Girandola named Art Academy president

Joe Girandola

The Art Academy of Cincinnati’s Board of Trustees has named Joseph Girandola as the college’s next president. He succeeds Mark Grote, who is retiring after one year as interim president and returning to serve on the college’s board.

Girandola currently serves as the interim associate dean of graduate studies and research at the University of Cincinnati in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. 

At DAAP, he secured new funding for creative research and was part of the steering committee for the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub.

“Girandola brings not only the empathetic position of being a practicing artist, but also the experience of being a seasoned higher education administrator,” said Tysonn Betts, chair of the Art Academy’s board of trustees.

The Art Academy, celebrating its 150th anniversary, recently launched initiatives to increase enrollment and transform its campus.

“My vision for the Art Academy’s next chapter is to become an open door for problem-solving in the city through creative practice,” said Girandola.

 “Building upon its amazing history, the Art Academy will look to collaborate with all of the game-changing innovative entities in the region to provide its students with the best possible skills needed to survive in the global creative economy.”

Originally from Baltimore, Girandola is a professional artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally. He served seven years as a DAAP tenured faculty member, most recently as interim associate dean.

Previously, he directed the masters of fine arts program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He also worked and taught in the Art Department of Pomona College and was assistant director for the Santa Fe Art Institute, and he served as the artist residency director at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Girondola has been the recipient of many grants, including a BLINK 2017 Artist Grant, 21C Pitch Night ArtPrize Grant, 3rd Century University of Cincinnati Studio and Materials Grant, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Adolph, and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, Change, Inc. Grant and an Artists Fellowship, Inc. Grant.

He has received artist residency fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, Bemis Center, Santa Fe Art Institute, Caldera Art Residency, and DUCTAC Art Center/Flying House Art Center in Dubai. 

Girandola has lectured nationally and internationally and lives with his partner, Laura Power, and their two sons, Roman and Paolo, in Cincinnati. 

A more extended conversation with Girandola.

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