Fulbright College’s Jeannie Hulen Receives 2020 Governor’s Arts Award

by and | Dec 14, 2019 | Awards & Honors, Faces of Fulbright, Faculty Points of Pride

The Arkansas Arts Council has announced the recipients of its 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards, which includes Jeannie Hulen, associate dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and professor of ceramics in the School of Art.

Hulen will receive the Arts Education Award at a ceremony in March 2020.

The annual awards program has recognized individuals and businesses for their outstanding contributions to the arts in Arkansas for over 25 years. Recipients are nominated by the public, then selected by an independent panel of arts professionals.

“The Governor’s Arts Awards recognizes Arkansans who have made significant contributions to maintaining, growing and enhancing the arts in our state,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “These artists and art supporters are part of the cultural heritage of Arkansas and are fundamental components of our creative economy and quality of life.”

Hulen joined the University of Arkansas in 2002 as a ceramics assistant professor and is currently associate dean and a professor of ceramics. She previously served as the interim director of the School of Art and chair of the former Department of Art.

Her work as a faculty member and chair was instrumental in establishing the School of Art, which was made possible by an unprecedented $120 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation in fall 2017. The gift created the first and only accredited, collegiate school of art in the state of Arkansas.

Hulen was also a major catalyst in conceptualizing, organizing and implementing historic fundraising and grant-writing efforts that resulted in the construction of a 33,000-square-foot sculpture facility.

This facility and site are the foundation of what will be the new Windgate Art and Design District that will feature several new buildings for art and design classrooms, labs and studios. The district project was made possible by a transformative $40 million gift from the Windgate Charitable Foundation in fall 2017.

In addition, Hulen successfully lead the former Department of Art through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation process and significantly increased both student enrollment and numbers of faculty and staff positions.

“Jeannie is the perfect person to receive this award,” said Todd Shields, dean of Fulbright College. “Her incredible leadership, dedication and talent have literally transformed our university, our community and beyond for the better. Because of Jeannie, so many more students will have opportunities to explore and join our thriving arts programs.”

Hulen is a ceramics and multimedia sculptor who has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work examines issues related to the body, globalism and personal narrative.

She recently returned to the Northwest Arkansas area after spending a year in Ghana teaching ceramics and building relationships at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board awarded Hulen a Fulbright Scholar Award supporting this work for the 2018-19 academic year.

“Throughout her professional career Jeannie has been driven by her own personal mission to advocate and create educational and artistic opportunities for as many people as possible,” said Gerry Snyder, executive director of the School of Art. “It is incredible to see her recognized for her contributions, specifically, in the state of Arkansas.”

The group of 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards recipients also includes:

  • Arts Community Development Award, Gretchen Hall of Little Rock
  • Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts Award, Arkansas Health and Wellness of Little Rock
  • Folklife Award, Marty Scarbrough of Jonesboro
  • Individual Artist Award, Mark Landon Smith of Fayetteville
  • Judges Recognition Award, The Breakfast Club Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Ramay Junior High School in Fayetteville
  • Patron Award, Madison and Suzanne Murphy of El Dorado
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Henri Linton Sr. of Pine Bluff

To learn more about the 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards and recipients, please visit the Arkansas Arts Council.

About the Arkansas Arts Council: The Arkansas Arts Council advances the arts in Arkansas by providing services and supporting arts endeavors that encourage and assist literary, performing and visual artists in achieving standards of professional excellence. In addition, the Arkansas Arts Council provides technical and financial assistance to Arkansas arts organizations and other providers of cultural and educational programs. The Arkansas Arts Council is division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Other agencies are the Arkansas Historic Preservation ProgramArkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State ArchivesDelta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas MuseumMosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Old State House Museum. Funding for the Arkansas Arts Council and its programs is provided by the State of Arkansas and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with three schools, 16 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.

Kayla Crenshaw

Director of Communications, School of Art

479-575-5202 // kaylac@uark.edu

Andra Parrish Liwag

Director of Communications, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences 

479-575-4393 // liwag@uark.edu