Faculty Spotlight: Stiegemeier, a Painter, Continues Tenure in Art & Art History Department
By Cam D’Amica, Features Editor
Austin Stiegemeier has joined the Art and Art History Department on a permanent basis in his new role as Assistant Professor of Painting. Originally from small town Rathdrum, Idaho, he received a BFA in painting and printmaking from Western Washington University and an MFA from Washington State University.
Stiegemeier was always interested in art as a child. As he grew older, he said that art became “a discipline that helped me to feel empowered. Now as a teacher of studio art I look at it in the same light, as a way of helping others to empower themselves through deeper understanding, personal reflection and self expression.”
Stiegemeier’s research explores “personal freedom and broader social conditions.” He examines those ideas through paintings, “like portraiture, still life, landscape and narrative, while I strive to let them be contemporarily problematic in their aesthetic, in materials and process used, and the content they present. I think about technology, globalization, capitalism and consumer culture a lot and how they affect our lives and the environments we are a part of.”
Last year, Stiegemeier was a visiting assistant professor at Gettysburg, and, from there, he began to seriously consider working at Gettysburg permanently. “I decided to stay on as a tenure track professor because of the rich supportive community,” he said, “and the college’s commitment to tangibly supporting my artistic research pursuits.”