James Voorhies Appointed Dean of Fine Arts at California College of the Arts

Photo of James VoorhiesJames Voorhies appointed Dean of Fine Arts

James Voorhies, the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) at Harvard University, has been appointed dean of Fine Arts at California College of the Arts (CCA). He will officially begin at the college on August 15, 2016.

Provost Tammy Rae Carland commented, “I am delighted to welcome Jim to the CCA community. He brings great experience, tremendous leadership skills, and a spirit of collaboration to the college.”

“I look forward to working with him to develop a dynamic vision for our Fine Arts division, which includes fifteen academic programs ranging from painting, sculpture, and photography to traditional crafts programs such as ceramics, glass, and textiles.”

Accomplishments at the Carpenter Center

Since 2013 Voorhies has overseen a contemporary arts program dedicated to the synthesis of art, design, and education through exhibition of existing works, production of new commissions, and support of artist residencies, pursuing a practice of integrating the program into the curriculum at Harvard.

He presented a range of voices to the Harvard community by organizing solo exhibitions and projects by artists such as Martin Beck, Phil Collins, Fernanda Fragateiro, Simon Fujiwara, Margaret Lee, Shahryar Nashat, Lorraine O’Grady, and Kerry Tribe.

Voorhies also cultivated collaborations across the university with institutions including Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Film Archive, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Dance Program, and the Woodberry Poetry Room.

He initiated a long-term partnership with the Berlin-based bookseller and publisher Motto Books to introduce a new bookshop at CCVA, creating a platform for exhibition programming while providing students and visitors access to more than 500 titles on art and culture from around the world. 

In addition, he spearheaded a graphic identity and communication plan featuring a new website, way-finding, email announcements, social media strategy, and publishing program for CCVA.

About James Voorhies

Voorhies holds a PhD in modern and contemporary art history from The Ohio State University, and has taught art history and critical theory at Bennington College in Vermont.

Currently, in addition to leading the Carpenter Center, he teaches contemporary art and curatorial practice in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard.

His writing has appeared in publications by Texte zur Kunst, Frieze, Harvard Design Magazine, Sternberg Press, and Printed Matter as well as many artist monographs and exhibition catalogs.

His book Beyond Objecthood: The Exhibition as a Critical Form since 1968 is forthcoming from MIT Press in 2017.

Bureau for Open Culture

Voorhies is the founder of Bureau for Open Culture (BOC), a curatorial practice, philosophy, and strategy that inhabits and connects with institutions and publishers. BOC makes projects with artists and writers, envisioning intersections among art, design, education, and consumer culture to rethink how institutions build and connect with audiences.

Voorhies was director of exhibitions at Columbus College of Art and Design from 2006 to 2011, and he served as deputy director of the CCA Wattis Institute from 2005 to 2006.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts offers 22 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers BFA, BA, MFA, MA, MBA, BArch, MArch, MAAD, and MDes degrees. It has campuses in San Francisco and Oakland and currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students. CCA students are encouraged to work in an interdisciplinary manner, undertaking projects and collaborations with students in other majors and engaging with outside communities.

Noted alumni include the artists Nathan Oliveira, Jules de Balincourt, Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the Oscar-winning filmmaker Audrey Marrs; the illustrator Tomie de Paola; the conceptual artists Harrell Fletcher, David Ireland, and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas, Michael Vanderbyl, and Gary Hutton.