Meet Creative Arts Faculty


Sarah Sik, MA, PhD

Program Director of BFA in Studio Arts
Associate Professor of Art History

Since receiving her PhD in 2010, Dr. Sarah Sik has served on the faculty at Penn State, Bucknell University, and the University of South Dakota, where she was honored to receive the Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Sik practices an interdisciplinary approach to art history, and her interest in examining art at junctures of design, technology, intercultural contact, literature, and critical theory informs both her teaching and diverse scholarly output. Dr. Sik’s publications, curatorial work, and research presentations focus primarily upon 19th- and 20th-century art, design, and visual culture. This has included scholarship on the influence of German jugendstil on American design, the design work of Midwestern japonist John Scott Bradstreet, the gendering of japonisme, the sadistic furniture of Art Nouveau sculptor François-Rupert Carabin, the emergence of celebrity culture in fin-de-siècle France, the use of the child model by Die Brücke painters, the print piracy of French graphic artist Maurice Biais, and the printmaking collaborations of Sioux artist Oscar Howe. Dr. Sik’s current research investigates strategies for integrating theory and criticism into arts pedagogy, which she most recently presented and published with the IMPACT 10 international printmaking conference in Spain. Dr. Sik is a passionate advocate of student field learning opportunities, and she has organized numerous local and regional gallery visits and led a ten-day New York City Artworld immersion trip five times.

Deborah Whistler

Program Director of Design Thinking and Social Innovation
Associate Professor

deborah whistler

Deborah Whistler received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Ohio. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Miami University of Ohio. She has been teaching at the university level since 1997 and before graduate school worked as a graphic designer and illustrator. She considers all of her work to derive from drawing as she strives to achieve a delicate visual balance and calm in the midst of chaos. Her drawings are both two-dimensional and three-dimensional and range from steel to delicate paper cuttings. As the Program Director for Spalding Creative Arts, Deborah also teaches Drawing, Illustration and Design Thinking.


Joshua Azzarella

Assistant Professor – Digital Media
Joshua Azzarella
MFA: Mason Gross School of Arts, Rutgers/ BFA: Myers School of Art, University of Akron

Damian Botner

Department Coordinator, School of Liberal Arts

Youn-Kyung KimDamian Botner is the Department Coordinator for the School of Liberal Arts and Director of the Huff Gallery. He is a Perryville, KY native and a 2019 Spalding graduate with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. Mr. Botner worked as an intern under Louisville local artists Rudy Salgado and Susanna Crum at Calliope Arts Printmaking Studio in 2018.

Shawn Hennessey

Assistant Professor – 3D and Studio Technician

Shawn HennesseyShawn Hennessey worked collaboratively in the nonprofit world for over ten years with Squallis Puppeteers, building puppets, performing shows and maintaining the health of the organization. He holds a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA from The Ohio State University in Painting and Drawing. He has worked as a professor, a furniture maker, a builder remodeler, and is a jack of all trades. His personal art practice includes nonobjective drawing and painting, assemblage, experimental music and sound art. In 2019, he was the recipient of a Great Meadows Foundation Artist Enrichment grant.

Aaron Lubrick

Associate Professor – Painting and Drawing

Aaron LubrickAaron Lubrick received his MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Lubrick lives in Louisville, Kentucky, and teaches painting and drawing at Spalding University as an associate professor while pursuing his studio practice. Lubrick exhibits his work both locally and nationally. His work often draws upon his experiences of growing up an identical twin. Another motif of Lubrick’s work connects the viewer to a timeless almost prehistoric landscape while seeking the human’s contemporary relationship to our natural world.

Matthew Walsh, MFA 2D Design

Assistant Professor – Graphic Design

Matthew WalshMatthew Walsh received his MFA in Fine Art and 2-D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. He has taught Typography, Graphic Design, and Illustration at schools in Portland, OR; Grand Rapids, MI; Fort Wayne, IN; and Bloomington, IL. His work contains poetry and illumination, comics, digital illustration involving video games, and portraiture; it also looks into notions of beauty and the grotesque; mythology both past and present; etymology and linguistics. He has a healthy interest in magic in addition to maintaining a healthy professional practice in design. At Spalding he teaches classes in comics and narrative drawing, lettering and visual writing, and graphic design.