Roosa Named University Professor

April 16, 2012 | 8:37 a.m.

By the Office of Communications and Marketing

Wayne Roosa, University Professor of Art at Bethel University.

Wayne Roosa has been named University Professor of Art at Bethel University. Roosa is the fourth faculty member to earn this recognition.

While teaching art at Bethel’s College of Arts & Sciences, Roosa has produced a steady stream of scholarship. He wrote a book titled The Next Generation: Contemporary Expressions of Faith and has another book to be published later this year. He has also written multiple catalogs, exhibition essays, and journals, and has presented lectures at national and international professional conferences.

Regarding his work, Jil Evans, painter and co-founder of Form and Content Gallery, states, “Wayne’s scholarship, which includes ground-breaking writing about contemporary artists such as Chris Larson, Joel Sheesley, and Stuart Davis, develops out of a great depth of understanding and his commitment to take the reader into territory where new historical and philosophical connections are found. His contributions to his field have found a wide audience that continues to grow. Wayne’s writing combines a very unusual degree of passion for art, poetry, history, philosophy, faith, and the integrity of the whole person.”

Roosa has twice served as a national board member with Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) and collaborated with CIVA as well as with the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) in New York City. In 2005, he co-curated an exhibition at MOBIA using the same title as his book, The Next Generation: Contemporary Expressions of Faith. Ena Heller, executive director of MOBIA, says, “His contribution to the exhibition catalog is, to date, one of the best essays I know of on the role of faith in contemporary art and the various ways in which we can interpret it in our post-modern world. During the same exhibition (and at other conferences and symposia through the years), I have had the opportunity to hear Wayne lecture and participate in panel discussions. He is an engaging speaker, accessible and profound at the same time.”

Roosa’s other national and international accomplishments include receiving an Andrew Mellon research fellow at the Metropolitan Museum in New York; having his exhibition catalog essays on American artist Stuart Davis used for shows in Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, New York City, and Washington, D.C.; twice serving as a juror for the National Endowment for the Humanities; receiving a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for research at Harvard University's Rare Books Library; and playing a role in co-founding Bethel’s New York Center for Art &Media Studies (NYCAMS).

Charles Taliaferro, professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College and a visiting professor at Bethel this year, describes Roosa this way: “Wayne demonstrates the appeal of combining scholarship with being a person of faith. I have the utmost respect for Wayne and he has my highest regards. His work as department chair demonstrates his leadership ability and his talent for understanding the art department in the context of the greater university and community.”

Roosa joined the Bethel faculty as assistant professor of art in 1983. He later completed his Ph.D. at Rutgers University. Since 2000, Roosa has served as chair for the art department.