harold Gregor, and Ken Holder.

“Our faculty within the Wonsook Kim School of Art have excellent research profiles as artists, designers, and scholars. What makes these three individuals so special is their desire to want this endowed professorship to impact our students. Each has included in their proposals meaningful ways to transform the lives of their students,” said Michael Wille, director of the Wonsook Kim School of Art.

Tyler Lotz headshot

Tyler Lotz

Harold Boyd Endowed Professor of Art, Tyler Lotz, professor of art in ceramics

Professor Lotz began his teaching career at Illinois State University in 2002. His ceramic sculptures and vessels have been shown at venues including the Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst; the Dubhe Carreño Gallery in Chicago; the Harvey/Meadows Gallery in Aspen, Colorado; the Cross MacKenzie Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and the Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design art fair in Chicago. Lotz’s work has been presented internationally at major venues including the First World Ceramic Biennale Korea and the 2010 Vallauris Biennale Internationale in Vallauris, France. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, as well as the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark.

In the past several years, Lotz has been expanding his pedagogy and creative practice by employing the use of CAD software and digital output processes including CNC milling and 3D printing.

“Developments in my research and my teaching have always fed each other. I have been developing my own interest and skills in digital design and production which has directly translated into a newly developed course called Digital Clay,” Lotz said.

With the support of the Harold Boyd Endowed Professorship, he plans to develop and produce new lines or bodies of tableware and other design-based ceramic objects. A major component of his proposal includes the purchase of a hydraulic clay press or RAM press, an industrial molding machine that can aid in the production of complicated castings and greatly increase rates of production. The press can be used by faculty and students to produce multiples of forms that can be difficult to produce in other ways. “This industrial process, coupled with other new technologies we are using, is the perfect complement to the Digital Clay curriculum,” Lotz stated.

The presence of these technologies in the Illinois State ceramics studio will provide opportunities for students who take the newly developed Digital Clay course to learn advanced processes toward the creation of studio pottery and ceramic sculpture.

Asked what inspired him to apply to be considered for the endowed professorships, Lotz replied: “What a special gift Wonsook Kim and Thomas Clement made honoring Professors Gregor, Holder, and Boyd. This gift is made even more special by [the] legacy it leaves, supporting faculty and students into the future of the school. This type of support for research and teaching is rare, and there was no question whether I would apply from the moment I heard the news.

Learn more about the Harold Boyd Endowed Professor of Art, Tyler Lotz.

Ladan Bahmani headshot

Ladan Bahmani

Harold Gregor Professor of Art, Ladan Bahmani, assistant professor of art in graphic design

Ladan Bahmani is a designer, researcher, and educator. She started teaching at Illinois State University in 2017 after earning her M.F.A. in graphic design from Michigan State University and her B.S. from South Dakota State University. Bahmani has disseminated her work in the form of conference presentations, research papers, and exhibitions. She has presented her research nationally and internationally including at the 2019 Typecon conference in Minneapolis; the 2019 MODE Design Education Summit conference in Wellington, New Zealand; and the 2017 World Design Summit in Montreal. In addition, she has collaborated with colleagues on several projects and participated in the DesignInquiry residency in 2018 and 2019 in Maine; and the DCR Guest Studios residency in 2016, in The Hague, Netherlands.

Bahmani’s research is on the concept of translation and language in the context of visual communication. She explores translation as a process that enables new modes of production and critique in both physical and digital spaces and within the practice and theory of graphic design. Her work involves topics such as hybridity of visual or textual languages, diversity, and the fluidity of language borders. She is currently working on a variety of personal and collaborative projects. Her own background and strong belief in learning from a diverse group of designers and educators led her to bring three guest speakers to Illinois State during her first two years of teaching. As she continues her research and teaching, Bahmani intends to establish a stronger connection between Illinois State students and the professional design community. With the support of the Harold Gregor Endowed Professorship, this connection in the form of lectures and workshops will help students have a broader perspective toward design, receive diverse design education, and view themselves as agents of change.

Learn more about the Harold Gregor Endowed Professor of Art, Ladan Bahmani.

Lea Cline headshot

Lea Cline

Ken Holder Endowed Professor of Art, Dr. Lea Cline, associate professor of art history

Dr. Lea Cline earned her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin in Roman art and architecture. Prior to Illinois State University, Cline was a fellow in the Coins and Medals department at Yale University Art Gallery. Cline has an extensive publication record concerning Villa A (”of Poppaea”) at Oplontis (Italy), where she excavated with the University of Texas at Austin for eight years. She is also the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Roman Imagery and Iconography, with Nathan Elkins (Baylor University), which will be published next year.

