Message from the President

As we begin a new year – and a new decade – I hope you are engaged in meaningful work with heart and vision for the year ahead.

The start of 2020 marks one full year for me at North Bennet Street School, which gives me a unique vantage point: I'm new enough to retain my perspective from the "outside," but now also have an awareness of the School as an insider. This vantage point gives me a long-range view for NBSS, an opportunity to look to the School's future.

Early on, I learned that NBSS is sturdy and confident – a modest, but powerful force for craft and trades. Over the last year, I met countless students and alumni who demonstrate this through their work, commitment, and passion for what they do. NBSS has done a remarkable job training the next generation of crafts- and tradespeople, preparing them for meaningful lives and rewarding livelihoods.

It's clear the School has long been the antidote to any concern that craft and skilled trades are under threat, or that these intelligences are undervalued or overlooked. Instead, NBSS is proof that good, smart work has relevance for individuals and impact for communities. Looking ahead, I see us as perfectly poised to develop the whole ecosystem of craft and trade, to nourish the interrelated networks of our disciplines, with a vision for what we want our fields to be.

Looking ahead, I see us as perfectly poised to develop the whole ecosystem of craft and trade, to nourish the interrelated networks of our disciplines, with a vision for what we want our fields to be.

How will we do this? As we continue to teach and train for employment, we will educate the next wave of instructors and mentors, developing a diverse pool of leaders for our fields. We will train business owners, employers, and entrepreneurs in craft and skilled trades—those who take the efforts of individuals further. We will cultivate clients and partners, while engaging new philanthropic supporters. We will convene thought leaders and advocates, providing a platform for cultural conversations about craft and trade. We'll do all of this across both existing programs and new efforts and we'll reach locally, nationally, and internationally.

NBSS has been an integral part of the community since 1881, contributing to our city, region, and beyond. As we step into a new decade, the School will continue to be a leader in building diverse and inclusive disciplines, aware of the many roles it takes for fields to flourish. In 2020 – and stretching into the new decade – we'll develop these efforts as we always have: with steady, daily work, talented students, strong partners, and the optimism that comes from making things both practical and possible.

I look forward to staying in touch in the New Year. As an essential member of our community of crafts- and tradespeople – and the broader ecosystem of our interrelated fields – I hope you'll join NBSS in these ambitious endeavors.

Sarah Turner, President

Sarah Turner

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Sights on the Horizon
Sarah Turner

Message From the President: NBSS is known for preparing students for work and for working-lives. It is a school known for teaching practical application and usefulness, coupled with integrity and beauty. Like our new graduates, we will keep our sights on the horizon, remembering that our efforts will aggregate. This is how you build a life, a livelihood, a School: effort by effort, over time.

About Sarah

As an educator, leading from both the office and the studio, Sarah has worked at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, the State University of New York at New Paltz and the Oregon College of Art and Craft. As the Dean at Cranbrook, she directed the Academic Programs of the Academy, including a ‘public-lecture-as-variety-show’ series, and a Critical Studies + Humanities residential teaching fellowship, which she established in 2009. Sarah has also worked extensively in the areas of student success, from enrollment and admissions to developing opportunities for students and alumni. She has lectured widely, regularly serves as a guest critic to studio programs, and has organized exhibitions on contemporary craft and design in the US and abroad. In 2005, Sarah was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the Netherlands to research Dutch contemporary applied art.

In addition to her work in education, Sarah has maintained a studio practice rooted in craft. Trained initially in metalsmithing and jewelry, her work has ranged from woodworking to weaving to printmaking – always with a focus on the meanings inherent to objects and materials. Her artwork has been included in exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Galerie Noel Guymarc’h in Montreal, and The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston.

Sarah has been a volunteer and advisor for a variety of organizations, including the Southeast Michigan Fulbright Association, the Vermont YWCA, the Art Jewelry Forum, and the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

Born and raised in Ohio, Sarah received a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Smith College and a Certificate in Metalsmithing from the Oregon College of Art & Craft. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art.


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