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About . Leadership . Office of the President . President's Welcome 

President's Welcome

CIA President + CEO Grafton Nunes welcomes the 2016-17 academic year.

The air is cooling, the sun sets a little earlier these days, and the transition from summer to fall is in process, with all the promise that comes with fresh beginnings.

Welcome to the 2016-17 academic year at the Cleveland Institute of Art. We are all privileged to be part of a distinguished community of creators and leaders. It is time again to fearlessly embrace the challenges that attend that privilege.

I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to the Class of 2020, for whom the weeks and months ahead will be filled with firsts. That may include living with roommates for the first time or working among students who challenge how you see yourself as an artist. You may encounter academic demands more rigorous than what you knew elsewhere, or be exposed to ideas, materials and processes for the first time.

My fondest hope is that you greet all of these experiences—even those that seem the most difficult—with openness. Know that you are up to the challenge. And when you need help, all around you are faculty, staff and students who are more than willing to give it.

It is worth noting, too, that you will be the first class at CIA to participate fully in our new Engaged Practice curriculum. Over the coming years, you will have many ways to earn credit while you match your skills to the needs of individuals and organizations working outside of CIA. Through these partnerships, you will begin to more fully understand what it means to become a collaborating professional in art or design. You will also meet people who are demonstrating success in their fields, and who can open up your world during and after your time here.

This fall, I welcome new faculty members Nicole Condon-Shih and Steven Gutierrez in Foundation, Hal Lewis in Animation and Robert Brown in Game Design. You will find that you have joined an estimable cohort of educators who exhibit the best qualities of professionalism in the classroom and in their own studios and academic fields. We are so happy to have you among them.

It’s also a new day for our public programming, and we’re off to a great start in Reinberger Gallery, where the annual Faculty Exhibition begins Sept. 1. The faculty show, and this year an accompanying exhibition of work by our technical assistants, provides an annual jolt of inspiration for us all, but especially for students, who will have the chance to see the impressive work their instructors do in their own practices. Please be sure to visit the exhibition, which runs through Oct. 9.

This year, the CIA Cinematheque celebrates 30 years of unique film programming to the Greater Cleveland audience. As usual, director John Ewing has developed a rich lineup this fall, but two events are worth special attention.

As part of national Art House Theater Day on Sept. 24, the Cinematheque will screen three French animated shorts as well as a series by director Edward L. Cahn. And on Saturday, Oct. 8, the Cinematheque will bring the first American screening in nine years of Otto Preminger’s film version of the George Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess.” This is a very rare opportunity. You can find details at

This also marks a new season of classes for adults and young artists through our department of Continuing Education + Community Outreach. This program has a long and beloved history at CIA of providing opportunities for artists at every level to hone established skills or experiment with something new. A catalog of fall courses can be found at

One of the enduring joys of making one’s living in the arts is the imperative to continue learning. This is as true for the college freshman as it is for the high school art teacher, the emerging animation artist or the career ceramicist.

So, then, to work. Let’s have a wonderful year, all of us.

Grafton Nunes

CIA Mission

To nurture the intellectual, artistic, and professional development of students and community members through rigorous visual arts and design education.

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To advance culture, community, and global quality of life.

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On view in Reinberger Gallery through June 15.

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