College of Art and Design Dean to tackle new ambassadorial role as Dean Emeritus
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
In a millisecond, the shutter provides a momentary pause in the flow of existence.Away from the camera, though, an artist like Stan Trecker enjoys no such respite. As Dean (and, soon, Dean Emeritus) of the College of Art and Design — and before that as president of the Art Institute of Boston and Montserrat College in Beverly — Stan has overseen constant change.
While at the helm of the College of Art and Design — the new name of The Art Institute of Boston, which for 100 years has helped shape the vision and career paths of artists — Stan has shepherded the creation of the college’s first master of fine arts program, as well as programs in animation and other high-tech arts innovations, while remaining true to the school’s more traditional visual arts media.
“Design, animation, photography and illustration are increasingly driven by digital technology,” Stan says, “but even traditional fine artists are using technology in the contemporary art world.
“As a result, we’ve been developing new majors such as digital filmmaking and self-designed/Interdisciplinary studies and I expect that work to continue.”
As Dean Emeritus, Stan will also be facilitating the art school’s transition from Kenmore Square, Boston, to its new home in Lesley’s Porter Campus — the $46 million Lunder Arts Center now under construction and slated for a January 2015 opening.
Stan oversaw another important transition: Long before becoming dean of the College of Art and Design — even before becoming president of AIB — Stan managed the transformation of his career, from international banker to photographic visual artist.
After a banker colleague turned him on to photography, he eventually retired from high finance and pursued his new passion in places like Mexico, Brazil, and throughout Asia.
“I had never been overseas,” Stan says of his travels with camera in hand, “and it just opened my eyes to the world out there.”
After a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico — still one of Stan’s favorite places to visit — he earned an MFA in photography and began to think of a way to marry his business background to his artistic vocation. That led him to a post as business manager and visual arts director of the MoMing Dance and Arts Center, where he became inspired by the work of choreographers — and met his wife, Anne, a dancer and teacher. Later, he became the Executive Director of the Photographic resource Center in Boston.
Then, in 1991, he became president of The Art Institute of Boston, where he impressed upon its board the need for expansion.
“One of my goals was to get the board to see that, to be competitive, we needed a new facility,” Stan says from his office that overlooks bustling Beacon Street in Kenmore Square. That was years before AIB’s merger with Lesley, and long before the vision of the new Lunder Arts Center began to take shape.
After several years as President of Montserrat College of Art, Stan returned as Dean of what would become the College of Art and Design.
“Stan Trecker has been a consummate professional,” Provost Selase Williams said in a recent communiqué to the Lesley community. “I have frequently sought his good counsel on a variety of issues.”
Provost Williams also noted Stan’s “senior leadership and steady statesmanship.”
“His experience, wisdom and understanding of human nature have been invaluable to me during my time at Lesley,” Williams continued. “Fortunately for me and the University, although Stan will be stepping down as Dean at the end of this fiscal year, he has agreed to stay on during the fiscal year 2015, this time as Dean Emeritus.”
And Lesley University President Joseph B. Moore said, “Stan has been integral to the success and growth of art programs at Lesley and his continued involvement is critical to the success of our new Lunder Arts Center.”
Stan says he relishes his new challenges and responsibilities as Dean Emeritus, particularly his role as an ambassador for the new arts center and its surfeit of publicly accessible galleries.
“It will fulfill a need in Cambridge,” he says of the Lunder Arts Center’s gallery space, explaining that while Cambridge boasts a number of fine museums, galleries — which tend to be more inviting to the public and offer a regular influx of new artwork — are surprisingly scarce in a city so attuned to art and culture.
The galleries and some planned public art installations, he says, will afford “a wonderful way to welcome people to Lesley.”
The prospect of interaction between Lesley artists and the public is a chief enticement of becoming Dean Emeritus.
Stan also says he anticipates vigorous arts partnerships with Cambridge public schools and he’s been working with groups like the Cambridge Arts Council to plan various projects.
“The arts activity is already picking up and will pick up some more,” he adds, hinting at a Porter Square Arts District, with Lesley at its center.
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