New director of the School of Art brings excitement to position

New director patin

Tom Patin is excited to start his new position as director of the School of Art at Northern Arizona University.

“The School of Art has tremendous potential,” Patin said. “The faculty and staff are extraordinarily creative individuals who seem to be very eager to develop that potential as the school moves into the future.”

Patin will relocate from Athens, Ohio, in July. Patin has served as chair of art history of the School of Art at Ohio University since 2004. He also has served as associate director of the School of Art and associate director for graduate programs at Ohio University since 2006, during which time he was responsible for overseeing undergraduate and graduate degrees in seven fields.

“Dr. Patin’s education and experiences as an artist, his work as an art historian, and his many years of working directly with artists and art students have given him much insight into their needs as they study and practice their craft,” said Liz Grobsmith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “The School of Art and NAU will benefit greatly from his leadership experience and planning abilities.”

At NAU, Patin looks forward to providing “stability of leadership” to the School of Art as well as developing a long-term strategic plan.

“I believe that my skills at planning, my experience in many different artistic practices and my understanding of the balance between artistic production and teaching will help me to communicate the needs and accomplishments of the school to the rest of the college and university,” Patin said.

Patin began his academic career teaching drawing, painting, and video art as well as art history and criticism in 1989 at Cornish College in Seattle. After completing his doctorate in art history in 1995 at the University of Washington, he became an assistant professor of art history at Ohio University.

In 2008, Patin will publish a book titled Naturalizing Rhetoric: Environmental Politics and the Visual Poetics of National Parks, Monuments and Wilderness Areas, dealing with the uses of visual language employed in American national parks. He is also working on Nature’s Masterpiece: Naturalizing Culture in the National Parks, investigating land art and museums and their impact on national park visitors.

Patin is excited to relocate to Flagstaff. “The region has a great deal to offer me both personally, with its climate, outdoor recreation and general quality of life, and professionally, as I continue my research on national parks and monuments and Native American art. I am anxious to get there.”