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Edward West
Regents' Proceedings 20

Edward West, M.F.A., Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of art, Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2015.

Professor West received his B.A. degree from Lake Forest College in 1971 and his M.F.A. degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1972. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as a visiting associate professor in 1989, and was promoted to associate professor in 1990, and professor in 2001. Professor West served as associate dean for graduate education (1994-97) and director for international initiatives (2001-02). He was appointed the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 2010.

Professor West is an internationally recognized artist whose creative practice in the form of intimate photographic portraits, collages, and installations explored the innate humanity found in the faces of individuals across socio-cultural, geographical, and racial boundaries. His work has been exhibited and reviewed extensively in the United States and abroad, and can be found in major collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Guangdong Museum, the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, the Japan School of Contemporary Photography, and the South African National Gallery. Professor West’s latest collection of photographs, So Called, explored mixed race communities in Capetown, Havana, and Honolulu. Professor West’s interdisciplinary approach to teaching has been described by students as challenging, focused, caring, and life changing. He developed innovative approaches to studio arts teaching, reconceived the photography courses, and retooled the undergraduate curriculum modules. A champion of diverse, multi-cultural learning environments, Professor West laid the groundwork for the School’s international engagement program.

The Regents now salute this distinguished artist and educator for his dedicated service by naming Edward West, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus and professor emeritus of art.