Art Academy of Cincinnati President - Joseph Girandola
The Art Academy of Cincinnati’s Board of Trustees named Joseph Girandola as the college’s president and he assumed office on August 1, 2019.
No stranger to the arts, Girandola previously served as the interim associate dean of graduate studies and research at the University of Cincinnati in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). Prior, his roles included the Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Art at DAAP and director of the MFA program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
During his tenure at DAAP, he sought and secured new external funding opportunities for creative research and was part of the steering committee for the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub.
Bringing a Vision
“My vision for the Art Academy’s next chapter is to become an open door for problem-solving in the city through the creative practice,” said Girandola. “Building upon its amazing history, the Art Academy will look to collaborate with all of the game-changing innovative entities in the region to provide its students with the best possible skills needed to survive in the global creative economy.”
When asked about his new role at the Art Academy, Girandola sees a team effort. “The tremendous students, alumni, Board of Trustees, faculty and staff will be partners in the journey to solidify the success of the Art Academy into the near and distant future.”
Two of Girandola’s main initiatives since 2019 have been the consolidation of student dormitory housing directly across the street in collaboration with Urban Sites. The project was completed in 2020 and students moved into Academy Lofts in the Fall of 2020. The other project was the realization of the renovation of the dormant 8,000 square foot anchor space of the Art Academy building. Formally the Barrel House Brewing Company, the space was renovated and opened to the pubic in August of 2021.
Named SITE1212 in honor of the AAC address at 1212 Jackson Street the cornerstone space is a welcome addition to the fabric of OTR. Girandola sees artists as uniquely positioned to use their talents to collaborate with organizations and imagine solutions beyond the studio to make a social impact. “Artists not only have a vision aesthetically but could collaborate with community partners — like the Homeless Coalition of Cincinnati, Freestore Foodbank, many different programs in the city that are trying to make a difference,” he says. “Why not enable artists to be at the table when problems are being discussed?”