Alfred University News

Art and Design, Performing Arts announce faculty appointments

From left: Adero Willard ’95, Yoshiko Arahata, Erin Taylor, Joann Quiñones, Maria Villanueva
From left: Adero Willard ’95, Yoshiko Arahata, Erin Taylor, Joann Quiñones, Maria Villanueva

The Alfred University School of Art and Design and Division of Performing Arts announce five additions to the faculty.


ALFRED, NY – The Alfred University School of Art and Design and Division of Performing Arts announce five additions to the faculty.

Joann Quiñones, assistant professor of mixed media and fibers; Maria Villanueva, visiting assistant professor of expanded media-animation; and Yoshiko Arahata, visiting assistant professor of music will join the faculty for the 2021-22 academic year. Adero Willard ’95, visiting assistant professor of ceramic art, will rejoin the faculty for two years after serving the 2020-21 year in the same role. Erin Taylor, digital fabrication lab specialist, was appointed in January and will return next year.

Quiñones is a mixed media artist who creates figurative work in order to explore Afro-Latinx identity. She was selected an Emerging Artist of 2020 by Ceramics Monthly, was a Manifest Gallery Annual Prize Finalist, and received an Honorable Mention for the James Renwick Alliance Chrysalis Award. Her work has been shown nationally, including in the 2020 NCECA Annual Exhibition, “The Burdens of History.” She completed her M.F.A. in Studio Art from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2019, and also has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. 

Villanueva is a multimedia artist whose studio art practice focuses on the human and natural ecologies that shift and form in the urban and natural environment.  Her media varies from technology, painting, photography, video, performance, to site-specific sculpture installations. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio in 2009, and an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary arts from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas in 2021. Maria’s work has been exhibited in national juried exhibitions in Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

Arahata is an international pianist, educator, composer, and improviser whose performance highlights include solo engagements throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. She has also performed with the renowned violinist Charles Castleman, musicians from Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Rochester Philharmonic. Arahata holds degrees in Piano Performance at the Eastman School of Music (B.M., D.M.A.) and Northwestern University (M.M.) and a degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences (B.S.) from the University of Rochester.

Willard, an artist and educator in Western Massachusetts, will rejoin the faculty in the division of Ceramic Art for another two years. She received a B.F.A. at Alfred University in 1995 and M.F.A. at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2006. She completed a one-year residency at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Maine. Nationally and internationally, Adero has exhibited work in solo and group galleries, craft shows, and pottery invitationals. Her work has been featured in a number of publications and books on ceramics.

Taylor joined the New York State College of Ceramics in January as the new digital fabrication lab specialist. Taylor came to Alfred University from the University of Cincinnati, where he was an instructor, technician, and digital fabrication specialist.  He has a B.Arch. from the University of Kansas and an M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University. His years of experience will be an invaluable resource for us to move our art/engineering digital fabrication lab and maker space forward.