In addition to her roles in the Wonsook Kim School of Art, Cline is assistant director of the European Studies program, the student program coordinator for the U.S. Fulbright Program, and the co-founder and co-director of the Illinois State University in Italy: Orvieto study abroad program.

During the two-year term of the Ken Holder Endowed Professorship, Cline will co-direct with Dr. Kathryn Jasper (History) an archaeological excavation and field school in central Italy. The focus of this project is a monumental nymphaeum (a large water feature) dating to the Roman imperial period located at a site known as Valle Gianni near Lake Bolsena.

“The archaeological project at Valle Gianni will be developed into a field school, offering students the opportunity to excavate Etruscan and Roman material in Italy,” Cline said. “On this field school, students can learn excavation techniques, technical drawing, and digital technologies that allow archaeologists to scan and preserve both objects and buildings. Excavations like this often take years to complete, but ISU students will be able to participate in every step of the progress, from moving dirt to final publication of the findings.”

With the assistance of Dr. Jasper and the Illinois State field school students, Cline will use excavation, mapping, and material analysis to address a variety of questions about the monument and its use—from sources of patronage to ancient aquatic engineering.

Granted a rare excavation permit from the Italian federal government (Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio), the Valle Gianni project is not only the first excavation of its kind in Illinois State University history but also currently the only active excavation permit in Italy held by any university in Illinois. This project will offer Illinois State students the unique opportunity to study Roman art and archaeology at an active excavation.

Learn more about the Ken Holder Endowed Professor of Art, Dr. Lea Cline.

Photo taken at the fall 2016 exhibition Wonsook Kim: Lines of Enchantment. Left to right, Ken Holder, Harold Gregor, Wonsook Kim, and Harold Boyd. Wonsook Kim's artwork is installed on the walls of the University Galleries.

Wonsook Kim with the faculty who shaped her journey. Left to right, Ken Holder, Harold Gregor, Wonsook Kim, and Harold Boyd. Photo taken at the fall 2016 University Galleries exhibition Wonsook Kim: Lines of Enchantment.

To acknowledge the art training, mentorship, and support she received as a student at Illinois State University, alumna Wonsook Kim designated funds to establish the three endowed professorships in honor of Boyd, Gregor, and Holder.

“Seeing the ways that these three individuals are choosing to impact the educational experience for our students reminds me of the ways that Harold, Ken, and Harold impacted Wonsook’s life. Reading these three proposals seemed to make a full circle of giving and impact,” Wille said.

Professor Emeritus Harold Boyd is an artist and educator living and working in Bloomington. Boyd worked at Illinois State from 1965-2000 as a professor in drawing and printmaking. As an artist whose practice includes drawing, printmaking, and sculpture, his figurative works display an exploration of line quality and an immersion into the psychological nuance of his represented subjects.

“I am particularly honored to be named the Harold Boyd Endowed Professor of Art. I first met Harold back in 2002 shortly after he retired. He has always been so generous with his time and is always inquisitive about how things are going for me in my teaching. Harold is a phenomenal artist and teacher, and I am so proud to be a part of his legacy as faculty at ISU,” Lotz said.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Harold Gregor was an artist and educator who lived and worked in Bloomington until he passed away on October 8, 2018. Gregor worked at Illinois State from 1970-1995 as a professor in painting and art history and was the recipient of multiple National Endowment of the Arts grants. Along with realist landscape depictions, Gregor was known for his unusual Flatscape paintings, which combined an aerial perspective with unique color choices to suggest an essential Midwestern landscape.

Professor Emeritus Ken Holder was an artist and educator who lived and worked in Bloomington until he passed away on December 7, 2018. Holder worked at Illinois State from 1969-1998 as a professor in painting. As an artist whose practice lasted more than half a century, Holder worked in a variety of media and subjects but was mainly known for his landscape paintings.

On receiving one of the three inaugural professorships, Cline said: “I am tremendously honored to be among the inaugural professors, and especially honored to be named the Ken Holder Endowed Professor of Art. All three of the professors commemorated by Wonsook’s gift were retired by the time I began my teaching career at ISU. But, I was lucky enough to meet Ken and have been a great admirer of his work. Like Ken, my work is deeply indebted to my love of landscape. Different landscapes attracted us—he Central Illinois, me Central Italy—but we both let our love of the tangible patterns and visible revelations of the landscape inspire us. I am humbled to be the first to hold the professorship named in his honor.”

The professorships, competitive in nature, are intended to acknowledge excellence among the faculty of the Wonsook Kim School of Art and to encourage achievement in teaching, scholarship, and creative activities for a two-year period. The professorships are intended to honor individual faculty members who have developed a track record of excellence in teaching, research, and service in accordance with the core values of the University and College.