James Sullivan | School of Art and Design | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

James Sullivan, Emeritus

Associate Professor, Art History

M.A. University of California at Los Angeles, 1965

Born in Providence, RI, Jim attended Hope High School, served for two years in the army in Fontainbleau, France, and then went on to Providence College and UCLA. Now Emeritus, he was Head of Academic Programs in the School of Art and Design from 1969 to 1998 and helped create the undergraduate degree program in Art History. After thirty years of service, he retired in 1998. Until 2000 he continued to teach Art History at SIUC part time while also serving as Interim Director of Higher Education for the Illinois Education Association. He was President of the SIUC Faculty Association and has presented at numerous national conventions on the role of faculty in higher education.

sullJim has taught at the State University of California at Fullerton, the University of Georgia, UCLA, and in Ireland through the University of Ireland’s Continuing Education Program. During his tenure at SIUC, he helped organize and taught in community and prison art programs, community college evening extension, museum extension courses and continuing education.

He has exhibited his paintings and lectured about Art nationally and abroad. For many years he worked on the national level designing and organizing interdisciplinary and futurist activities relating art to the future of society. He was invited to be a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT. In 1986 by invitation of The European Academy of Arts Sciences and Humanities he co- presented a paper to UNESCO at the United Nations in Paris, entitled, “The Uses of Art in Space.” The co-presenters were Otto Piene, Director of the MIT Center and Lowry Burgess, the first artist to have artwork launched into orbit by NASA. 

His concept of the “Perceptarium”, an integrated approach to university liberal arts education, was published in Gregory Battcok’s, New Ideas in Art Education, and was used by the Brooklyn Museum, under an National Endowment for the Arts Grant, to create an art/learning environment for the children of Brooklyn. Jim served as a consultant on the project.

He is the recipient of several teaching fellowship awards and was awarded faculty membership in the Phi Kappa Phi National Scholastic Honor Society for distinguished achievement.

Now residing in Victoria, BC, he continues to write, paint and teach through the SIUC Division of Continuing Education's Individualized Learning Program where he has helped develop four web based Art History courses.