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Wednesday 06.30.10

« First Thursday Picks July 2010 | Main | First Friday Picks July 2010 »

Opening a new book on OCAC

One of Denise Mullen's books

Opening the book on a new era, OCAC hasn't wasted any time in finding outgoing president Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson's successor. Their choice, Denise Mullen signals some very important directions. As a practicing artist and collector it insures that the school will continue to have a very close to the art approach... so it looks as if concerns that they would go in a more corporate mass-enrollment driven approach have been effectively quashed. Yet, the school needs to grow and expand its national profile. This is incredibly important as the school is in the midst of an ambitious 15 year campus building program kicked off by the soon to open the architecturally significant, Charles Rose designed Drawing Painting and Photography + Studios building. OCAC is already Portland's most focused art school but that's a tricky balance to maintain while growing the way OCAC has planned. Mullen's decisions will prove crucial to the success of that plan. It's a very competitive environment and all of Portland's art schools have been experiencing record enrollments in recent years as the city has become so popular as an art center (built primarily through the initiative of those artists). At the same time, I can't think of a better way for an art school to distinguish itself than being focused.

Here's the press release:

Randy O’Connor, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) today announces the appointment of Denise Mullen as president at OCAC. Her position will begin effective August 23, 2010.

“As a practicing artist, gifted college administrator, highly respected professor and thought leader in creating art through craft, Denise will continue OCAC’s service to both the Portland area and the larger art and craft world,” states O’Connor. “Denise is expected to expand OCAC’s voice and vision about how art created through craft fits into a larger picture that includes the melding of new technologies with traditional techniques to create objects that stir the soul.”

OCAC's new leadership possesses the vision and experience to build on the College’s distinguished history and reputation, as well as representing OCAC in the international conversation regarding the future of craft. Mullen’s extensive background as a leader in higher education is a strong asset for OCAC. She has a proven track record of outstanding accomplishments in her prior positions at Alberta College of Art + Design, Corcoran College of Art + Design, Purchase College and Pratt Institute.

"The opportunity to lead OCAC in framing the discourse around craft for this century is an exciting prospect," says Mullen. "Articulating the value of the creative process as a transferable methodology that can assist corporations, businesses and non-profit organizations in being more innovative will be a focus for OCAC in the Portland community."

As an active advocate for arts education on a national level, Mullen has served on the boards of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, the National Council of Arts Administrators, the New York Executive Committee of ArtTable, and the Art Education Advisory Board of the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts.

Mullen is also an avid art collector and practicing artist represented by Joshua Heller Rare Books, Inc. in Washington, DC. Her work is included in twelve major collections including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Celanese Corporation, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Schering Plough Corporation among others. Recent exhibitions include Basso da Fortezza in Florence, Italy; the Biblioteque Historique de la Ville de Paris; the Center for Book Arts, New York; the University of the Arts; and Dieu Donne Papermill Gallery, New York.

Mullen received a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in New York, and a Bachelor of Arts from Art Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 30, 2010 at 10:17 | Comments (0)


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