Alla Myzelev Assistant professor of art history

Upon walking by the art department offices in Brodie Hall, one might not expect much more than lonely art books and bare walls. But stop in for a closer look and the room is lit by the eager face of visiting assistant professor Alla Myzelev, the newest addition to the art history department who is taking over this once-empty room.A native Ukrainian, Myzelev has spent the last 16 years living in Toronto, where she earned her M.A. at York University and obtained her Ph.D in art history at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Myzelev saw potential for herself at Geneseo. “I’ve been to Rochester many times because from Toronto, it’s one of the closest cities,” she said. “The campus is nice. I was really happy when I was offered this position to be in upstate New York and not be so far from Toronto.” Myzelev is one of the founding members in a committee of a feminist art conference in Toronto; a collective of volunteers who meet once a year and call for art works from both young and mature artists of contemporary feminist art. Myzelev is already part of some exciting new changes to campus and is currently teaching both ARTH 173: Neoclassical to Contemporary Art Survey and ARTH 287: Avant Garde and Modernism. The courses complement her research interests in modern and contemporary art. That’s not all she’ll be doing, however. “I’m going to be teaching a museum studies course next term and I have curatorial experience, so I’m really excited about having new students and a good group to hold an exhibition and learn about that,” Myzelev said. Myzelev is referring to a new class which accompanies the new museum studies minor, now offered to students with an interest in pursuing the business and curatorial aspects of art. Aside from teaching, Myzelev also has her own eclectic background in art. “One of my main interests is using crafts and textile in contemporary art, so I’m hoping to see if I can actually curate an exhibition in a gallery on campus based on that and bring some artists in,” she said. “I still have to explore the galleries and look around.” While the art history department is currently in a transitional period, Myzelev has no concerns at all. “I wasn't that concerned about that and it seems to be thriving here …. [the program] seems like it’s very vibrant,” she said. “In many institutions, studio art and art history are very separate––sometimes connected and sometimes not. So, it’s not uncommon for art history to exist without a studio component.” As for her students, they’ve already welcomed Myzelev and her teaching with open minds. “[They’re] smart and keen; they ask questions. It’s really amazing,” she said. “I like it to be more of a guided discussions and when students learn from each other. I want interaction, I want people participating.”