Judith Simpson is Named Director ofThe College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts

in College of Fine Arts, News Releases, University Affairs
September 1st, 2004

Contact: Amy Corcoran, 617/353-7293 | amycorco@bu.edu

(Boston) – Boston University College of Fine Arts announced that Judith Simpson, associate professor and chairman of the art education department, has been named director of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) effective September 1, 2004.

As Director ad interim of the School of Visual Arts for the 2003-2004 academic year, Simpson led a number of fundamental initiatives designed to strengthen and evolve the SVA program, including examining the school’s curriculum, establishing a strong visiting artist program, and cataloguing its collection of archived work. Having joined the Visual Arts faculty in fall 1996 as assistant professor, Simpson was promoted to associate professor in 1998 and chairman of the art education department in fall 2001. With a B.S. from the University of New Hampshire, an M.S. from the Massachusetts College of Art, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, she has focused throughout her career on the role of art education in urban education. In addition to her expertise as an artist and educator, Simpson brings significant leadership and administrative experience and accomplishments to her new role. Simpson’s appointment as director of the School of Visual Arts is for a two-year term, to conclude with the 2005-2006 academic year.

“Judith Simpson has been a strong advocate for the School of Visual Arts throughout her tenure,” said Walt Meissner, Dean ad interim of the College of Fine Arts. “She is a high-energy leader with a naturally collaborative work style, and a passionate commitment to the school and its students.”

“I’m enthusiastic about our momentum in the School of Visual Arts,” said Simpson. “We are about to embark on two major strategic initiatives – forging a partnership with a leading museum and establishing a summer institute for high school students – that will enhance our recruitment and raise the school’s profile on the BU campus and throughout the artistic community,” said Simpson, “and I’m eager to make these initiatives a reality.”

The School of Visual Arts at the College of Fine Arts was established in 1954 as a professional training school at Boston University. With faculty composed of practicing professional artists, the school offers an intensive program of studio training combined with liberal arts studies leading to the Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Courses prepare students for future study or professional practice in painting, sculpture, graphic design, or art education. Notable alumni include painters Brice Marden and Pat Steir; Ira Yoffe, vice president/creative director of PARADE Magazine; and Richard Heinrichs, sculptor and set designer whose credits include “Fargo” and “Sleepy Hollow,” for which he received an Oscar for Art Direction in 1999.

The Boston University College of Fine Arts is a conservatory-style school within a major research university, offering a liberal arts curriculum and professional training in Music, Theatre Arts, and Visual Arts to 1000 graduate and undergraduate students. Education at the College of Fine Arts begins at Boston University and extends into the city of Boston, a center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

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