School of Visual Arts welcomes new faculty

Clockwise from top left: Erin Mallea, Woohun Joo, Doah Lee, Wesley T. Brown, Wang Chen.

The School of Visual Arts in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State welcomes five new faculty members for 2023-24.

Wesley T. Brown, assistant professor of art (ceramics), is a ceramic artist from Dayton, Ohio. Brown holds an associate's degree in art from Sinclair Community College (2012), a bachelor of fine arts degree from Bowling Green State University (2014) and a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University at Bloomington (2018). During his schooling, he sought out and worked for such potters as Mark Goertzen, Daniel Johnston, Alex Matisse and John Vigeland, and Daniel Evans.

As a practicing artist, Brown has developed work ranging from large-scale ceramic sculptures weighing hundreds of pounds to everyday functional pottery. Using clay, he conveys both struggle and triumph through cracked surfaces, striking silhouettes and bold compositions. His most recent explorations have been in the making of functional wares that are a dynamic meeting of hand-building and wheel-throwing.

Chen Wang, assistant professor of art (foundations area), is an interdisciplinary artist who incorporates drawing, animation, sculpture, costumed performance, fabrication, sound engineering and 3D game design to create highly saturated fictional immersive landscapes within video installation. They received a bachelor of fine arts in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and master of fine arts in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Wang's work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm, Sweden; Roswell Museum, New Mexico; Lauren Powell Project, Los Angeles; The Immigrant Artist Biennial, New York City; Alfred University; and Crosstown Art Center, Memphis. Wang has also been the recipient of fellowships and residencies, including New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellow (Interdisciplinary), MacDowell Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, NARS Artist Foundation in Brooklyn and Roswell Artist-in-Residency.

Woohun Joo, assistant professor of art (digital arts), is a visual designer, audiovisual artist and sonification researcher who creates sound from abstract visual art and non-musical data. His projects mainly focus on how minimalistic visual art can be transferred to auditory domains, how his sound-making processes can be visualized in reverse, and how his sonification seamlessly integrates with visual narratives. Joo's work explores the potential of visual and sound design as an integrated art form for multisensory user experience and communication design.

Joo majored in visual communication design at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea. He worked professionally as a graphic designer in web, printing, product design (UI/UX), identity and typeface design. He received his master's degree in digital and media from the Rhode Island School of Design. He later completed his Ph.D. coursework in media arts and technology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and obtained an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in human-centered design from Virginia Tech.

Doah Lee, assistant professor of art (foundations area), is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in Philadelphia. Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, she earned her bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in painting and printmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her master of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania. In her artwork, she utilizes symbolic imagery to explore conflicted cultural translation, immigration, otherness and femininity, while simultaneously investigating issues of self-identification, including race, culture and gender. She is also interested in how children develop their identities, specifically the competition between self-understanding and cultural, social and political pressures.

Lee's artwork has been featured in exhibitions in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Seoul, Korea. She has been a resident artist at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Vermont Studio Center and is currently a curator and co-director of the nonprofit artist-run exhibition space, FJORD gallery. She works as a visiting art critic at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Erin Mallea, assistant professor of art (foundations area), is a multidisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh. Her practice explores the past and present of particular microcosms as entry points into larger environmental, social and political conditions. Often public and collaborative in nature, her work manifests in a range of media, including installation, video, photography, writing and participatory projects. She has exhibited at galleries, museums and DIY art spaces nationally and internationally, including the Boise Art Museum; Laband Art Gallery (Los Angeles); Miller ICA (Pittsburgh); Melanie Flood Projects (Portland, OR); and A.I.R. Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), among others. She holds a master of fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University (2019).

Photo, clockwise from top left: Erin Mallea, Woohun Joo, Doah Lee, Wesley T. Brown, Chen Wang.

Schools and Departments: School of Visual Arts