Andrea Wollensak

Andrea Wollensak

Professor of Art

Joined Connecticut College: 1993

B.F.A., University of Michigan
M.F.A., Yale University


Social design and collaborative community ventures

Mapping and visualizing data

Digital poetics

Site-specific installation works

Digital Fabrication

Design History and Graphic Design

Book Arts and Typography

In her work, Andrea Wollensak combines new media technology and traditional design and fabrication to explore the convergence of place, identity, and history through site-based art works. Her works are interdisciplinary and she co-creates with many collaborators including community partners, computer scientists, musicians, poets, and scientists. Specific themes in her work include place-based narratives, environment, and memory, which she adapts to a range of artistic forms including audio/video, interactive installations, data visualization, artist books, and digitally fabricated forms.

At Connecticut College, Wollensak’s teaching focuses on design as an interdisciplinary practice-based study that introduces students to and prepares them for further study to be creative problem solvers. These courses are aimed to advance students' understanding of historic and contemporary cultural issues and how to use design, in its many forms, to create a positive impact in society.

Courses Professor Wollensak has taught:

  • Design: Visual Language (ART 103)
  • Design: Type and Image (ART 207)
  • Design: Object and Environment (ART 208)
  • Designing Visual Information (ART 209)
  • Artist’s Books (ART 235)
  • Design: Public Practice (ART 310)

Wollensak has created projects and exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably at the Göteborg International Contemporary Art Biennial at Konstepidemin Gallery, Nova Scotia Art Gallery, Brno Design Biennial Moravian Gallery, Center for Visual Art in Denver, Brown University’s Granoff Center Gallery, and the Burchfield Penney Arts Center in Buffalo. She has presented her work at numerous conferences including ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Arts), ACM SIGGRAPH, Generative Art Conference, CAiiA (Center for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts), CAA (College Art Association), among others.

Open Waters, a collaborative and interdisciplinary four-year research project and installation was recently (2019-20) on exhibit at the Burchfield Penney Arts Center in Buffalo, New York, and at Brown University’s Granoff Center Gallery (2018). Open Waters explores, through interactive art works, twenty-first century realities of environmental and geopolitical change in the Arctic. In 2014 Wollensak created a series of works inspired by the environment in Iceland and the Arctic, which was the focus of a solo exhibition titled Between Solid and Liquid: Constructed Landscapes at Konstepidemin Gallery in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Recent awards include an artist residency at Hafnarborg Contemporary Art Museum in Iceland (2011); Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Grant in New Media, (2010, 2006); IASPIS International Artist Studio Program in Sweden (2007) where she completed Listening Sites: Tracking Stories, a locative media, site-specific work which was part of the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, the Rockefeller Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy (2000), a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation (1998), and the Banff Centre for the Arts (1997) where she developed experimental site-based work with DGPS (Differential GPS).  

Wollensak’s creative and critical writings have appeared in numerous publications including Computers and GraphicsZedVisible LanguageArtbyteParachuteFuse, and Computer Enhanced Learning: Vignettes of Best Practices. Her work has been mentioned in Walking and Mapping: Artists as Cartographers, by Karen O’Rourke [MIT Press, 2013], and in Acting Bodies and Social Networks, A Bridge Between Technology and Working Memory, edited by B. Pirani and I. Varga, in the chapter “Social Bodies and Locative Technologies” by Gianni Corino [UPA, 2010], and Information Arts Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology, by Stephen Wilson (MIT Press, 2002).

In addition to teaching at Connecticut College, Wollensak has held visiting faculty/visiting critic positions at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Concordia University in Montreal, Rhode Island School of Design, Purchase College, Maine College of Art, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. 

Wollensak is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Winterhouse Institute, a community of design educators committed to promoting excellence in design education for social impact. In Connecticut, she is on the Advisory Board for Digital Media Connecticut (DMCT), a regional collaborative of CT higher education institutions dedicated to supporting students in digital media. She has served on design education boards and initiatives including Graphic Design Education Association (GDEA), and Connecticut Art Directors Club (CADC).

Visit the art department website and learn more about majoring in Art.

Visit Andrea Wollensak's personal website.

Andrea Wollensak CV (PDF)

Visit the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology website.

"Delving deeper into the concept of point-of-view as a visioning process, Wollensak employs many perspectives -- from that of her own personal, experiential viewing process and analysis of what she has empirically observed, to that of amplified, ‘prosthetic vision’ via satellites that can hyper view the landscape from above the earth’s atmosphere and remotely sense that which is beyond human sensorial capacity. More often than not, Wollensak’s tools, as the hunter/gatherer, are hand held when digging into the physical earth to create castings of material and phenomenon. But her hand held GPS unit also communicates with the satellites above that mark place and position and tap into digital data streams and satellite beyond the visible. Wollensak's second set of observational tools is the scientific data made available to her by others such as the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), International Ice Patrol (IIP) Iceberg Sightings Database, and other multiple geological mapping agencies. Listings of data fields, however, will not empower the analytical information from a visual point-of-view so Wollensak has animated it through computer renderings and, in effect, made the data spatial and sculptural. Indeed, she makes it dance."

Peter Dykhuis, Director/Curator, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 2014.

Contact Andrea Wollensak

Mailing Address

Andrea Wollensak
Connecticut College
Box # ART/Cummings Arts Center
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


313 Cummings Arts Center