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MassArt Elects New Board Chair and Vice Chair for Nation’s Only Independent Public College of Art and Design

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Karen Keane, Chairman Emerita of Bonhams Skinner, to serve as Chair; MassArt Alum Daren Bascome founder and managing director of Proverb Agency elected as Vice Chair

BOSTON – July 24, 2023 – Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) today announced the appointment of the college’s new Board of Trustees chair and vice chair. Karen Keane, Chairman Emerita of Bonhams Skinner, has been elected to serve as board chair and Daren Bascome, a 1993 graduate of MassArt who is the founder and managing director of Proverb Agency, a Boston-based marketing agency, has been elected as vice chair.

“Karen and Daren bring a wealth of experience, unique perspectives, and a passion for art and design to our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Mary Grant, President of MassArt. “Our community of students, alumni, faculty, and staff will benefit greatly from their continued service and leadership to MassArt. I am excited to continue to work together to advance our mission of preparing artists, designers, innovators, educators, and leaders from diverse backgrounds to shape our world.”

Chair Keane is Chairman Emerita of Bonhams Skinner, overseeing the operation of one of the world’s leading auction houses, the largest in New England. She was instrumental in the establishment of Bonhams Skinner as a world-class auction gallery in Boston, as well as the company’s expansion into specialty areas including fine musical instruments, science and technology, rare books and manuscripts, fine wines, and Judaica.

Keane is a familiar face and leading appraiser on the PBS Emmy Award-winning TV series ”Antiques Roadshow”. Sought-after by the media, she is a regular contributor to art and antiques publications, symposiums, websites and blogs. She lectures and conducts benefit auctions and appraisal events for non-profit and for-profit institutions nationwide, including the Annual MassArt Auction, for which she has volunteered as pro-bono auctioneer since the mid-1980s. Karen holds a Master’s degree in Art History from Boston University. She is a former overseer of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts. She previously served as vice chair of the MassArt Board of Trustees.

“I am honored to serve as board chair of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the only independent public art college in the country,” said Keane. “As we celebrate our 150th year under the leadership of President Mary Grant I look forward to a future of creative thinking, focused priorities, and doing the important work that will propel us into our next 150 years.”

Vice Chair Bascome, a 1993 graduate of MassArt, is founder and managing director of Proverb Agency, a branding and advertising agency located in Boston’s South End. Under Bascome’s leadership, the agency has been recognized as “Best in Business” by Inc Magazine, and has won numerous tourism, local and international awards for inclusivity work. Bascome himself has been recognized as a “Most Influential Bostonian” by Boston Magazine and among one of the city’s Most Influential Men of Color, by Get Konnected!, a multicultural resource platform in Boston.

In addition to leading Proverb, Bascome is on the board of Massachusetts Marketing Partnership (MMP), an overseer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and on the advisory board of the educational organization Facing History and Ourselves.

In addition to his bachelor’s degree in communication design from MassArt, Bascome attended Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

“MassArt students, faculty and alums are major drivers of the intellectual curiosity, artistic expression and economic vitality that make Boston a captivating cultural hub today,” said Bascome. “As a MassArt alumnus and Boston business leader, I look forward to furthering the institution’s critical work in shaping students to become leaders in art and design in the city and beyond.”

MassArt, founded in 1873, is this year celebrating its 150th anniversary as the only independent public college of art and design in the nation.


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 to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good. Since 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. MassArt offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as lifelong learning opportunities in art, design, and art education, taught by world-class faculty.

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