Art Department faculty and staff are listed in alphabetical order. Use the list menu (right) to quickly find a specific faculty or staff member.
Professor of Art (Fibers)
Morgan Clifford is a professor of art at UW-River Falls. Clifford has a B.A. from Beloit College and an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She attended Statens Laereskole I Forming in Notodden, Norway to study textiles. She taught the fibers program at Macalester College before coming to UW-River Falls in 1990. She has received grants to study textiles in Indonesia and Japan and has recently spent time in Peru studying Precolumbian textiles. more
Associate Lecturer of Art (Art Education)
Office: 215 KFA
Professor of Art (Printmaking)
Bernice Ficek-Swenson has been a Professor of Art at UWRF, teaching printmaking and drawing courses since 1991. Before joining the faculty at UWRF she was Co-Director of Land Mark Editions, a fine-art print atelier in Minneapolis, MN. Her imagery is created using copper plate photogravure, a unique 19th century process and is exhibited nationally and internationally. more
Associate Lecturer of Art (Introduction to Art)
Mike Helke grew up in Minnesota's St. Croix Valley. He received a BFA in Ceramics and a minor in American Studies from the University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, and an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, NY. Helke recently relocated to River Falls, WI where lives and maintains a ceramics studio.
Office: 211 KFA
Professor of Art (Ceramics)
Randy Johnston has been working in ceramics in his Wisconsin studio for more than thirty eight years. He is recognized internationally as an artist who has pursued functional expression and brought a fresh aesthetic vision to contemporary form, and for his many contributions to the development of wood kiln technology in the United States. He is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, where he teaches ceramics and drawing. His work is exhibited internationally and he is the recipient of numerous awards including the Bush Artist Fellowship granted by the Bush foundation in Minnesota and two Visual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Johnston received his MFA from Southern Illinois University and a BFA in Studio Arts from the University of Minnesota where he studied with Warren MacKenzie. He also studied in Japan at the pottery of Shimaoka Tatsuzo who was a student of Shoji Hamada. Johnston has presented hundreds of lectures and guest artist presentations worldwide. He has work in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Art Institute, Boston Museum of fine Arts, Los Angeles County Museum, Nelson Aitkins Museum, Victoria and Albert and numerous other International Public and Private collections. more
Visiting Assistant Professor (Photography)
Brett Kallusky was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, receiving his BFA from UWRF in 1998 (photography/printmaking) and his MFA in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2005. He has had recent exhibitions of his photographs at UWRF, Bethel University, and the Italian Cultural Center in Minneapolis. Brett was the 2005/06 recipient of the Miguel Vinciguerra Fulbright Fellowship to work on a photographic project entitled Viaggio con Le Viste, in Italy. In 2010 he received a Minnesota State Arts Board Initiative Grant to continue his photographic explorations in Italy. Prior to teaching at River Falls, Brett was a full-time faculty member in the photography department at Ai Minnesota in Minneapolis, and an adjunct faculty member at Oakland Community College in Royal Oak, Michigan. Currently, Brett lives in Minneapolis with his wife, two cats, and one dog.
Associate Lecturer of Art (Painting)
Jeannine Spooner Kitzhaber is a national/regional artist and college-level educator who works in mixed media, painting, drawing, digital, sculpture and printmaking. She has a BFA and MFA in Studio Art, with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing from the University of MN, where she also studied Art History and English. A first-generation college graduate, Kitzhaber considers herself a life-long learner. In 2007, she took a workshop with renowned digital artist, Maggie Taylor in Berkeley, CA. In 2008, she studied digital drawing in Seattle and Asian Art History with UMN professor Dr. Robert Poor. She also furthered her understanding of screen printing by assisting Karl Bethke in his studio from June 2008 to April 2009. Currently, Kitzhaber teaches Introduction to Art and Design Foundations at UWRF. She also teaches classes through the Learning Communities and Honors Programs on campus, and advises transfer and new students in Art. Kitzhaber and her husband Nick live in the Twin Cities and have three daughters. Two of her daughters are alumni of UWRF in Social Work and Art. Kitzhaber has a studio in NE Minneapolis at the Northrup King Building. more
Associate Lecturer of Art
Ann Lawton is a masters level art therapist, professional artist and associate lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Ann received her Bachelors of Science from UWRF and her Masters of Science in Art Therapy from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee. As an art therapist, Ann has worked extensively in clinical and community settings. Ann's therapeutic focus is with oncology patients and their families provides a means of emotional and physical healing through stages of creation and contemplation of art making. Through her personal artwork, Ann works with both photography and mixed media, documenting and exploring the essences everyday day experiences, from the meaningful to the mundane. Ann currently teaches introduction to art classes for non-art majors at UWRF, and is passionate about exposing students to the necessities of art and bringing awareness to the enrichment art provides to our everyday lives and culture.
Associate Professor of Art (Painting & Drawing)
Peter has taken a leave of absence but may be contacted through email.
Peter Mak is an associate professor of art at the Art Department, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he has taught since 2004. Peter Mak’s artwork comprises of a range of medium from drawings, prints, digital photos, paintings, ceramic sculptures to installation work. He has been honored with awards (Best of Show and Distinguished Teacher), grants and museum permanent collections, has participated in over fifty-five solo and invited joint exhibitions, and has taught over 25 years in colleges and universities both Hong Kong and America. more
Associate Lecturer of Art (Sculpture)
Office: B89 KFA
Assistant Professor of Art (Graphic Design)
Office: 217 KFA
Dan Paulus brings extensive practical experience and theory to the classroom. He also continues to practice graphic design through his studio, Infusion Graphics. As a graphic designer and educator, Dan considers himself a determined problem solver and someone who enjoys a challenge. Design is his way to organize and clean up a noisy cluttered environment. Solutions to communication problems become the goals that drive the decisions which influence his work. His research interests include how design can influence consumer debt, educational motivation of design students, assessment—moving away from the letter grade, and bridging the traditional design education model with social networks and hybrid methods. Dan has also been involved with AIGA, the professional association for design, for over 10 years in Utah, Oklahoma, and now in Minnesota. He is currently involved with AIGA Minnesota's Design Camp and Design Education committees. These have been great opportunities to get involved with the local chapter and make a difference. Dan believes that all these combined experiences encourages a more holistic classroom experience.
Associate Lecturer of Art (Art History)
Office: 211 KFA
Art Department Chair
Assistant Professor of Art (Art History)
Office: 172 KFA
Kaylee Spencer is Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she has taught Art History since 2006. She offers introductory surveys in art history, along with upper-division courses focusing on pre-Columbian and contemporary art. Dr. Spencer’s research focuses on the artistic traditions of ancient Mesoamerica. Her recent work employs phenomenological approaches to explore imagery at Classic Maya sites in Mexico and Guatemala. more
Associate Lecturer of Art (Drawing)
Lyz received her BFA in Drawing, Painting and Art History from Minnesota State University, Mankato and her MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited nationally in galleries such as, Augsburg College in Minneapolis and The Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, CA. From 2008-2010, Lyz served as a panelist for the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In 2009, Lyz was the recipient of a Jerome Fiber Grant.
Academic Department Associate
Office: 172 KFA
Susan Zimmer, Academic Department Associate, has worked for the Art Department for fifteen years. She is an integral member of the department providing information on budget, class schedules, student contact as well as office support. Susan also maintains Gallery 101 working with the art faculty, staff and visiting artists to ensure the professionalism required for a formal art gallery.