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Nancy Stuart Named Dean of the Hartford Art School


Posted 08/29/2011
Posted by David Isgur

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Nancy M. Stuart, former executive vice president and provost at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, has been named dean of the Hartford Art School (HAS) at the University of Hartford. Stuart, who has extensive experience as both an art educator and administrator, will assume her new position at the University on Nov. 14, said University of Hartford Provost Sharon L. Vasquez.

“Nancy Stuart is a highly accomplished leader who has a great perspective on the challenges and opportunities of today’s art schools. She will bring a wealth of skills to the Hartford Art School, including strategic planning, creative problem solving, and open communication alongside her proven track record of educational innovation,” said Vasquez.

Of her appointment, Stuart said, “I am honored to have been chosen to lead the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. I believe the art school has all the advantages of this nation’s best independent colleges of art and design: a long, distinguished history; professional-grade facilities; outstanding faculty members; and a dedicated board. Hartford Art School has the added benefit of being within a comprehensive university that offers a strong liberal arts core, a range of distinctive professional schools, performing arts and athletics, and commitment to the surrounding community.

“I am very impressed with the innovative, low-residency graduate programs as well as the programmatic balance between design and fine arts. The cross-disciplinary potential on campus is exciting, and there is continued capacity for growing collaborations with regional art organizations and businesses for internships and fostering financial support. I look forward to getting to know the University community better and identifying ways to contribute to the continuing success of HAS and the mission of the University of Hartford.”

Mary Frey, who had been serving as acting dean of the Hartford Art School, will return to the school’s full-time faculty in January 2012 as professor of photography.

Stuart is an award-winning portrait photographer, a past associate dean of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, and a professor of photography. Visual Studies Workshop Press published her photographic project DES Stories: Faces and Voices of People Exposed to Diethylstilbestrol in 2001. Her DES Stories portraits have been shown throughout the United States and were awarded a John Kobal prize at the National Portrait Gallery, London, England.

Stuart earned her PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Graduate School of Education. Her dissertation, The History of Photographic Education in Rochester, N.Y., 1960–1980, was based on oral histories collected from photographers and teachers in the upstate New York area; Exposure magazine published an excerpt in its spring 2006 issue. Stuart was an editor of the fourth edition of The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, released by Focal Press in 2007.

In 2002, Stuart was recruited as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Cleveland Institute of Art. She was appointed provost in 2005, in which capacity she worked with faculty to adapt Cleveland’s five-year BFA curriculum to a four-year program, gained approval for three new majors, coordinated the 2010–14 strategic plan, and led the faculty in the design of a new, 250,000-square-foot facility.

Prior to her leadership roles at Cleveland, Stuart was an assistant professor in 1984 in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She was elected by her peers in 1991 to chair the Applied Photography Department and three years later was appointed associate director of the school. Stuart helped create the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences by merging the College of Graphic Arts and Photography with the College of Fine and Applied Arts. She was appointed associate dean of the new college in 1998.

In the 1970s, Stuart was one of the founding faculty members of the Photo Technology Program at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan. She and her colleagues expanded the program from a modest beginning of two elective courses to a two-year degree program with an enrollment of more than 500 students.

An executive committee officer of the Society of Photographic Education’s national board of directors, Stuart also serves on the board of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Friends of Photography. She is the executive committee secretary for the Intermuseum Conservation Association, founded in 1952, the model used by the National Endowment for the Arts to establish a network of similar centers across the United States.