Nicholls Art Professor Book Contributor & Presented at National SECAC Conference

THIBODAUX, La. – Dr. Ashley Busby, assistant professor of art history at Nicholls State University, is an invited contributor for the newly released book “Dorothy Fratt: Works” published by Radius Books. 

Released on Oct. 24, “Dorothy Fratt: Works” was published in conjunction with the first major retrospective of the artist, “Dorothy Fratt: Color Mirage,” set to open in February 2024 at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The fully illustrated monograph features essays from the exhibition’s curators, conversations with contemporary artists impacted by Fratt’s work and an extended biography penned by Dr. Busby. Largely unrecognized during her lifetime, this book and the upcoming exhibition will help further introduce Fratt and her work to the larger art world. 

Dr. Busby first encountered Fratt’s work while putting together a 2019 exhibition at the Lula Ameen Gallery at Nicholls State University. The exhibition allowed her to cultivate a unique friendship with the artist’s son, Fr. Gregory Fratt, retired Houma-Thibodaux diocese priest, who provided unique access to the artist’s works. In subsequent years, she has published several essays on the artist and presented her work at national conferences.  

“I am so grateful to Fr. Gregory Fratt for entrusting me with the scholarly analysis and research on his mother’s complete body of work. Despite limited recognition in her lifetime, Dorothy was a trailblazer in abstraction. I’m so happy to serve as a steward for and expert on her work,” said Dr. Busby.

In October, Dr. Busby also gave a talk entitled “What’s in a Name? The Praxis and Interpretation of Titles in the Work of Dorothy Fratt” at the SECAC 2023 National Conference in Richmond, Virginia. Her talk was selected for inclusion on a panel entitled “Titles in Art: Reading by and Against the Title” chaired by Dr. Roja Najafi from Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Dr. Busby’s talk examined the role of titles in our understanding of abstract painting, using the work of post-war abstractionist Dorothy Fratt as a case study. 

While at the conference, Dr. Busby also continued to serve as the Louisiana State Board Member for SECAC, attending meetings focused on the organization’s future. Busby said, “SECAC provides a necessary and collaborative space for scholarship.  I’m honored to represent Louisiana and to help envision a future for the conference and the organization in an ever-changing academic landscape.”

About Nicholls Art Department 

The Nicholls Department of Art aims to provide quality studies in all visual media and the skills needed for employment or continued studies. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. To learn more about Nicholls Department of Art, visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, November 16, 2023


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