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News . Feature Stories . 2015 in Review: New George Gund Building, awards, recognition mark the year


December 04, 2015

2015 in Review: New George Gund Building, awards, recognition mark the year

Students, faculty continued to focus on engaged practice

The opening of CIA’s new George Gund Building tops the list of newsworthy events for 2015. Also marking the year were new faculty hires and board appoinments, awards for students and faculty, and a continued focus on engaged learning.

New building opens new doors

By the start of 2015, major construction was already complete on Cleveland Institute of Art’s new George Gund Building on Euclid Avenue. The 80,000-square-foot building needed only finishing touches – and a few more occupants. While classes continued during spring semester, workers attended to the details and non-academic offices gradually moved in to their new digs. The library, Cinematheque, and remaining academic departments in CIA’s original Gund Building on East Boulevard moved to the new complex during summer 2015. By the start of fall semester, the entire college was unified on one campus for the first time in 39 years.

CIA named the new building for George Gund II in honor of $10 million in support provided by his family and the foundation that bears his name. Gund served as CIA board president from 1942-1966.

Top college designation

For the third consecutive year, Cleveland Institute of Art last summer was named one of the best colleges in the Midwest by The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company lists CIA as the only college of art and design among its “Best in the Midwest” recommended schools in its “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website feature. Only 159 colleges in 12 Midwestern states made The Princeton Review's “Best in the Midwest” list for 2016.

“I am so proud that, once again, out of hundreds of colleges in the Midwest, CIA is included among the best by The Princeton Review,” said CIA President Grafton Nunes.

Also last summer, Money magazine ranked CIA among North America’s 44 elite colleges of art and design in its “Best Colleges for Your Money” ranking. The magazine evaluated more than 700 schools “that provide the best value for your tuition dollar,” and ranked them on 21 factors in three equally weighted categories: educational quality, affordability, and alumni earnings. CIA is Money magazine’s top ranked college of art and design in the Midwest.

CIA welcomes new board members and faculty

CIA’s Board of Directors installed William Valerian as its new board chair at its annual meeting on Oct. 6 and welcomed three new board members: Marianne Bernadotte, Russell Trusso, and Cathy Stamler. Read about these vital volunteers here.

A ceramicist who is also an industrial designer, an illustrator who loves character development, a writer with a sci-fi bent, and a painter represented by a New York gallery were all appointed to faculty positions at Cleveland Institute of Art. Read about new these new faculty members here.

Salomon, Scibilia retire

Professors Judith Salomon and Dominic Scibilia ’72 both retired in spring 2015 after a combined 73 years at CIA. Salomon had taught in, and intermittently chaired, CIA’s Ceramics Department since she was fresh out of graduate school in 1976. Scibilia officially joined the faculty in 1984 but he began his teaching career at CIA as an assistant drawing instructor in 1970, while still a student.

Engaged learning initiatives

Across disciplines, faculty members continued to seek ways to involve students in “real world” experiences. In addition to dozens of internships, the following class-based projects stand out as examples of Cores + Connections, CIA's academic vision in which core values of world-class faculty mentorship, studio and academic rigor, cutting edge curriculum, and state-of-the-art facilities power extensive connections for student engagement in field-based hands-on learning, real-world professional projects, and community-based practices in art and design.

Animation majors worked on story boards for a major motion picture to star Nicholas Cage and Willem Dafoe. “Dog Eat Dog,” directed by Paul Schrader, will hit theaters in 2016.

Interior architecture students created designs for a proposed co-working space planned for Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor and for the popular Primate, Cat and Aquatics Building at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Industrial Design majors again designed iconic furniture pieces for the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Expect to sit on “Ribbon Bench,” designed by Justin Henry ’16, in spring 2016.

Other Industrial Design majors applied their problem-solving skills to designing new buoys to mark the busy shipping channel – and protect riverfront habitat – on the Cuyahoga River.

Students participating in a course titled Drawn to Care drew a series of portraits of Cleveland Clinic dialysis patients in the 2014-15 school year. The portraits were displayed in a public exhibition at CIA and then gifted to the patients.

Students in instructor Sai Sinbondit’s new projectFIND spent spring and fall semesters during 2015 designing resource maps to guide homeless people to shelters and other community services. In January 2016, Sinbondit and his students will present their concepts to the Cuyahoga County agency responsible for serving the homeless.

Thanks to a grant from the Fenn Educational Fund of the Cleveland Foundation, and some smart thinking by faculty and staff members, CIA this year facilitated Creativity Works, a program of self-initiated internship experiences for students looking forward to careers as visual artists. Five students lined up host community organizations, wrote proposals and budgets that were reviewed and accepted by faculty and staff, and pursued a variety of public art projects, ranging from an exhibition of portraits of homeless shelter residents, to a commissioned mural for a museum. The Fenn Fund renewed the grant and the program continues this year.

Senior among the top five design students in U.S.

Senior Industrial Design major Geemay Chia was one of five college students in the U.S. recognized by the prestigious Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) with a Student Merit Award. She is the fifth CIA student in the last decade to receive the Student Merit Award. Chia won second prize in the International Housewares Association’s student design competition for her hybrid walker, folding seat, and caddy designed for people with limited physical abilities. For that prize she competed against 245 entries by students from 34 colleges.

Faculty, alumni receive excellence awards

In April, the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) announced that three CIA faculty members and at least seven alumni would receive Individual Excellence Awards. Honored were alumni Ann Kmieck ’83, Judith Brandon ’87, Kristen Cliffel ’90, Timothy Callaghan ’99, Timothy Gaewsky ’01, Jason Milburn ’03, and Scott Goss ’06; and faculty members Sarah Kabot, associate professor and chair of the Drawing Department; Amy Sinbondit, technical specialist and adjunct faculty member in the Ceramics Department; and Sai Sinbondit, adjunct faculty member in the Foundation Department.

“These Ohio Arts Council awards represent important validation of the excellent work our alumni and faculty are producing,” said Chris Whittey, CIA’s vice president of faculty affairs + chief academic officer. “As publicly funded grants, they also represent recognition that these artists and designers are important contributors to Ohio’s culture and economy.”

Traveling Scholarships winners think big

Six remarkable members of Cleveland Institute of Art’s Class of 2015 plan to visit parts of the world ranging from South Korea to Italy to the western United States as winners of CIA’s annual Presidents Traveling Scholarships. The unique cash awards promote new graduates’ artistic growth by allowing them to visit places of essential influence on their work, whether abroad or at home, after graduation. Read about their varied plans here.

Medical illustrators conference

In July, some 450 medical illustrators from across North America converged on Cleveland – and CIA – for the annual conference of the Association of Medical Illustrators. They enjoyed four days of workshops, plenary sessions and TED-style talks by physicians, scientists, software experts, artists and others.

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