University of Oklahoma professor of art and art history V’Lou Oliveira has been named the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts’ 2013 Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts at OU. The award has been presented annually since 1995 to recognize exemplary leadership in the arts and arts education. Oliveira will be honored during an awards luncheon Dec. 6.
“We are thrilled for V’Lou to receive this prestigious award. We recognize her as a master teacher and accomplished artist, and esteemed faculty member with a national reputation for excellence,” said OU College of Fine Arts Dean Rich Taylor.
Oliveira joined the OU faculty in 1977, where she was tasked with moving the ceramics program in a new direction – to a more sculptural aesthetic. Under her leadership, the school’s ceramics program has produced undergraduate students who have gone on to attend prestigious graduate programs in ceramics, while many of its master’s students are now serving on the art faculties at major universities across the country.
Oliveira has successfully drawn on her participation in the Kohler Factory in Kohler, Wis., to aid her teaching. She was one of the first three to participate in the Artists in Industry residency program there, which was launched in 1984 and became one of the most coveted residencies for ceramic artists. Her ceramic work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally, and is featured in private collections across the United States as well as in OU’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
A multitalented artist, Oliveira has enjoyed personal success recently as a fiber artist and art quilter. She recently received the Juror’s Choice award at the Houston International Quilt Festival and a first-place award for fabric art at the American Quilt Society exhibition in Des Moines, Iowa.
During her OU tenure, Oliveira has participated in numerous school- and college-level committees and has served as faculty adviser for the Red Clay Faction, the ceramic students’ club, since 1989.
Oliveira earned her bachelor of arts degree in art in 1973 from Humboldt State University and her master of fine arts degree in ceramics from the University of Washington in 1975.