Carmon Colangelo, director of the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, Athens (UGA), has been named the first dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton announced today.
“Carmon Colangelo is an accomplished artist and an experienced academic leader,” Wrighton said. “In both capacities, he has demonstrated an exceptional ability to incorporate new concepts and new technologies alongside traditional art and design techniques. His creativity and passion will help fulfill our vision of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and realize its considerable potential.”
Formation of the Sam Fox School — which aspires to become a national model for the creation, study and exhibition of multidisciplinary and collaborative work — comes amidst a nearly $60 million campaign to improve campus arts facilities. Plans include extensive renovations to existing facilities as well as two new buildings designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, both scheduled to open in fall 2006.
Colangelo’s appointment — effective July 1, 2006 — follows from the work of an advisory committee chaired by Richard J. Smith, Ph.D., the Ralph E. Morrow Distinguished University Professor and chair of Anthropology in Arts & Sciences.
Colangelo will oversee the Sam Fox School’s four academic units — the College of Art, College of Architecture, Graduate School of Art and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design — as well as the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, home to one of the nation’s finest university collections of modern art. In addition, Colangelo will serve as a member of the University Council and as the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration in the Arts.
“This is just an amazing opportunity, and I am absolutely thrilled to join Washington University as first dean of the Sam Fox School,” Colangelo said. “This new structure presents tremendous opportunities for innovative collaboration and to become an international center for creative activity to address, explore and contemplate the challenges of contemporary design in the 21st century.
“Two beautiful new Fumihiko Maki buildings; nationally ranked architecture and art programs; and one of the very finest university art collections and galleries in the country — the combination and potential are extraordinary. The Sam Fox School will strive to be a leader and one of the most unique and dynamic schools of design and visual arts in the world. I am honored to join its faculty in a leadership role.”
The current deans of Architecture and Art will report to Colangelo, who in turn will report directly to the Chancellor. In addition, Colangelo will chair the Sam Fox School Executive Committee, comprising the deans of Architecture and Art; the director of the Kemper Art Museum; and leaders of the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences and the Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg Information Center.
“I think we have succeeded in hiring one of the most talented arts administrators in the country,” said Jerry Sincoff, dean of Architecture and a member of the advisory committee. “Under Carmon’s leadership, the Lamar Dodd School has completed design and planning for a new $40 million campus that will unite its arts and design programs in a single location. I am certain he will bring that same energy and collaborative approach to St. Louis.”
Jeff Pike, dean of Art and current chair of the Sam Fox School Executive Committee, and Sabine Eckmann, director of the Kemper Art Museum, also served on the advisory committee.
Eckmann noted that Colangelo was founding director of UGA’s Ideas for Creative Exploration, which promotes “innovative, multidisciplinary projects and advanced research in the arts through publications, performances and exhibitions.”
Pike added that, “At Georgia, Carmon effectively built new interdisciplinary initiatives while strengthening both the faculty and the graduate program. We look forward to working with him.”
Colangelo is a widely exhibited artist known for large mixed-media prints that combine digital and traditional processes.
Over the last decade, Colangelo’s work has been featured in 15 solo shows and dozens of group exhibitions in Argentina, Canada, England, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico and across the United States. His work has been collected by many of the nation’s leading museums, including the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.
Born in Toronto, Colangelo earned a BFA in printmaking and painting from the University of Windsor in Ontario in 1981 and an MFA in printmaking from Louisiana State University in 1983.
From 1984 to 1996, Colangelo headed the printmaking department at West Virginia University and was named chair of the Division of Art in 1993. In 1997, he became director of UGA’s Lamar Dodd School, which encompasses approximately 1,000 undergraduate and 90 graduate art majors. He was named a distinguished research professor in 2003.
Under Colangelo’s direction, the Lamar Dodd School started a significant visiting artist scholar series; recruited more than two dozen full-time faculty and staff positions; increased graduate and teaching assistantships by more than 50 percent; and renovated the recently named the John D. Kehoe Center, a 13th-century monastery in Cortona, Italy, for its study abroad program. U.S. News & World Report currently ranks the school’s MFA program among the top 21 in the nation and the printmaking program among the top three.
Colangelo and his wife, Susan Colangelo, have three daughters: Jessica, 19, Ashley, 17, and Chelsea, 11.