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MassArt Appoints Lucinda Bliss as Dean of Graduate Programs

Lucinda Bliss

BOSTON, June 13, 2019 — Following an extensive international search, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) announced today the appointment of Lucinda Bliss, an artist, teacher, and administrator with twenty years of experience in higher education, as Dean of Graduate Programs at MassArt. Ms. Bliss, currently Dean of Graduate Studies at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, will assume her new role on July 15, 2019. She will succeed Paul Paturzo, who has served as Interim Dean of Graduate Programs since 2014, and who completed his tenure by spearheading the 2019 MFA Thesis Show exhibited at Mass MoCA last month.

In her new position, Dean Bliss will lead the Graduate Programs, which currently encompass nine areas of study: Master of Architecture, Master of Arts in Teaching/Art Education, Master of Design Innovation, Master of Education, MFA Design, MFA 3D Fine Arts, MFA (Low Residency) Fine Arts, MFA 2D Fine Arts, MFA Film/Video and MFA Photography.

"I am so pleased that Lucinda Bliss will be joining us as our new dean," said Kymberly Pinder, MassArt Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. "With her depth of leadership experience in an art and design school, her significant artistic profile, and her commitment to our mission, she is an ideal choice for MassArt. I look forward to partnering with her and our faculty colleagues to reimagine the role of Graduate Programs within the College to better serve our talented students.”

“MassArt proudly claims its history as a publicly supported arts college with a socially engaged mission,” said Bliss, “and I’m excited to join students, faculty, and staff in determining how the rich history of the College can be applied to a dynamic period of growth and collaboration in Graduate Programs. My years of experience as a practicing artist, as faculty, and most recently as Dean of Graduate Studies at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, have shown me the power and potential of art education to transform individual lives, and to speak to both intimate truths and global concerns. I’m thrilled to be joining the community at MassArt.”

Since 2016, Bliss has served as Dean of Graduate Studies at the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA), where she oversaw MFA programs in Visual Arts, Photography, Writing, and Writing for Stage and Screen, as well as a Master of Arts in Art Education, and Master of Arts in Teaching Visual Art. Also at NHIA, she served as the Interim Director of Exhibitions and from 2013 to 2016 was the core faculty in its MFA in Visual Arts program. Prior to this, Bliss held the role of Professor of Liberal Studies at Union Institute & University, where she developed a wide range of classroom and online courses in Art and Art History, in addition to working as Chair of the Arts and Literature concentration and Chair of COAT, the assessment committee for diverse university campuses in California, Florida, Ohio, and Vermont.

An experienced artist, Bliss’s studio practice consists of drawing, painting, photography, and installation, and her work has been exhibited at venues including the Boston Center for the Arts, Lamont Gallery at Phillips Exeter Academy, the Ogunquit Museum of Art, Whitney Art Works, Rose Contemporary, Bates College Museum of Art, and the Tucson Museum of Art, among others. Among her accomplishments, she was recognized in 2016 with a Space Gallery Kindling Grant through the Warhol Regional Re-granting Program in support of her project, Tracking the Border, in which she explored the 611-mile Maine-Canada border.

Bliss holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Skidmore College and an MFA in Visual Art from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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About Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is a public, independent institution that prepares artists, designers, and educators from diverse backgrounds to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good. One of the top colleges of its kind in the United States since its founding in 1873, MassArt has built a legacy of leadership as the first freestanding public college of art and design in the country, and the nation’s first art school to grant a degree. The College offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in art, design, and art education, all taught by world-class faculty. MassArt is also home to the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), opening February 2020. Formerly the Bakalar & Paine Galleries, MAAM is MassArt's free contemporary art museum, professionally curated to enrich the academic curriculum and make contemporary art an accessible experience for all. Among MassArt’s most accomplished alumni are designer Brian Collins, multimedia artist Sam Durant, art dealer Arne Glimcher, Oscar-winning set designer Nancy Haigh, visual artist and composer Christian Marclay, 2016 Project Runway winner Erin Robertson, interior and lifestyle designer Kelly Wearstler, and conceptual artist William Wegman. To learn more, please visit massart.edu.

Media Contacts

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