Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex

Art History


Jade Gutierrez

Art History, MA, 2017

I am interested in colonial Latin America, especially the Andes, and the complex art forms that result from colonial hegemonic societies. I have recently been researching textile production in the Andes and how both indigenous and Spanish spirituality and religion manifest themselves in colonial clothing. I am also interested in memory, identity, and in the construction of meaning; especially in societies that have undergone extensive change or a traumatic event such as the Spanish Civil War and the colonization of the Americas.


Valeria Serrano

Art History, MA, 2018

20th Century European Art

Valeria is a first year Master’s student focusing on 20th century European art, specifying on German art and war. She completed her B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) in art history at the University of Georgia in 2015. While in the University of Georgia, she interned in various departments of the Georgia Museum of Art, including Education and Curatorial. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Valeria spent the year 2015-2016 in Munich, Germany studying the language and learning more about German history and culture. Valeria therefore hopes to continue to explore her interests in German art and culture throughout her studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Molly McGill

Art History, MA, 2018

Molly graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2014 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Art History. After spending a year interning with the Walt Disney Company in Florida, she is pursuing an M.A. in Art History at CU—focusing on Northern Renaissance print work. Her main interests lie in the boundaries of nudity and the difference between the public perceptions between pornography and fine art within the prints of the “Little Masters” in the period following the death of Albrecht Dürer.


Alex Penn

Art History, MA, 2017

Contemporary art, participation, installation art, globalization, conceptual art, curating, digital humanities, museum studies, post minimalism and the history of sculpture.

Alexander is a second-year Master of Arts student. Before matriculating at CU, he received his Bachelor of Arts from the Department of History of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. His research interests are found in the sub-discipline of contemporary art history and involve investigation of the development and use of participatory art practices as well as how contemporary artists respond to globalization. Alexander is the recipient of several honors and awards, including Vanderbilt’s Frances and John Downing Research Award and the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Warshawsky Fellowship. He has held positions at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery, both in Nashville, and at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Alexander currently works as a Research Assistant to the Director of the Denver Art Museum, and he fosters his interest in teaching as a teaching assistant to CU’s World Art lecture.



Sara Sisun

Art History, MA, 2017

Anatomy, Early Modern, Dissection, Critical Theory, Art Practice

Sara Sisun received her BA in Art Practice and Creative Writing from Stanford University in 2009 and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in Painting on a full fellowship in 2011. Following graduation, Sara taught oil painting, drawing, color theory, and anatomy at the Bay Area Classical Atelier, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. Sara’s interest in the relationship between artists and dissection developed when she worked as an assistant for an artistic anatomy course at the Stanford University Medical Center taught by Michael Grimaldi and Dan Thompson. Sara’s research at CU focuses on science and art during the Early Modern Period. She is also interested in theories of interpellation and anarchy. Sara teaches an immersive seminar for high school students in Art and Art History every summer in Florence, Italy. She is the recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation

Grant, the Stacey Scholarship, and the Alpine Fellowship.


Emily Mullen

Art History, MA, 2018

Contemporary Native American Art and Museum Studies.

Emily graduated from Regis University in 2013 (summa cum laude) with a B.A. in Art History and another in Painting. She then spent seven months working with combat art as an intern at the National Museum of the Marine Corps to learn basic collections management and museum practices. She went on from there to intern at an art consulting firm in Denver and experienced the commercial side of the field. Later, after another stint at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, she returned to Colorado to work at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Emily currently also works at a western art gallery, and that is where she developed an interest in contemporary Native American art. After enjoying so many different facets of the art world, she decided to return to school to further her studies and her career. She was awarded an Arts and Sciences Fellowship in Humanities and the Arts, and will be a Center for Humanities and the Arts Graduate Scholar for the 2016-17 academic year


Ashley  Mingus

Art History, MA, 2018

Medieval and Renaissance Art, Gothic Architecture, Italian Risorgimento, art as political and religious propaganda.

Ashley is an incoming MA student focusing on the Italian Renaissance and its politicization. She is most interested in the way art, politics, and religion intersect and how both rulers and common people have commissioned works in order to disseminate specific political messages. During her undergraduate research at the University of Denver, she won the departmental Best Thesis award in 2014 for her paper entitled “Polemical Paintings and Statues as Sermons: The Use of Art by Italian Nationalists and the Catholic Church during the Late Risorgimento Period.” She traveled to Italy as part of an inter-term study abroad class on Renaissance art, architecture, and culture, and presented part of this research at the 2013 Front Range College Advisory Committee Student Symposium. She completed an internship at the Denver Art Museum, and has worked for the past four years at the History Colorado Center and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. In her free time, she enjoys her classes in fourteenth-century Italian swordsmanship with the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild.