Two New Faculty in the Art Department

A hearty though belated welcome to our two new faculty members!

Kristen Tordella-Williams

Kristen Tordella-Williams 

Kristen works across media exploring imagery and sculpture generated from the performative process. She uses performance and sculpture to investigate issues of labor, identity, gender, and memory using an array of material commonly found at hardware stores, supermarkets and recycling bins. Raised in Massachusetts, Kristen received her B.F.A in sculpture from UMass Dartmouth. She completed her M.F.A concentrating in Sculpture and Dimensional Studies from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2012. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been an artist in residence at Salem Art Works and Franconia Sculpture Park. This past June, Kristen was a visiting artist at Coles Foundry in Shaftesbury, England and was also on the documentary crew for the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art. Now, Kristen is working on building a mobile paper studio based at Millsaps. She is greatly enjoying her first year as an Assistant Professor of Art and is currently teaching Beginning Drawing, Beginning Digital Media, and Beginning Sculpture.


Monica Jovanovich-Kelley

Monica is an art historian whose research focuses on notions of urbanism, public space, depictions of labor, civic imagery and the corporate sponsorship of public art in the United States.  Her dissertation, Power and Patronage: Public Art and Corporate Mural Commissions in Los Angeles, 1928-1935, and subsequent article The Apotheosis of Power: Corporate Mural Commissions in Los Angeles during the 1930s, Public Art Dialogue (Spring, 2014) explore the use of corporate mural commissions as a tool to respond to Depression Era criticism through the intertwining of local and corporate histories. Monica is also co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, Incorporating Culture: Corporate Patronage of Art and Architecture in the United States. 

In 2014, she served as an editorial contributor for Hugo Ballin’s Los Angeles (Mapping Jewish Los Angeles, Center for Jewish Studies, UCLA, and will be presenting her research on the 1935 Sunkist mural commission at the American Studies Association conference. She will also be chairing a panel at the Western History Association conference entitled Identity in Motion: Culture and Alterity in Southern California and co-chairing a double session at the 2015 College Art Association conference entitled The Not-So-Silent Partner: Artistic Practice and Collaboration.

In 2012 Monica received a Scholar Grant from the Radical Art Caucus and in 2011 was a James and Sylvia Thayer Research Fellow at UCLA.  From 2007 to 2014, Monica was the Managing Director of the Haudenschild Garage, a non-profit alternative art space and contemporary art collection in San Diego, CA (


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