UArts Names Director of MFA Programs in Book Arts / Printmaking and Studio Art

Cynthia Nourse Thompson brings experience as a leading curator, academic program director and artist

February 11, 2014

The University of the Arts has appointed Cynthia Nourse Thompson as director of the MFA programs in BookArts/Printmaking and Studio Art. She will begin her new role at the University on June 1, 2014.

Thompson joins UArts from the University of Arkansas, where she is currently curator and director of exhibitions as well as an associate professor. Previously, she was a professor at Memphis College of Art (MCA) and served as chair of the Division of Fine Arts there during her final year. For more than 12 years, she ran the book arts, letterpress and papermaking areas at MCA, and for seven of those years, she additionally served as curator and director of visiting artist lectures. As curator, she created the New Visions Exhibition Series that showcased the work of internationally known artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Petah Coyne, Andres Serrano, Jenny Holzer, Oscar Munoz and Gary Schneider. Lectures by Juan Sanchez, Ghada Amer, Willie Cole and Polly Apfelbaum also took place during her tenure.

With a background in printmaking, book arts and letterpress printing, Thompson has been active as a curator for several years. She has previously taught book arts and printmaking in Florence, Italy, at the Santa Reparata International School of Art and in Rome at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Rome Center.

"Cynthia is a networker, organized and proactive," said Christopher Sharrock, dean of UArts' College of Art, Media & Design. "Along with her subject knowledge, she will bring a wonderful sense of energy to the MFA programs under her charge, bring fresh perspectives to graduate activities, and make a great contribution to the life of the college and of the University."

UArts' internationally recognized MFA program in Book Arts/Printmaking was one of the first such programs in the country and is one of the few in which students can earn a dual MFA in both areas of study. The University's MFA in Studio Art program allows candidates to explore a multitude of artistic disciplines – Ceramics, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Multimedia and Interdisciplinary Arts. Its low-residency nature allows students to study on-campus for eight weeks during the summer; fall and spring semesters are dedicated to independent study.

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