Dawn Barrett Selected as President of Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Barrett tapped to succeed Dr. Kay Sloan, who will retire after fifteen years as president
For Immediate Release

Darlene Gillan, Director of Communications
tel. 617 879 7050
e. darlene.gillan@massart.edu

Ana Davis, Executive Director of Marketing & Communications
tel. 617. 879.7046
e. Ana.Davis@massart.edu

Scott MacKenzie
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e. smackenzie@thecastlegrp.com

Dawn BarrettDawn Barrett

BOSTON, MA—March 2, 2011—Dawn Barrett, Dean of the Architecture and Design Division at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, has been selected as president of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Richard Shea, Chairman of the MassArt board of trustees announced.

Barrett has been tapped to succeed Dr. Kay Sloan, who will retire after fifteen years as president. Dr. Sloan recently launched the largest fundraising campaign in MassArt's history—a $140 million investment that will continue to transform the college both physically and programmatically. A hallmark of her presidency was the creation of The New Partnership for MassArt, a pioneering financial and governance model which leverages strengths of both public and private higher education. Sloan has been named President Emerita by the board of trustees.

"Massachusetts College of Art and Design has been very fortunate over the last fifteen years to have benefitted from the dedication and exemplary leadership of Kay Sloan," said Shea. "Her unparalleled vision has led MassArt to unprecedented growth. Enrollment is at an all-time high, the endowment has tripled, scholarship dollars are up, and new campus buildings are rising along Huntington Avenue."

The college's search committee led by Vice Chair of the Board Sam Yin, recommended Barrett to the MassArt board of trustees, who unanimously approved the selection. The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education will vote on the recommendation at its March 2011 meeting.

"Barrett comes to MassArt with an unwavering commitment to advancing the disciplines of art and design. As a designer, faculty member, and administrator, Barrett is able to see through multiple lenses and facilitate collaboration among diverse constituencies. She is the ideal candidate to support MassArt's growth as a leader in the field. Having lived and worked in Europe for many years, Dawn's international outlook will help MassArt expand its reach locally and globally," said Shea.

Barrett became Dean of the Architecture and Design Division at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2001. In this role, Barrett oversees seven departments including undergraduate and graduate programs in Apparel Design, Architecture, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Prior to her appointment as Dean, Barrett was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Design at RISD and lived and worked in Europe for many years as Head of the Department of Design at the Jan van Eyck Akademie, a post-graduate and research center for Fine Art, Design and Theory in Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Barrett explains "Having had the good fortune of being born, raised, and educated in Massachusetts, I am honored to be selected for this important leadership position in the Commonwealth that provided so generously to my own education and development. Massachusetts College of Art and Design plays a unique role as the only freestanding public college of art and design in the nation and is a vital contributor to the health of the state's creative economy. I admire and passionately support the mission of this special institution and look forward to working alongside all the members of the MassArt community."

In addition to her administrative and faculty experience, Barrett contributes to the field of design through research and practice. She has an active design and consulting practice, with professional commissions and assignments which have included Duke University; Maryland Institute College of Arts; Imaging Research Center-UMBC, Studio Dumbar-The Hague, PTT Nederland, and the Royal Post in Denmark. Barrett's curatorial work includes research and co-curation of a number of design exhibitions for such venues as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Barrett is editor of the book Interface: an approach to design, by Gui Bonsiepe (1998, Maastricht), and co-editor of the anthology, Infinite Radius: Founding Rhode Island School of Design (2008, Providence). Her critical writing connects the disciplines of visual culture, history, design and architecture and has appeared in a number of journals including Parallax, Zed, Visible Language, Archis, and Aspect.

Barrett studied Fine Art at Smith College and UNC, Chapel Hill and received a Bachelors degree in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Masters degree in Design from the School of Design, NC State University, Raleigh.

Barrett currently serves on the board of trustees at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina; is a visiting evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the American Landscape Association Accreditation Board (LAAB). She is also a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) Commission on Accreditation.

Barrett is married to R.D.E. (Ootje) Oxenaar, Professor Emeritus of TU Delft in the Netherlands. He is the internationally renowned designer of the Dutch currency (1968-1986), and former Director of Art and Design, Post and Telecommunications of The Netherlands. They have two thirteen-year-old daughters: Emma Carolyn Oxenaar and Emily Anne Oxenaar.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design is one of the top colleges of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1873, MassArt has a legacy of leadership as the only independent public college of art and design in the country and the nation's first art school to grant a degree. The college offers a comprehensive range of baccalaureate and graduate degrees in art and design, all taught by world-class faculty, along with continuing education and youth programs designed to encourage individual creativity. Whether at home in Boston or on the other side of the globe, the artists and designers of MassArt are dedicated to making a difference in their communities and around the world. For more information, visit www.massart.edu.