Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012

New Chairs Named for Creative Arts Therapy, History of Art and Design, and Photography Departments

New Chairs 2012Pratt Institute has appointed three new chairs to its School of Art and Design. Julie Miller, an experienced dance/movement and creative arts therapist, social worker, and educator, has been named Chair of the Creative Arts Therapy Department. Dorothea Dietrich, a modernist art historian, academic, author, curator, and administrator, has been named Chair of the History of Art and Design Department. Stephen Hilger, photographer, academic, curator, and administrator, has been named Chair of the Photography Department. All will begin their appointments on July 1, 2012.

"Our new Chairs bring a wealth of academic experience and scholarly and creative practice to their departments and to the School of Art and Design," said Pratt School of Art and Design Dean Concetta M. Stewart. "They are also each actively engaged in using their knowledge and expertise to benefit the broader community and society, and I look forward to working with them to make the Departments of Creative Arts Therapy, History of Art and Design, and Photography leading forces in art and design education," she added.

Julie Miller has taught in the Creative Arts Therapy Department since 1996 and has served as an associate adjunct faculty member. At Pratt, Miller teaches courses on dance/movement therapy, stress management, dance/movement therapy theory and practice, and improvisation. In addition to her faculty position, she is co-director of the New York Center for the Study of Authentic Movement. She also maintains her own private practice in psychotherapy and dance/movement therapy in Brooklyn, where she provides individual psychotherapy and dance/movement therapy for adults. Miller received a duel master's degree in dance therapy and social work from Hunter College. She also received a bachelor of science degree in psychology and dance, also from Hunter College. She is a long-time Brooklyn resident.

As Chair, Miller will be responsible for leading Pratt's Creative Arts Therapy Department, which includes graduate degree programs in art therapy and creativity development, dance/movement therapy, and art therapy (special education). Established in 1970, Pratt's graduate creative arts therapy program is one of the oldest programs of its kind in the country. Students learn art and dance/movement therapy skills as applied to a wide variety of patient populations including psychiatric inpatient and outpatient, substance abuse, geriatric, special education, therapeutic nurseries, after-school programs, families, medical rehabilitation, Child Life, eating disorders, AIDS, the homeless, and traumatized populations, as well as work in prevention and wellness.
 
Dorothea Dietrich currently teaches in the Smithsonian-Mason M.A. Program in the History of Decorative Arts in Washington, D.C., where she has also been an adviser for the program. She specializes in modern German art, political culture, and aesthetic theory with a focus on the Weimar Republic and the post-World War II period, especially the 1960s-1980s. Her current work focuses on art and technology in the former German Democratic Republic. Recently, Dietrich held a Senior Research Fellowship at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England, where she studied the relationship of found and formed objects, painting, and performance in the late work of Kurt Schwitters. She is author of The Collages of Kurt Schwitters: Tradition and Innovation (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and German Drawings of the 60s (Yale University Art Gallery and Art Gallery of Ontario, 1982) and has contributed many essays to international exhibition catalogs, journals, and scholarly volumes. Previously, Dietrich has taught at Princeton University and held visiting appointments at M.I.T., Washington University, Duke University, Boston University, and Bryn Mawr College. She was also Director of the Morse Research Center and Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, and Chair of Arts and Humanities at Corcoran College of Art and Design. Dietrich received her B.A., M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.

As Chair, Dietrich will be responsible for leading Pratt's History of Art and Design Department, which offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees and a Certificate in Museum Studies as well as graduate dual degrees with Fine Arts and Information and Library Science. The mission of the department is to provide students with the experience of a curriculum in an institution focused on the convergence of art theory and practice in the rich blending of studio, gallery, and classroom. Through comprehensive study of global art and design within historical and cultural contexts and research and scholarship in specialized areas, students develop a critical understanding of the field as well as research and analytical skills.

Stephen Hilger has been an assistant professor and director of photography at Tulane University in New Orleans since 2008. His photographs trace historical memory in the social landscape. Working on projects that unfold over extended periods of time, Hilger constructs visual archives of the disappearing. He has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad and will participate in "Grand Hotel," a project that charts the social and architectural history of the hotel at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He also recently exhibited photographs chronicling the demise and destruction of the historic Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles at Muse Center of Photography and the Moving Image, New York. Hilger writes about photography and contemporary art and curates exhibitions including recent solo shows by Lee Friedlander and Andy Warhol, both at Tulane. Previously, Hilger taught at Columbia University, New York University Steinhardt School, and Pace University, all in New York. Hilger received his B.A. and M.F.A. degrees from Columbia University and participated in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program.     
     
As Chair, Hilger will be responsible for leading Pratt's Department of Photography, which includes a bachelor of fine art degree program in photography. The curriculum is designed to create a broad-based knowledge of photography from traditional photographic techniques to the digital darkroom, including aesthetics, history, and artistic and professional practice. The program culminates in an individual exhibition as well as a senior group show at a gallery in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. Students leave Pratt having had the experience of curating, hanging, and promoting their own exhibit, in addition to a finished portfolio of their work. This approach is intended to facilitate the transition from student to independent artist/professional.   
 
The mission of the School of Art and Design is to educate artists and designers as well as educators, therapists, and historians in cognate fields. Drawing on the intellectual, technological, and professional resources of fifteen departments, the school offers a Renaissance-style immersion in many related disciplines. Beyond enhancing their discipline-specific skills, students learn to be creative, responsible professionals willing and able to contribute to society in fundamental ways.
 
Photos from Left: Chair of Creative Arts Therapy  Julie Miller, Chair of  Photography Stephen Hilger, Chair of  History of Art and Design Dorothea Dietrich. Photos credit: Jonathan Weitz, Paula Burch-Celentano, and D.A. Peterson.    

MEDIA CONTACT:
 
Amy Aronoff at 718-636-3554 or aarono29@pratt.edu