Mary Visser, a professor of art in the Art and Art History Department, has been named to the Herman Brown Chair, one of two “rotating” Brown Chairs at Southwestern University. Visser will hold the chair for the next five years.

The Herman Brown Chair is one of six endowed positions funded at Southwestern by The Brown Foundation Inc. of Houston. It was previously held by Art History Professor Thomas Howe.

Holders of the Brown Chairs receive additional funds and time to conduct their scholarly research. They also are responsible for hosting Southwestern’s annual Brown Symposium on a topic of general interest to the university and the community.

Visser has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1979. She is one of a small group of sculptors who have pioneered the use of rapid prototyping in creating sculptural forms, in which three-dimensional models are constructed from computer-aided design (CAD) data. Her work has been included in more than 120 international, national and regional juried exhibitions, including the International Rapid Prototyping Sculpture Exhibition, which toured the United States and Europe from 2003 through 2006, and the annual INTERSCULPT competitive exhibitions held in Paris, France. Visser is vice president of Ars Mathematica in Paris, an international art organization devoted to promoting digital sculpture throughout the world. In 2008, several of Visser’s pieces were selected to be included in an exhibition that traveled around China in conjunction with the Olympic Games in Beijing.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to recognize Professor Visser’s outstanding accomplishments,” said Provost Jim Hunt. “We all look forward to her work as a Brown Chair and her implementation of a future Brown Symposium.”