Visual artist Kianja Strobert joined the Art & Art History faculty this semester with superb credentials: the showings of her mixed-media sculptures and works on paper have included seven solo exhibitions, and the sales of her work have come from galleries in New York City, London, New Orleans and elsewhere.
“Professor Strobert’s professional success complements her pedagogical impact in the area of painting and drawing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Sarah Cohen, professor and chair of Art & Art History.
Her curriculum vita recently acquired a special enhancement: One of Strobert’s paintings, The Ferryman, has been chosen by the U.S. State Department to grace the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania. “This is a very great honor, and we are exceedingly proud of Professor Strobert,” said Cohen.
The title The Ferryman was not preordained nor suggestive of something representational. “Every work begins differently,” said Strobert. “The idea can emerge spontaneously, be planned, or come as a necessary next step to a project that is already in progress. The Ferryman is a record of sequential decisions of composition, color and texture. I am conscious of gravity, and the horizon line, which is usually preserved in most of my work regardless of the degree of abstraction. Titles are typically my final interaction with a work.”
Whether working in sculpture or on paper or canvas, as one art reviewer has described her, “Strobert strives to maintain a similar rhythm throughout each work by implementing similar color palettes and visual motifs.”
Strobert said, “At this time, I was using a new color, which reminded me of cities with stuccoed walls. I believe this prompted my decision to associate the work with a journey.”
While pleased with the honor of being represented in a U.S. embassy, Strobert’s artistic focus is always upon the next fresh challenge. “I believe an artist’s satisfaction is a temporary state,” she said. “Every work and opportunity have taught me something, and I am steadily looking forward to new projects and collaborations.”
In that sense, she is happy to have found herself at UAlbany at this time. “I was well aware of the tremendous reputations of my colleagues in the art department as artists, art historians and educators before I was hired,” she said. “I am thrilled to be a member of a team that is dedicated to innovation in a field that continues to expand.