Archetypes: Carmon Colangelo

A conversation with Carmon Colangelo, the firstand currentdean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University.


A conversation with Carmon Colangelo, the first—and current—dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University. Originally from Ontario, he completed his MFA at Louisiana State University before beginning his career in academia at West Virginia University and the University of Georgia. Since his hire in 2006, he’s grown the school into the powerhouse it is today, comprising the College of Art, College of Architecture, Graduate School of Art, and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design —meanwhile also overseeing the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum, regarded as one of the nation’s best collections of modern art to be found on a campus.

A practicing artist, Colangelo works primarily in mixed-media prints that utilize both traditional and digital techniques. They’ve been exhibited around the world with shows in Argentina, Korea, Italy and other countries and have been purchased by leading American museums, such as the National Museum of American Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

What is your current frame of mind? Happiness.

When and where are you happiest? Art museums in Paris.

What is your favorite smell? Oranges.

What is one word that describes you? Fast.

What did you eat for breakfast today? Coffee.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “a.”.

What is your most marked characteristic? Charm.

What is your greatest weakness? Wine.

What trait do you most admire in others? Frankness.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Susan, my wife.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My hair, that I had more of it.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Being an artist, continuing to be an artist.

Which living person do you most admire? My wife, Susan.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Robert Rauschenberg. Painter.

What is your greatest extravagance? Travel.

What is your greatest fear? Dying.

On what occasion do you lie? When I make art.

Which artists do you admire most? Robert Rauschenberg and Nancy Sparrow.

What is your favorite hobby? My favorite hobbies are sports. Running and biking.

Where would you like to live? St. Louis.

What is one thing you wish would happen? I wish St. Louis would be a safer place and in general, that were was less violence.

What is something you still want to learn? I want to learn more about the world, and experience new things and places.

What is one thing you want to do before you die? I want to spend more time making art.

If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be? Enjoy the moment.




Photo credit: Wesley Law

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