Marcella Hackbardt is a visual artist, curator, and professor of art and photography. Her current work explores aspects of knowledge, self-reflection, the environment and symbolic states. She has given numerous lectures at galleries, universities and conferences such as the Society for Photographic Educators and the Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her essay on photographer Jeff Brouws is included in the book “Jeff Brouws: Silent Monoliths, Steidl Press, 2020.” Her curatorial project, “Material Message: Photographs of Fabric,” will be shown at the Weston Gallery, Cincinnati, in 2021. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the The Girl’s Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, Station Independent Projects in New York, Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and Gagosian Gallery in New York and Paris, and at the Museum Brandhorst in Munich, Germany.

Areas of Expertise

Contemporary photographic practice, histories and theories of photography


2000 — Master of Fine Arts from Univ New Mexico Albuquerque

1993 — Bachelor of Arts from Univ Alaska Anchorage

Courses Recently Taught

This course is an introduction to the fundamental technical and aesthetic issues of black-and-white photography with emphasis on using the medium for personal expression. Students will work through a series of problems designed to increase understanding of basic camera operation, black-and-white darkroom techniques, and art-making strategies. Regular critiques are scheduled to increase understanding of communicating with an audience and sharpen the ability to analyze and discuss works of art. No prior photographic experience is needed, but a reliable manual film camera is required. This counts toward the introductory requirement for the major and minor. No prerequisite. Offered every semester.

In this course. students will develop their understanding of color photography as a medium for contemporary art, and as a ubiquitous messaging system doubly bound to veracity and deception. Students will produce digital photographs and then utilize various procedures for image editing, manipulation and color digital printing. Students will create and maintain a web portfolio of their coursework. Theory and workflow, digital camera operation and use of color as an element in photographic design will be covered. This counts toward the intermediate requirement for the major and minor. Prerequisite: ARTS 106, 107 or permission of instructor. Offered every third year.

This course is an introduction to digital photography as a creative medium. Subjects covered will include fundamental digital photography skills such as image editing, camera work and digital printing. Assignments will direct students toward the development of personal photographic expression, and the exploration of the shifting signs and significance of photography meaning and digitization. Through readings and discussions, students will be introduced to different ways of conceptualizing and interpreting photography based on such variables as process and technology, motives of representation and imagination, and the politics of visuality, history and identity. This counts toward the intermediate requirement for the major and minor. Prerequisite: ARTS 106, 107 or permission of instructor. Offered once a year.

Required for majors in studio arts, this first semester of a two-semester sequence of courses is designed to enable students to develop their personal artistic vision based on the foundation of introductory and intermediate studio art courses. Students will be expected to develop a self-generated body of creative work based on a concentrated investigation of materials, methods and ideas. They will develop oral and written presentation and research skills as they work toward a professional exhibition in the second semester. Critiques, discussions, presentations and readings will provide context and feedback for this process. Students will learn to develop the elements necessary for professional exhibition of a cohesive body of work, including developing ideas, writing an artist's statement and resume, and perfecting presentation skills. Studio art majors are expected to take this class and ARTS 481 with two different faculty members. Prerequisite: senior art major or permission of instructor. Offered every fall.

Required for majors in studio arts, this course is designed to enable students to further develop their personal artistic vision based on the foundation of their earlier studio courses and ARTS 480. Well into their senior projects at the start of the semester, students will continue to refine their concepts and skills into a cohesive body of work for exhibition at the end of the semester. Critiques, discussions and presentations will continue to amplify the studio experience. Professional presentation, writing artistic statements and resumes and visual documentation skills will be part of the course. The senior capstone, an exhibition required of studio art majors, will include artwork made during this course. Prerequisite: ARTS 480 and senior art major or permission of instructor. Offered every spring.

The studio art faculty does not recommend individual study because we feel it is important for students to work in the context of other student artists. We understand, however, that on rare occasions an individual study may be appropriate. Individual study must be approved by the department according to the following guidelines: Individual study should be undertaken only when a student has exhausted all the options for that medium in the regular curriculum. The subject for an individual study must be in a discipline in which the faculty member has expertise. When possible, the individual study student should participate in some aspects of a course working in a similar medium in the faculty member's field in order to gain feedback from other students. The student is responsible for writing a contract and maintaining a schedule. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the registrar’s deadline. An individual study does not count toward the requirements for the major; it is considered an extra course.