Visualize a Better World

Classes in Visualize a Better World: AAD 250 (Art and Human Values), J 201 (Media and Society), and AAD 199 (College Connections).
The visual arts are about creating and communicating ideas that matter. This FIG will explore the tools for making art in the contemporary times and matching those with messages, which tell about the human situation and how we can use the arts to create awareness of social needs.

Photo of College Connections faculty for Visualize a Better World, David Turner.College Connections Faculty:  David Turner

After growing up in Houston, Texas, I headed to Eugene, Oregon in 1971 to pursue a Masters Degree in Art History. I had just finished earning a Business degree at SMU in Dallas but ever since taking my first art history course as a Junior, I made up my mind to change my field of study from finance to art history.

After earning that degree in two years and then beginning my teaching career in art history and photography at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, I headed back to Texas, this time to Amarillo, about 600 miles from Houston, and a new place to begin my work in art museums. I started working there as a Curator of Education, in charge of public programs, an art school, and the Docents, and after two years became the Director. I then served as Director of three other art museums in the West and Southwest: Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and finally the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, where I took it through its expansion project and started it off on its expanded programs.

With a career of over thirty years in art museums, I have been involved in hundreds of exhibitions, curating many of them, writing about them, and helping build a connection between artist and the public. My primary research interest has always been the history of photography with a specialization on the American west.

After retiring from the museum field, I am now an Instructor at the University of Oregon and have taught classes in Museum Ethics, Art and Visual Literacy, History of Photography, Photography in the American West, and Modern American Photography.

In the last two years I have published a book on photographs tracing the history of Eugene from 1879 through the 1970s and created an online text for the class in Art & Visual Literacy.

I currently live on 17 acres outside of Junction City with my wife and two cats and often visit my two daughters living in Eugene.


FIG Assistant: Bailey Jiminez

Bailey is from San Clemente, CA and graduated from San Clemente High School. She is currently a sophomore at the U of O majoring in both Art History and Journalism. Bailey’s dream job would be to work in the PR department of a major art museum after she graduates. Bailey also enjoys Dutch Bros, going to the beach, and binge watching Netflix.   





Summer Assignment:

Our summer assignment is to read the common reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Each student should receive a copy during IntroDucktion. If you do not receive a copy for some reason please purchase one. While reading the book think about these points:

-How does Coates describe the idea of race? How does the media affect how we look at race?

-Think about the way Coates describes his daily life on the streets of Baltimore. Do the details he uses help you understand the struggles he faced? How?

Please type up a quick response to these questions. It does not have to be very long just a few sentences for each question. These questions will be checked in our meeting during Week One.

We are so excited to meet you! GO DUCKS!

Week of Welcome:

Our FIG will meet on Friday, September 23rd at 11 AM in Columbia 150! Please arrive around 10 minutes early, as we will be moving to another location shortly after 11!

Are you looking for future classes related to your FIG?

The courses below are related to the focus of your FIG and are a great way to keep exploring the subject matter that you dove into your first term at the UO. Many of these courses satisfy general education requirements.

  • AAD 252: Art and Gender
  • ENVS 201: Introduction to Environmental Studies: Social Sciences
  • ENVS 203: Introduction to Environmental Studies: Humanities
  • LA 260: Understanding Landscapes
  • GEOG 142: Human Geography
  • ARH 359: History of Photography
  • SOC 317: Sociology of the Mass Media
  • PSY 348: Music and the Brain