Department of Art & Art History Welcomes Three New Faculty

Chelsea Brtis, Christina Smith, ChengOu Yu
Thursday, June 10, 2021
New professors of illustration, graphic design, and ceramics come to UNC Charlotte

The Department of Art & Art History will welcome three new faculty members this August.

Chelsea Brtis is a new Assistant Professor of Illustration. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University and an MFA in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication from the University of Texas at Dallas. Previously, Brtis has taught digital 3D illustration and games studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and also has been a character artist, 2D animator, and 3D modeler. Brtis is the creator of the recognized and awarded games Together, which focuses on building empathy during COVID-19, and Local Goods, which highlights how our role as consumers impacts the environment. In her research, Brtis interrogates essential topics such as environmental politics, animal-human relations, and inclusive representation through game development. 

“We are so pleased that Chelsea is joining our faculty,” said Department Chair Lydia Thompson. “Her research trajectory, creative focus, sophisticated technical literacy, and teaching will complement and expand on our current curricular offerings while adding a new, dynamic, and visually contemporary research focus to the Department.”

For more information, please visit her website.

Christina Singer is a new Assistant Professor of Graphic Design. She previously taught a wide range of design courses at the University of Tampa and the University of Florida. Singer earned an MFA in Art concentrating in Graphic Design at the University of Florida and a BFA in Art concentrating in Graphic Design at East Tennessee State University. Between her MFA and BFA, Singer spent a year teaching English as a Foreign Language in Busan, South Korea. She was formerly the associate art director for EatingWell magazine in Vermont, and she has created designs for various campaigns for North Korean human rights with the non-profit PSCORE based in Seoul, South Korea.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Christina to the Department,” Thompson said. “Her creative production, research, and student work demonstrate her expertise in UX/UI design, community-engaged design, and human-centered design.”

For more information, please visit her website  

ChengOu Yu is a new 3D Lecturer/Technician in Ceramics. He received a BA in Ceramic Design from Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China, an Advanced Diploma with honor in Crafts and Design - Ceramics from Sheridan College in Canada, and an MFA in Ceramic Art from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He is currently an artist-in-residence at the Red Star Residency Program at Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City, MO.

“ChengOu is an active artist and educator who is devoted pushing forward his medium through experimentation and interdisciplinarity,” said Thompson. “His contemporary approach to the field will bring new energy and inspiration to all studio areas.” 

For more information, please visit his website.