Our historic University Circle area is quickly becoming a nexus for Public Art and innovation in education. Starting from the addition of the undulating Peter B. Lewis building at Case, the area has seen the growth and renovations of its Botanical Gardens, Institute of Music, Case Western Campuses, Museum of Art, and Institute of Art, which opened the new Future Center in the fall of 2006. In the coming years we will see MOCA Cleveland relocated to Euclid Ave. within eyeshot of The Cleveland Institute of Art’s s McCullough Center, and the Institutes proposed new facility, currently still in early planning. Beyond the shine of eye-catching buildings, there is a new system of cooperation and interplay emerging between the institutions.
This new communicative paradigm is thanks largely to Jurgen Faust, former Dean of the Integrated Media Environment at The Cleveland Institute of Art. This past January he relocated to Monterey, Mexico as Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor for Design and Theory at CEDIM, a private Art and Design School. There he is launching an even more innovative platform for University education, using the financial and social freedoms of the “so-called developing world”, to create a new concept in International education. What his reforms and innovations in Mexico will create is sure to be as surprising as his whirlwind stay in Cleveland.
In 1999, University Circle was a much quieter place and The Institute of Art was edging on anachronism, lacking even a basic Digital Arts department. It was into this arena that Faust entered as a minor Foundations Professor. Three years later he had gained the respect and attention needed to create the T.I.M.E department, and what began as a class of four students in a tiny room soon grew to encompass a sizeable share of the building and the student body.
Along the way, he remade the image of the School, inviting Businesses to take a more interactive role, reclaiming all of the rented spaces in the McCullough Center for student use, and transforming the entire departmental structure. Along with his many lecture series and public projects for students, such as the development of interactive media for the CIM and the CMA, Faust encouraged a new language for a cohabitative realm of art, management, and design. all while continuing to exhibit his artwork in venues like The NEO Show and The Ingenuity Festival.
Now, in his southern wake he leaves a series of student grown companies, a dynamic faculty of artists and design professionals, and a new standard of presence for the Cleveland arts and educational communities. As the building projects run to completion we will hope to see the designers groundwork give way to a further progression in the dialogue and the University area reinstate itself as a major cultural center of North East Ohio.