Department of Art and Art History

Wilson Hall, Room 310
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-3375
fax: (248) 370-3377

About Us

Our Mission

The goal of the AAH department is to produce articulate, knowledgeable graduates in art history, studio art and graphic design, whose critical thinking, communication skills and creative problem-solving abilities foster confidence and insight to further their careers.

As aesthetic and intellectual disciplines, art history, studio art and graphic design have the power to change perceptions. Art provides a reflection of civilization that can be enlightening and insightful, disturbing and ironic, provocative and critical. Art of the past embodies a vital, visual connection with social, political and cultural history, while contemporary art is a visceral testament to our moment in time.

The department’s curriculum encompasses art making as an aesthetic expression of intellectual vision, design as visual practice, and contextual study and research in the exceptional range of aesthetic expression throughout history. Majors and non-majors will:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the history of visual arts and design
  • Gain a solid grounding in both aesthetic and critical theory
  • Develop technical skills in a variety of media
  • Expand their abilities to conceptualize and communicate their own vision through aesthetic means

Makers’ Studio

The Makers’ Studio is a unique facility in the OU Art and Art History Dept. Attached to the Police and Support Services building, the 2,000 sq foot area was renovated for department use and opened in June 2016.

The Makers’ Studio hosts classes in painting, 3-D art and sculpture. It houses a digital fabrication zone with 3-D printers, a scanner, a laser cutter and spray booth, as well as a workshop with traditional wood and metal working tools, and a mechanical printmaker.

John C. Galloway Seminar and Study Room

The John C. Galloway Seminar and Study Room is located in 312 Wilson Hall. Named for the first chair of the department, it houses a collection of ink drawings by Galloway. It is used as a classroom for upper-level seminar classes, and can also be used for student organization meetings.

Resource Library

The Department of Art and Art History Resource Library is located in 311 Wilson Hall. It houses donated books in all areas of art and art history and the the departmental slide collection. It is open during department business hours.

Students may use this space for personal study.  Books cannot be checked out of the library.

For more information contact Louisa Ngote, Curator of Visual Resources (248-370-2891;

Studio Art Rooms/Darkroom

Studio art rooms include a drawing studio, painting studio, critique/digital printing studio, digital lab, and a graphics/illustration studio/digital lab. The black-and-white darkroom with 12 enlarger stations and a film loading room was fully renovated in 2015, offering another medium to students. Using traditional methods to create photographs also helps students better understand modern methods.

Equipment Check Out

Digital SLR cameras, Analog SLR cameras, miniDV camcorders, tripods, microphones and light kits are available for check out from the Media Lab in 406 Wilson Hall (248-370-2078) to students in certain studio art classes. For more information contact David Lambert, Media Lab Manager. (; 248-370-3319).


Lockers of varying sizes are available for use by art students.


Kerry Hansen, DES 2017
Kerry was recently employed with Sweet Swiss Confections as their graphic designer. She will be designing the graphics on the chocolates, such as a logo, that top desserts. Some of their clients include Disney, Snapchat, Las Vegas hotels and many high end restaurants across the USA. The company is located in Spokane, WA. 

Heather Coppinger, SA 2016
Heather is establishing herself as a professional artist, and has exhibited paintings at the Charles H. Wright Museum and the Janice Charach Gallery; she has also completed several commissions. She says, “I am focusing on obtaining opportunities to expose my work, attending local arts events and most importantly- I am painting every day.”

Kelley Foley, AH 2014
Gallery Manager of the Lee Gallery in Winchester, MA.

Jeremy Johnson, SA 2014
Jeremy is the Project Advisor for the Project Upward Bound College Prep Academy at Oakland University.

Jason WillisSA 2013, specialization in New Media, Graphic Design minor
Interactive Media Specialist at the Communications and Marketing Department at Oakland University.  Jason shoots and edits videos to promote events, advertising campaigns, academic programs, and student and alumni stories.  He works with the social media team to create the content strategy for OU’s social media channels (design graphics, shoot photos and video, edit video).  He also works with the web team to redesign and redevelop core sections and content within OU’s website (design infographics, landing pages).  In addition, Jason owns a business working on branding, videography, and photography projects for corporate and non-profit clients.

