- M.A. Information Resources and Library Science, University of Arizona, 2008
- M.F.A. Painting, Arizona State University, 2004
- B.F.A. Fine Art - Painting and Printmaking, University of Wyoming, 2000
- B.A. Journalism, University of Wyoming, 1998
Michael Wirtz is the Design Research Librarian with specific liaisonship to and teaching responsibilities in the VCUQatar’s Masters of Fine Arts program. In addition to supporting the research of the MFA students and faculty, Michael provides instruction on research methods, information literacy and critical thinking. Michael’s research centers around the development of tools and techniques for information literacy and critical thinking instruction, and the use of technology in producing reliable information resources.
Michael graduated with a MA in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona. Previous to that, he received his MFA in Painting and Drawing from Arizona State University. For his undergraduate education, Michael attended the University of Wyoming where he received both a BFA, specializing in Painting and Printmaking, and a BA in Journalism with a minor in Religious Studies. Before joining the VCUQatar Library in 2009, Michael was the Library Supervisor for the Arizona State University Polytechnic campus library in Mesa, Arizona.
Michael Wirtz's current research looks at developing interactive tools for information discovery. He is interested in finding ways the library can connect students to information as an alternative to the "lists of links" subject guides that are common in academic libraries. Most recently I have been developing map and timeline-based interactions designed to allow students to discover connections in Islamic art history as well as typographic history. Through this research, I hope to create tools that will allow students to see objects in context and interactively discover, rather than simply choose, appropriate information resources.
- The use of digital technologies in information resource development.
- Information literacy and critical thinking pedagogy.
- The use of information delivery systems within the library environment.
- Design Research Methodologies
- Interdisciplinary Design Seminar
Previous Professional Experience
- Head of Reaserch and Library Technology, Assistant Podessor, VCU Qatar, 2011-Present
- Design Research Librarian, VCU Qatar, 2009-2011
- Library Supervisor, Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus, 2007-2009
- Adjunct Art Instructor, Arizona State University, 2005-2007
- Senior Library Specialist, Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus, 2006-2007
- Adjunct Art Instructor, Mesa Community College, 2006
Wirtz, Michael A. “Tasmeem: An inauguration through ‘Hybrid Making.’” Tasmeem Journal 2014.
Wirtz, Michael. “Tasmeem Journal – A New Beginning.” Context 2.2013.
Erickson, Mary, Jeana Klein, and Michael Wirtz. “Objective-Driven Evaluation: A Collaboration between Studio Foundations and Art Education.” FATE in Review, (article accepted, to be published 2011).
Booth-Clibborn, Edward, and Nan Ellin. Phoenix: 21st Century City. United Kingdom: Booth-Clibborn, 2006.
- Open Studios Press. “Michael A. Wirtz.” New American Painting (Western States), no. 66 (2006).
- “Scholarly impact and predatory journals.” Teaching and Learning Lecture Series, co-presented with Carol Hansen. Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, Doha, Qatar. April 17, 2014.
- “Using blogs as a pedagogical tool in higher education.” Information Literacy Network of the Gulf Conference. Georgetown University, Doha, Qatar. November 26, 2013.
- “Deeply embedded: Library - studio partnerships in the development of a graduate design curriculum.” Art Libraries Association of North America Conference. Pasadena, California. April 27, 2013.
- “Information literacy by design: An integrative partnership in the graduate studio.” Information Literacy Network of the Gulf Conference. VCUQatar, Doha, Qatar. December 13, 2012.
- “Information literacy assessment.” Art Libraries Association of North America, webinar session. September 30, 2011.
- “Zotero.” Workshop as part of the Faculty Professional Development Series. Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, Doha, Qatar. April 17, 2011.
- “Discovery by design: A wayfinding approach to browsing.” Poster presentation at Art Libraries Society of North America/ Visual Resources Association Conference. Minneapolis, Minnesota. March 27, 2011.
- “Paintings by Michael Wirtz.” Faculty Show and Tell Lecture Series. Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha, Qatar. January 26, 2011.
Funded Research Projects and Grants
- Faculty Research Grant – Grant awarded by Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar to select faculty. Grant supported participation in the School of Visual Arts’ D-Crit Design Research and Writing Summer Intensive. 2012.
- Contemporary Forum Artist’s Grant Recipient – Grant awarded by the Contemporary Forum of the Phoenix Art Museum to select Arizona Artists. 2005.
2012, Faculty Research Grant
Grant awarded by Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar to select faculty. Grant supported participation in the School of Visual Arts’ D-Crit Design Research and Writing Summer Intensive.
2005, Contemporary Forum Artist’s Grant Recipient
Grant awarded by the Contemporary Forum of the Phoenix Art Museum to select Arizona Artists.
2005, Award of Excellence
Award presented by the Contemporary Art Society of the Tucson Museum of Art for painting exhibited in the “Arizona Biennial ‘05” exhibition at the Tucson Art Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
2005, Second Place
Award for painting exhibited in the “Anniversary Show” exhibition at the Carnegie Arts Center in Alliance Nebraska.
Current VCUQatar Committee Work
- VCUQatar Tasmeem Journal Committee, Co-Editor
Current VCUQatar Libraries Committee Work
- Systems Team, Chair
- Instruction Team
- Collection Development Team