Svetlana Rakić, Ph.D.

“Helping the academic growth of my students and, most importantly, their transformation into responsible, open minded, and intellectually curious adults during the time of their stay at Franklin College fills me with joy and gives me a deeper sense of satisfaction. Witnessing to and participating in the process of a young person’s journey to self-discovery is probably the most fulfilling aspect of my job as an educator.”


Professor of Art

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Indiana University – Bloomington, IN
  • M.A., University of Belgrade – Belgrade, Yugoslavia
  • B.A., University of Belgrade – Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Year Joined Franklin



Pre-modern and modern western art. I am particularly interested in artists inspired by mythological concepts of various cultural tradition of the world.

I focus my teaching on getting students to look at art as something that makes us understand ourselves. In all my art history courses, which range from ancient and medieval art to Renaissance and modern art, my goal is to bring forth an experience of art through thoughtful and active engagement of the students. My ultimate aim is to enable them to participate in a unique mode of visual dialogue that art offers. For me, art is a mode if investigation into what we are – it gives us an opportunity to observe ourselves as we expand our own horizons. I have spoken at national and international conferences and published research on pre-modern and modern western art.
Besides courses in art history, I enjoy teaching two drawing courses. I have also exhibited my own paintings and drawings in the U.S., Germany, and Serbia.

What will my experience as an art major at Franklin College look like?

As an art student at Franklin College you will work closely with professors who are experts in their fields and willing to be devoted mentors, inside and outside the classroom, securing your growth as an art professional. You will have around-the-clock access to all studio spaces, which will enable you to work on your studio projects whenever you want. Each student has the opportunity to exhibit their work every semester in student art shows with awards given for excellence in each discipline (a great resume builder). As a senior art student you will have a solo exhibition highlighting your best work. Taking art classes at Franklin College will include traveling with your professors to various art museums and galleries, particularly those in Indianapolis and Chicago area. You will also have an opportunity to meet with renowned artists whose guest art shows and presentations are brought to campus every semester.

Are there any special opportunities the department offers to the best students of art?

Yes. Every year The Hibbs Art Scholarship is awarded to the most promising students of art and Rinker Challenge Award is given for the most creative project proposal(s). The latter helps with expenses related to completion of an art project or it enables a student to develop a particular skill by taking an art workshop of his/her choice. In addition, art professors provide individual support and guidance to students who wish to participate in various state or national student art competitions.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Honors and Awards

Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award, Franklin College, 2013
Rinker Endowment for Faculty Excellence Award, Franklin College, 2008
Robert H. Puckett Award of Recognition presented by the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute – 63rd Annual Wabash Valley Juried Exhibition, 2007
Pfizer Award of Honor presented by the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute – 60th Annual Wabash Valley Juried Exhibition, 2004
Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence, Franklin College, 2003
Maurice and Rose Johnson Endowed Chair of Humanities, Franklin College, 2003-2006


Runkle Faculty Development Grant, Franklin College, 2013
Clifford and Paula Dietz Endowed Faculty Travel Award, Franklin College, 2003


Art and Reality Now: Serbian Perspectives. New York: A. Pankovich Publishers, 2014
Alexander Markovich: A Journey towards the Divine. New York: A. Pankovich   Publishers, 2001
Serbian Icons of Bosnia-Herzegovina (16th-18th Century). New York: A. Pankovich Publishers, 2000                  
Icons of Bosnia-Herzegovina (16th-19th Century). Belgrade: Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, 1998

Lectures, Papers, and Conferences

Art and Reality Now: Serbian Perspectives, lecture, Columbia University, 2015
Confronting the Terror of Death: From Bosch to Witkin, paper, Southeastern College
Art Conference, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia, 2011
Founding Fathers of Serbian State and Church on the East-West Crossroads: The Art of Studenica Monastery, lecture, UC Berkeley, 2011
The Beginnings of Art History in Habsburg Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1889-1915, paper, British Academy in London, England, 2009
“Migrating” Icons: Politics and Serbian Cultural Heritage in Bosnia-Herzegovina Before and After 1992, lecture, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, 2006
Postmodern Uncertainty and Spiritual Faith: A Case Study, paper, SECAC/MACAA Conference, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, 2006

Professional Experience

Taught courses in art history for the Sinoway International Education Group at Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China, 2014 and 2013
Taught courses in art history for the Sinoway International Education Group at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, 2012

What Students Say

“Svetlana is an amazing teacher, she challenged us to open our minds to new ways of thinking.  I have never had a class that transformed my consciousness in such a profound way as her course The Spiritual in Art has. This class has helped me to gain a better understanding of myself and the world and it would be beneficial to anyone who is in search of inner peace.” – Macey Dickerson ’15

In My Spare Time…

In my spare time I travel, paint, read, watch movies, listen to music, follow my favorite tennis player (who currently happens to be # 1 in the world!), relax with family and friends, and much more. Life is too short not to live it to its fullest.