Artistic goals: New UA School of Art director sees a broad spectrum of arts education covering the state and beyond

August 4, 2019

From the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

“Gerry Snyder is in his office at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville’s School of Art. It’s long and narrow, with a few chairs and a desk. The bookshelves are empty.

It’s late July and the 65-year-old Snyder, the School of Art’s executive director, can be forgiven for the Spartan state of his space. He’s only been on the job since July 1, hired from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he spent five years as dean of the School of Art.

“I’m getting to where I can find my way to the office and the coffee shop,” Snyder says as he takes a seat. Outside the window over his shoulder, a student in a summer drawing class works at her easel.

Snyder is the first executive director of the UA School of Art, which was created in 2017 with a $120 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, the largest ever to support or establish a school of art.

The school, which is part of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, also received $40 million from the Little Rock-based Windgate Charitable Foundation to create the Windgate Art and Design District to house new art and graphic design classrooms, labs, studios and a public gallery space in south Fayetteville.”

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