Ashley Nicholson, SA 2012, specialization in New Media, Graphic Design minor
Content and Community Manager for MontAd, and Project and Content Manager for Digital Mark.

Jacquelin Kirouac, SA 2011, specialization in New Media  
Project Coordinator at the Detroit Creative Corridor Center.

Kim Lambert SA 2011, specialization in New Media, Art History minor
New Media Specialist at JWDesign Architectural Studio, and Creative Director at Rocket-Tone Guitars.

Kaitlyn McCaulley Riopelle, AH 2011
Public Programs and Visitor Services Coordinator at Museum of the Grand Prairie, in Mahomet, Illinois.

Amanda Sansoterra, AH 2009
Director of the Emerging Artist Program for The Heidelberg Project, where she also works as an assistant to artist Tyree Guyton.

Amanda (Linska) Frederick, SA 2009, K-12 Art Ed, New Media specialization
Art Instructor for grades 9-12 at the International Academy of Macomb public high school, which is an International Baccalaureate school.

Camielee Peasley, SA 2009
Art Educator, Southfield Christian High School, Southfield, Mich.
Peasley teaches high school photography, ceramics and graphic design, as well as nine independent study students. Along with her art classes, she teaches study hall, middle school computer art and middle school studio art. She says it is definitely a unique environment and that everyone seems like family.

Bobbie Carey, SA 2008
Exhibition Assistant to Eric Fischl, curator of America: Now & Here Produced and Presented by Artrain USA

Carey worked directly with Eric Fischl on this exciting exhibition, which included the work of more than 75 confirmed artists, poets, playwrights, filmmakers and musicians. Notable artists included Chris Burden, David Byrne, Chuck Close, Ellen Gallagher, Nan Goldin, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Bruce Nauman, Shiran Neshat, Susan Rothenberg, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and many others. Fischl stated, "this is an exhibition of work created since 9/11 that addresses the various and complicated questions of the American Identity." The exhibition opened in December 2009 in Miami, Fla., and traveled to more than 40 U.S. cities with Artrain's mobile museum.

Susan Dine, AH 2008
Graduate Student in Japanese Art History, University of Michigan Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow, 2017-2018

After graduating from OU, Dine entered the graduate program in art history at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2008, specializing in Japanese art, and went on to pursue her Ph.D. At UMMA. Taking courses from both art history and studio art at Oakland, practicing in an art-related company in the region, and working as an art history teaching assistant in the department, gave Dine not only a solid foundation of knowledge in her field of concentration but also interdisciplinary critical thinking, cross-cultural perspective and teaching skills. At Oakland, she received many honors from the college and the department, including Academic High Honors, the Dean’s List, Mark Murphy Endowed Scholarship in Photography, and the Writing Excellence Award in Art and Art History.

Michael Dennie, SA 2008
Exhibition Coordinator, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Mich.

Dennie had an internship four years ago at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, when he was a studio art major. He was quickly promoted to program assistant, assisting in various BBAC departments, including accounting, development, membership, registration and programming. This past summer, he was hired as exhibition coordinator. In any given year, he is responsible for hundreds of artists and their works in a total of 25 exhibitions.

Jennifer Sutton, AH 2008
Graduate Student in Art Criticism and Writing, School of Visual Arts, New York, N.Y. 

Sutton graduated from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in December 2010 with an M.F.A. She currently is working for the nonprofit art gallery, Art in General, with the curatorial department.

Nathaniel Whitcomb, SA 2006
Senior Interface Designer, Liggett Stashower, Cleveland, Ohio

Whitcomb works as the senior interface designer with the group creative director, providing concepts and design and production services within the digital space – websites, microsites, interactive ads including rich media, landing pages and HTML email. He creates and designs graphics, new web graphics, performs maintenance on sites, web properties and email campaigns, and conceptualizes website functionality, interaction, user interface and navigation.

Kathleen Hill, AH 2006
K-12 Art Educator, St. John Country Day School in Orange Park, Fla
Hill's employers told her after she was hired at St. John Country Day School in Orange Park, Fla., that what impressed them was her background in art history. She absolutely loves her job and has added a lot of art history to the curriculum.