Director of the School of Art & Design
Professor | Art History
Kristina Olson currently serves as the Director of the School of Art and Design where she formerly served as the Associate Director. She is an arts writer who received her MA in art criticism and art history from Stony Brook University and a BA in humanities with a minor in art history from the University of Oregon. She has taught courses in modern and contemporary art, architecture, and theory with specialized courses on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Andy Warhol, and on the Art of Exhibition Review writing.
Her current research focuses on the intersections of contemporary art, architecture, and social practice. She is co-editor and a contributing author to Social Practice Art in Turbulent Times: The Revolution Will Be Live (Routledge, 2019), a contributing author to ART of Critique/Re-imagining Professional Art Criticism and the Art School Critique (ARTium Publishing, pending), and was co-editor of Blanche Lazzell: The Life and Work of an American Modernist (West Virginia University Press, 2004). She has written for such periodicals as ARTPULSE, Art in America, ArtPapers, Sculpture Magazine, and the New Art Examiner and is the exhibition reviews editor for Art Inquiries, the peer-reviewed journal of the SECAC organization. Olson is the author of many exhibition catalogs including Studio Window: The Prints of Grace Martin Taylor (Art Museum of WVU, 2016), Ron Desmett: Eccentric Beauty (Kim Foster Gallery, NY, 2012) and Nicola López: Urban Transformations (Chazen Museum, 2009). For many years she was curator of the Mesaros Galleries at West Virginia University where exhibitions focused on the work of such internationally acclaimed contemporary artists as Faith Ringgold, Nancy Spero, and Hachivi Edgar Heap of Birds.