Cat Crotchett honored for achievement as Western’s distinguished faculty scholar

Contact: Deanne Puca

Cat Crotchett

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Celebrated artist Cat Crotchett, also a professor and area coordinator of painting, will be presented with Western Michigan University’s Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award during a ceremony Friday, Nov. 12.

A professional artist for more than 30 years, she joined Western’s faculty in 1996 and now teaches a wide range of classes including essential studies and painting. Crotchett specializes in mixed media work combined with pigmented beeswax. Her paintings interweave patterns painted in vibrant colors and textured surfaces. The work uses patterns to vividly represent human emotions and experience, and to convey not just beauty but tension.

“Cat is an awe-inspiring artist. Her ability to understand and capture fleeting human emotions through her artwork is astounding.” says Dr. Jennifer Bott, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “When I first experienced her work on campus, it truly took my breath away. Her talent is extraordinary, and WMU is fortunate to have her in our ranks. I was thrilled to see she was selected as this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, and I sincerely look forward to celebrating her … not just to recognize her for her extraordinary body of artwork but to share with others the incredible person she is.”

The Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on Nov. 12 in the Richmond Center lobby. It is the final ceremony in the larger Academic Excellence Awards Series happening throughout fall semester.

Faculty chosen for the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award are honored on the basis of outstanding artistic, literary, philosophical, historical, technical or scientific achievement, bringing wide recognition from the academic community beyond Western’s campus.

Crotchett has continued to be recognized for her creative research nationally and internationally, whether it’s through the evolution of her art or her commitment to helping students with their artistic journey.

“Cat has been an exemplary faculty member throughout her tenure at WMU. She has shown her growth and development through all levels of teaching, research and service. Her success is evident in the depth and breadth of her work that has moved and changed over time,” says Tricia Hennessy, professor emerita of art. “Cat has always brought her creative activity experience back to the classroom and set an example of professionalism in the visual arts to our students.”

By maintaining an exceptional studio practice, she is also an excellent role model for her students, as noted by her professional peers.

“Professor Cat Crotchett is one of those rare professional colleagues that balances her role as an artist, teacher and University citizen with ease. Her reputation as an exemplary artist is well established. She has developed a clear and compassionate voice as an educator. Her selfless service to her University and students is commendable,” says Reni Gower, curator of Wylie Contemporary, Inc. and professor emerita at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Crotchett earned a Master of Fine Arts at Bowling Green State University and Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois. View her artwork online.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.