The Art Academy of Cincinnati is currently witnessing a renaissance of unprecedented growth and development, and is now identifying possible ways to sustain its growth and continue to evolve. Many exciting changes for the 2011-2012 school year will help the Art Academy grow toward its bright future, including increased enrollment, new faculty and staff, and an expanding campus.
The Art Academy celebrates over 140 years of educating artists and designers, and in 2011 the full-time student enrollment (FTE) is currently at 237 undergraduate students, up 15 percent from last year. This fall welcomes a record-breaking 85 new students to the Art Academy's class of 2015. Of the class of 2015, 30 percent represent out-of-state students, and another 60 percent come from outside Hamilton County.
The increase in student enrollment has also led to a 44 percent increase in student housing, leading the Art Academy to work more closely with vital community resources such as the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) to accommodate demand for student housing in Over-the-Rhine.
"With the student body continuing to grow, it is important to find housing solutions that support the artistic life and help create an urban campus. In 3CDC's next phase of development there will be several options to rent or buy near the campus. This will complement the already established 12 apartments located at 12th and Vine dedicated to Art Academy student housing" said 3CDC Executive Vice President of Development and Operations, Chad Munitz.
The new growth of the student body has also inspired expansion of academic facilities. In late 2011, the Art Academy will unveil a 2,200-square-foot metal/sculpture studio at 1201 Walnut St. It will be fully equipped with 2 MIG welders, 2 ARC welders, a plasma cutter, iron worker, air compressor, chop saw, drill press, hoist, and four gas welding set-ups.
Future plans for the 1201 Walnut St. building include the renovation of the entire first floor to include a wood shop, a sculpture classroom, and large display space. The three floors above the new studio will eventually serve as additional classrooms and student studios.
In order to accommodate increased enrollment, three new full-time faculty members have been added to the the Art Academy family: Matt Hart, Creative Writing; Ken Henson, Illustration & Painting; and Matthew Dayler, Screen Printing and Digital Media. These energetic voices are active in Cincinnati's artistic community and will help bridge the gap between foundation and application, adding real-world experience.
While the Art Academy continues its nationwide search for a new president, the Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Diane K. Smith as Interim President, effective October 1, 2011. Smith brings over 30 years of experience at the Art Academy, first serving as a professor of art history, 11 years as the chair of Academic Studies, and one year as Interim Academic Dean.
The Art Academy is also proud to announce a newly appointed Vice President of Enrollment Management, Dr. Gregory Stewart, who brings 28 years of experience in higher-education to the Art Academy. His experience in leadership ranges from serving a three-year term as a member of the City of Cincinnati Human Services Advisory Committee to his community involvement with the Hispanic community in Ohio, where he was recognized in 2006 with the Nuestra Familia Award.
Inspired by signs and the upcoming reality of tremendous growth, the Art Academy will use an internal diagnostic strategy to gauge external trends in today's modern academic landscape known as "The Wave: Inventory of Reality, Trends and Changes" on Friday, September 23, 2011. The Wave analyzes curriculum, pedagogy, and community engagement to create stronger bonds among faculty, staff, and students.
"The Art Academy's rich history has brought us to OTR," said Smith. "We are committed to providing a personalized education in the visual arts to all students. The Art Academy of Cincinnati is a vibrant, creative center that engages students from the community."
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