For her commitment and work to use arts for social awareness, advocacy and change, Weber State University visual art and design professor Kathleen “K” Stevenson will receive the John A. Lindquist Award during a Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) celebration, April 8 from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Ballrooms.
Stevenson earned her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from the University of Notre Dame and joined the Weber State faculty in 2001, in the Department of Visual Art & Design in the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities. In 2014, she was appointed director of printmaking.
According to Stevenson, students often worry about declaring art as a major and wonder how they will make a living; however, she said their education provides them tools for problem-solving, innovation, creativity, reflection and revision, and they come to know the pleasure and purpose of an artist’s role in contributing to the community — locally and globally.
“We live in an era that is accelerating exponentially,” Stevenson said. “For example, scientists tell us we see twice as many images every day than just three decades ago. With this visual proliferation, increasingly the role of artists and designers calls for awareness and purpose. It is rewarding and enjoyable to be involved with this significant work.”
For the past several years, Stevenson has focused on community building through art. Her engagement and community work includes the launch of the WSU Beverley Taylor Sorensen Arts Integration Endowment, which is an arts-integrated instructional program for Utah's public elementary students. It is funded through a public/private partnership.
Stevenson also developed the interdisciplinary “ArtsBridge” curriculum that provides undergraduate students with an internship and academic credit for designing and implementing a comprehensive, needs-based, integrated arts project with community organizations or area schools.
In 2016, she taught the Honors course “Artist as Change Agent: Silkscreen” in conjunction with the Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah Food Bank. In 2018, she co-taught “Creating Community through the Arts: Moveable Murals.” The course partnered with Nurture the Creative Mind, a non-profit organization directed by Weber State alumnus Amir Jackson. Students worked with civic leaders, area public-art artists and teachers. They toured the Ogden region, studying and reflecting on public murals, both historical and contemporary. For their final project, they constructed a faux stained-glass moveable mural, which has appeared at several area venues, including the Ogden Arts Festival and the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association.
Stevenson’s own prints, sculptures and installation art works have been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally, most recently at IMPACT 10, the International Printmaking Triennial Conference, in Santander, Spain. Her sculpture installation series “Embedded Memory” will be reprised for the inaugural year of Ogden’s new art complex, “The Monarch,” (455 25th Street, Ogden), which opens in June.
The award is named for John A. Lindquist, a strong advocate of education and the community, who spent a lifetime supporting Ogden, Weber County and Weber State. Lindquist’s ties to WSU date back to the late 1930s, when he attended Weber College and was a student body officer. Throughout his lifetime, he generously supported cultural, academic, athletic, and student activities and programs.
“The Center for Community Engaged Learning is honored to house the John A. Lindquist award, and is grateful to Kathryn Lindquist for starting it to honor her father's legacy,” said Becky Jo Gesteland, CCEL interim executive director. “K Stevenson’s commitment to engaged learning and sustained efforts to improve student-faculty-community relations, epitomize the award’s intent.”
Along with the Lindquist Award, the CCEL celebration will recognize many community partners, faculty, staff and students involved in community engagement.
During the 2017-18 school year, 4,065 WSU students logged 85,380 hours of service, with 96 faculty teaching 255 community-engaged learning classes.