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Ringling College Names Joe Fig New Head of Fine Arts

Ringling College Names Joe Fig New Head of Fine Arts

Ringling College of Art and Design introduces Joe Fig, the new department head for both the Fine Arts and the Visual Studies programs. Fig started at the College this August and has big plans for his departments.

"I'm thrilled and excited to be at Ringling College and to become involved with the greater Sarasota arts community," says Fig. "The College and Fine Arts program has such a prestigious history, I hope I can add to that, keeping the students' best interests in mind."

Fig brings to Ringling College extensive teaching experience, having spent time at School of Visual Arts; Lesley University, Art Institute of Boston; and University of Hartford, Hartford Art School. He has been a guest lecturer and visiting artist at over twenty-five institutions across the country, and he authored two books, Inside the Artist's Studio and Inside the Painter's Studio.

Most recently, Fig and director Jonathan Napolitano released his documentary, Fig's Representation, earlier this month. This short film centers on Fig's process of recreating artists and their studios in miniature form. So far, it has been officially selected by the following:

- 2017 Aspen Shortsfest (World Premiere)
- 2017 Rhode Island International Film Festival
- 2017 Nashville Film Festival
- 2017 Tacoma Film Festival
- 2017 New Haven Documentary Film Festival

"We are honored to welcome Joe to Ringling College and excited for his plans for the Fine Arts and Visual Studies programs," remarks Dr. Peter McAllister, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ringling College. "As an artist, author, scholar, and educator, Joe is a visionary, and we can't wait to see what he has in store for our students."

Fig was invited to give a public talk about his work at the Sarasota Museum of Art, a division of Ringling College, in November of 2016. This provided the College community and the community at large an opportunity to get to know more about Fig's creative practice. "We are big fans of Joe's work," says Anne-Marie Russell, Executive Director for the Sarasota Museum of Art. "He's not only an extraordinary artist, he is an inspiring, gracious teacher and he is deeply respected by other artists. It's a great testament to the quality and direction of the College that we were able to entice such a respected artist and thought leader to join our faculty, and we are looking forward to partnering with his departments to build on the excellent fine arts legacy at Ringling College."

Fig earned his BFA and MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York. He is known for work that explores the creative process and the spaces where art is made. His paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, and videos have been exhibited nationally and internationally with over thirty solo and fifty group exhibitions.

His work can be found in numerous museums and leading private collections including the Parrish Museum, Norton Museum, New Museum and the Fogg Museum. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Artforum, Art in America, ArtNews and Modern Painters as well as several international magazines. He is represented by Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York. Visit for more information.

For a more casual conversation with Joe Fig, read our blog post, "7 Questions with Joe Fig," conducted, written, and illustrated by Kristen Camisa (Illustration, '18) at

For 85 years, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ten disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College's rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. Go to for more.

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