Kymberly Pinder named Dean of Yale School of Art
Pinder, a specialist in breed, representation and murals, will take up his post on July 1.
Courtesy of YaleNews
On June 1, University President Peter Salovey named Kymberly Pinder GRD ’95 Dean of the Yale School of Art, making her the first person of color and the second woman to lead the school.
Pinder is expected to take on the lead role on July 1, pending final approval from Yale Corporation. Pinder has worked as an administrator and teacher in art schools across the country. She earned an MA in Philosophy from Yale, as well as an MA and PhD from Yale’s Department of Art History. Pinder recently published a book – the result of a significant collaboration with local Chicago artists – exploring how black imagery in the public sphere has empowered Chicago communities over the past hundred years.
“An internationally recognized specialist in race, representation and murals, his work is widely studied in art history programs across the country and has fostered new avenues of research in his field,” wrote Salovey to the Yale community. “Her unique approach to her scholarship and her practice as a curator demonstrates to students the importance of community engagement in the arts.
Pinder has served as Acting President of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design since June 2020, after joining MassArt in 2019 as Dean and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. Previously, she was the dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico from 2012 to 2018, as well as acting director and curator of the University of New Mexico Museum of Art from 2014 to 2016. Prior to these positions, Pinder had worked at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she chaired the department of art history, theory and criticism.
While a student at Yale, Pinder published and lectured on medievalism in North America, European Gothic architecture, religious imagery, and African Americans and women in art, according to the Salovey’s email. She has also studied various aspects of the formation and representation of American identity and continues to incorporate the ideas she developed at Yale into her scholarship today.
“I think all of my past positions have paved the way for the post of dean here at Yale,” Pinder wrote in an email to The News. “Anyone joining a new organization this fall needs to focus on listening and healing. The effects of experiencing multiple pandemics, with so much disruption and loss, must be recognized and addressed so that we can clear the space to move forward together. And I look forward to leading this process at the School [of Art]. “
A search advisory committee from a dean appointed by Salovey created a job description and combed through the candidates’ resumes and letters of interest. The committee was tasked with finding between three and five candidates to present to Salovey. The committee was tasked with finding candidates from diverse backgrounds, said Martin Kersels, chairman of the committee and professor of sculpture. The committee asked all applicants about their administrative experience and professional life as an artist, according to Kersels. He was particularly impressed with Pinder’s listening skills during his interviews.
Salovey then interviewed the finalists before selecting Pinder as dean.
Throughout the year, the committee held Zoom listening sessions with members of the school community. Two main themes emerged, Kersels said. One was that the dean had to “start a new story for the school” in terms of diversity and inclusion, Kersels said. The second is that the role and power of university administrators has increased.
The committee looked for candidates from a variety of backgrounds who had experience with school organizations and could manage labor relations, budgets and pedagogy, Kersels said.
According to Kersels, as Pinder arrives at school and immediately faces a post-pandemic era and a time of great social change, he has a “good feeling” about his ability to run the school.
In his new role, Pinder will develop new educational opportunities for students of the School of the Arts and expand the work of the School across campus, wrote Salovey. It will articulate a vision for the future of art and design at Yale, he added.
Pinder succeeds Dean Marta Kuzma, who will remain at Yale as a full art teacher. Kuzma was the School of Art’s first female dean and, in a summer 2020 announcement to the Yale community, said she would not seek a new term after her five-year tenure as that dean.
“I am delighted to hear that Dr Kymberly Pinder has been appointed as my successor,” Kuzma wrote in an email to News. “Dr. Pinder’s experience as an academic and theorist, critically acclaimed for her writings on art and religion, history and race, as well as her demonstrated excellence as a leader and administrator at the within undergraduate and undergraduate visual art programs, is exactly what the Yale School of Art needs as Master of Fine Arts programs across the country tackle the necessary change in climate. of future arts education. ”
Pinder will lead the School of Art in its 152nd year.