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Rebecca Strzelec Named Associate Dean of Academic Programs

20230828 U M Stamps staff 021

By a unanimous vote, the U‑M Board of Regents approved the appointment of Rebecca Strzelec to Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design. Reporting to Dean Carlos Francisco Jackson, Strzelec has operational oversight of undergraduate programs and provides executive-level leadership on key initiatives that advance the vision and mission of the Stamps School. 

Before joining Stamps, Strzelec served on the Penn State Altoona faculty for 21 years with the title of Distinguished Professor of Visual Arts, where she codesigned Penn State Altoona’s first art degree by building a culture where artists are defined as multi-faceted problem solvers who move freely between art, design, science, engineering, and the humanities.” In announcing Strzelec’s appointment at the Stamps School, Dean Jackson wrote, Rebecca will be my partner in collaborating with the Faculty Council, lecturers, staff, and students in assessing how we can sustain Stamps’ radical studio interdisciplinarity while building an academic program that can produce or facilitate depth of method.”

This is an exciting opportunity to work with colleagues and students in this role,” said Strzelec. I have found that our community of artists and designers is committed to the success of the school, its students, and each other. This is the rich environment for creating positive change and new innovations.”

Strzelec began her work at the university on July 1, working with faculty and staff to understand the culture and opportunities at the Stamps School. In this new role. Strzelec will focus on several areas, including but not limited to advising and student life initiatives; academic accreditation standards; serving as an Ex Officio member of the Executive Committee and the Undergraduate Program Committee; and serving as the principal liaison to the university and external constituencies. 

Brooch and Neckpieces on an antique desk.
Jewelry for/​from a Desk
Brooch for a Desk, Neckpiece for a Desk, Neckpiece from a Desk, audio conversation, 2021

Strzelec’s Creative Praxis

A practicing artist known for her evocative work with Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM, Strzelec earned her BFA and MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Her often narrative work consists of wearable objects created via 3D modeling, 3D printing, LASER cutting, sewing, and other methods. 

“My creative process exists in the spaces where sculpture, craft, engineering, and design fuse, blend, and bounce. Sketches are gradually extended through form generation. My objects are realized by making 3D data tangible through 3D printing, LASER engraving/cutting, and 3D scanning. Analog techniques like assembly, sewing, vacuum forming, and custom fitting of found objects seamlessly join the computer-mediated forms. I spend considerable time and care in selecting materials, often relying on found and thrifted things. I find that this combination of virtual sculpting and post-tech manipulation of the objects allows for the greatest control of the object’s qualities.”

Rebecca Strzelec

Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, Fuller Craft Museum, Racine Art Museum, and the private collection of the late Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Strzelec’s work has been featured in exhibitions in the US and abroad, including:

  • 365 Grams (upcoming solo exhibition), Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD, opening in February 2024 

  • Tincal Challenge 2022: Jewelry and Literature (ongoing), Tincal Lab, Porto Portugal

  • Romanian Jewelry Week 2023: Literature Museum, Bucharest 

  • Galleria Carlo Lucidi (upcoming exhibition): Monterotondo, Rome, Italy opening in November-December 2023

  • Plan B Art Project, traveling abortion access-themed exhibition raising funds for Planned Parenthood, Little D Gallery Oklahoma City OK, Rebecca Meyer’s Gallery Baltimore MD, Gallery I/O New Orleans LA, Robert Goodman Gallery Zion IN, Salt Hill Gallery Fargo ND, Graver’s Lane Gallery, Chestnut Hill PA, Shauna Burke, Curator

Gold colored neckpiece.
Neckpiece, 2021
PLA plastic, Vacuum formed plastic, paint, felt, thread
218 x .5 inches

Strzelec was a Penn State Alumni Teaching Fellow and the 2016 – 2017 Penn State Laureate. She was also the Chair of the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference, an annual event that brought over 21,000 people connected to computer graphics and interactive techniques to Los Angeles. 

To learn more about Strzelec, visit her portfolio at https://​www​.rebec​ca​s​trz​elec​.com/.