Alumni Outlook Magazine

Looking Back


Art has played an important role connecting Stout to the world—as far back as the 1890s. Kate Murphy, art director for the Menomonie public schools and the Stout Manual Training School, traveled the globe collecting art works to aid in teaching and to exhibit in the schools.

It was the creation of the division of liberal studies in 1964, though, that allowed Stout to expand into a broader spectrum of international studies.

Orazio Fumagalli, the chair of the then newly created art department in the division of liberal studies, certainly knew the value of an international education. He was born in Italy and raised and educated there, as well as in New York City. Fumagalli strongly believed that it was important for staff members and students to experience new environments and come back with new ideas.

Early on, the art department’s guest artist program brought educators to campus from India, France, Germany and other countries. Later, an exchange program was launched. For short periods, Stout faculty members exchanged their homes and teaching positions with educators from other English-speaking countries.

In 1971, early aspects of the program were initiated when Stout art students Judith Frances Kervin and Mary Sue Woodard began to study at Newcastle Upon Tyne Polytechnic in North East England. The following year, art instructor Charles Wimmer was a visiting lecturer at Central College of Arts and Design in Maidstone, England, and the Central College of Art and Design in London. The program expanded to include other Stout faculty and educators from several schools in the United Kingdom.

Stout became so well-known in England that many of the country’s scholars wanted to visit the university. Among the artists who came to campus were painters George Percy, John Sullivan, Lisa Horsley, Eric Rimmington, Eddy Foulstone, David Griffith and Peter Mackarrel; sculptors John Jackson and Neal Willis; printmakers Deryck Winter and Martin Davidson; educator Michael Horsley; painter draftsman Ian Hunter; and multimedia artist Jack Milroy.

The success of the experiment soon led to more formal agreements between the art department and other international schools. In 1987, the new art department chair, Gene Bloedorn, began negotiations with a graphic arts program in Hildesheim, West
Many other departments have offered international study. Above is the cover of a brochure for a European tour to study fashion and fabrics in June and July of 1968.
Germany. The following year, a more formal agreement called for an exchange of three students and a faculty member each year. Gunter Heike led the group of students who came to this campus, and Doug Cummings led the contingent from Stout.

Soon the art department was experiencing other successful international programs with schools such as the West Surrey College of Arts and Design in Farnham, England.

The department also looked for similar kinds of programs with at least a dozen other countries, including Australia, France, Taiwan and Wales.

In 1992, Bloedorn proudly stated, “We in art and design have the oldest and possibly the most diverse student and faculty exchange program at Stout.”

For more information on the art international exchanges and other international exchanges, visit the Office of International Education