Local artist, ASU alum to showcase Scandinavian paintings at ASU Gammage

Series of paintings will be on display until March 6

February 14, 2023

Scottsdale artist Jana Peterson grew up surrounded by the language and heritage of Norway.

Primarily of Norwegian descent, Peterson was born in Northfield, Minnesota, which has a large and active Norwegian community. After visiting Norway for the first time when she was 21 and finally meeting many of her extended family members, Peterson felt a deeper connection to her heritage and the beautiful sites in the country. Jana Peterson stands next to her painting, "Weisman Art Museum." Scottsdale artist Jana Peterson stands next to her painting "Weisman Art Museum." Photo courtesy Jana Peterson Download Full Image

All of that has influenced her latest series of paintings, which includes colorful sceneries that showcase the water, landscapes and skies she saw on her travels. The series will be on display at ASU Gammage during the February run of the Broadway musical tour of "Frozen," which takes place in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle, based on multiple locations in Norway.

“It’s always exciting getting to show off your hard work, and when you’re having this huge Broadway show at the same time that takes place somewhere inspired by the same place these paintings are, it’s really special,” Peterson said.

Peterson started painting over 40 years ago and has since developed her portfolio and style across multiple mediums, including sculpture, murals and jewelry-making.

Art and culture have always been deeply embedded in her life, and Peterson’s family has been a great influence in creating an environment that lets her passion and creativity flourish. Her mother was an art teacher, and her father is a professor emeritus of architectural design at Arizona State University, where he was a professor of architecture for 35 years.

Coming from a family of artists, Peterson was highly encouraged and pushed to fully embrace her capacity for creativity. This started with her love of ballet at the age of 5, and as she approached her college years, she picked up painting and fell in love.

Peterson received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and an associate degree in interior design before coming to ASU, where she obtained a master’s degree in art education and followed in her mother’s footsteps as an art teacher for over 30 years.

This is not the first nor the second time that Peterson has showcased her art at ASU Gammage. In June of 2022, Peterson displayed a colorful series of landscapes and architectural paintings alongside paintings done by her father, and before that, she first had her art shown in ASU Gammage during the '80s.

Her paintings are vibrant and range from highly detailed scenes in nature to pieces that exemplify color explosion expressionism.

‘’I am a colorist and I love using a lot of bright fun colors in my work, a lot of which is architectural as well,” Peterson said. “My work is primarily happy, cheerful and bright. I want people to see my art and get their socks knocked off. It’s really in-your-face kind of work.”

Peterson’s Scandinavian paintings will be on display at ASU Gammage until March 6.

Emily Mai

Marketing and Communications Assistant, ASU Gammage

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ASU among top universities for Fulbright scholars, students

February 14, 2023

Honor recognizes ASU's global stewardship, commitment to accessible higher education

On Feb. 10, the Chronicle of Higher Education announced its list of Fulbright top-producing institutions for 2022–23 and Arizona State University is among the universities recognized.

Founded in 1946, the Fulbright program is an international academic exchange program with more than 160 participating countries worldwide and is overseen by the U.S. government. 

ASU is home to both Fulbright students and faculty scholars. Fulbright students pursue graduate study, conduct research or teach English abroad. Scholars are faculty, academics, and professionals who propose research and academic projects to study some of the world’s most pressing challenges. 

This year, ASU is listed among only nine other doctoral-level institutions that were recognized as a Dual Top-Producing Institution — meaning it was a top performer in both Fulbright students and scholars.

The university was named along with Harvard University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan in this distinction, and is the only Arizona university to be named a top producer of both scholars and students.

According to Nancy Gonzales, ASU executive vice president and university provost, the staff, faculty and students involved in the prestigious Fulbright program are a vital key to a globally engaged university. 

“Our ASU design aspirations call on our academic community to engage globally on issues that require new knowledge and open collaboration between countries,” she said. “The scholarship and research of our Fulbright scholars and students exemplify our university’s commitment to creating solutions that benefit communities across the globe. We are incredibly proud of those who have helped ASU earn this distinction.”  

Karen Engler-Weber, program director in the Office of the University Provost who serves as ASU’s liaison to the Fulbright scholars and specialists program, has worked extensively with Fulbright scholars to bring ASU’s mission of community impact and global inclusion to life. 

“The goals of Fulbright focus on innovation, impact and inclusion — ideals that run parallel to ASU’s charter. ASU faculty are particularly competitive for Fulbright, because the type of work that they do to support the charter, is what fulfills Fulbright’s mission,” she said. 

“It is incredibly exciting to see the ways that faculty are taking their research and teaching from ASU to countries around the world, engaging in projects that have a long-term global impact.”

Kyle Mox, associate dean for national scholarships and an assistant professor at ASU's Barrett, The Honors College, said he is incredibly proud of the student designation.

“At the core of the Fulbright are two essential qualities — cultural awareness and intellectual curiosity, which the ASU community fosters,” said Mox, who also directs the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement at ASU. “Our consistent performance as a Fulbright top producer is indicative of the breadth and excellence of our academic programs and our status as a global university." 

For applicants looking to apply to the Fulbright program, the university is hosting Fulbright Day at ASU on March 29, with information sessions for both students and scholars. 

In addition to Fulbright Day, the ASU Fulbright Office provides extensive resources year-round.

“Fulbright is an exciting, life-changing opportunity – for faculty, academics and professionals that ever dreamed of teaching or conducting research abroad, or both,” Engler-Weber said. “ASU Fulbright is here to support the Fulbright endeavors of our faculty and staff at every stage of the process — from selecting the right award to apply for, to navigating host institutions, to thorough reviews of all application materials.”  

Mox says that the Fulbright program’s goal is to increase mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between nations.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to be part of this legacy, and to help this important mission endure. At the end of the day, everything we do as educators should be in promotion of this goal — to promote understanding between people,” he said. 

Fulbright Day at ASU

  • Scholar session: 10–11 a.m. March 29, Location TBA.
  • Student session: 3:30 to 5 p.m. March 29, Memorial Union, room 230, Tempe campus or via Zoom.

Krista Hinz