Industrial Hygienist Monona Rossol to Teach ‘Health and Safety in the Art Studio’ Course at UMass Amherst

Monona Rossol
Monona Rossol

AMHERST, Mass. – The department of art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is hosting a special, intensive course Aug. 20-24 taught by industrial hygienist Monona Rossol through the Office of Continuing and Professional Education.

Health and Safety in the Art Studio (LLART 101) provides participants with a comprehensive guide to safety and environmental laws for visual artists, designers, art educators, theater technicians, builders and safety professionals.

To protect both artists and the earth, the course focuses on using art materials in compliance with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Materials are studied for their applications in all art disciplines. Safety requirements for professional studios and classroom requirements for all student populations including children, college-age, seniors and art therapy patients are detailed.

Students who pass the final exam will receive a letter from Rossol certifying their training in certain OSHA regulations. In the past, the letters have qualified many individuals for jobs in arts practice or education (in several theatrical unions, the letters are accepted in lieu of OSHA training). Rossol is dedicated and passionate about art safety and her students receive continuing advice in whatever careers they choose.

Rossol taught the very first course on art safety on record in 1980 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. She has since perfected the curriculum and keeps it current with OSHA standards and EPA regulations.

Rossol first came to UMass Amherst in 1991 as a featured speaker. In 2006, she worked with Gund Partnership Architects on planning for the Studio Arts Building. She was instrumental in creating a safe, hygienic and well-equipped building for student and faculty artists. Her involvement with the building led her to identify UMass Amherst as an ideal campus to teach this course.

“It is crucial to teach this course in an art department that is a model of safety,” says Rossol. In her opinion, the Studio Arts Building on the UMass Amherst campus embodies how “things should be done.” 

A block of rooms is reserved in the Hotel UMass (located on campus) for course participants traveling to Amherst in need of lodging.