Message from the President

In late July 2021, we held the second of our graduation ceremonies for the year, and it felt like more of an accomplishment than ever. After this strange year, we were so proud to (finally) celebrate the courage, care, and hard work of our students, faculty, and staff—together, in the Old North Church.

Some of our graduates started before COVID and weathered an abrupt closure with us, staying the course and not losing focus. Some of them came to NBSS in the midst of the crisis, seeing an opportunity for growth and change. Our students are our inspiration.

The quieter and more careful year has provided the School a time to reflect on our values, our history, and where, as NBSS turns 140 years old, we will go next. This will build on the awareness of the year, and the new skills that have developed. We've embraced technology, we've combined the tried-and-true with the experimental, and we've opened up deep work about the culture of our School and the fields for which we train.

While we've looked within as a School, we've also been reaching out, expanding ways for more people to be a part of what we do. Like so many, we engaged online, bringing NBSS together with people from other fields, other places, and other points of view. Later this summer, we'll begin mapping a new strategic plan, and our renewed work on diversity, equity, and inclusion will be a through line for this next chapter.

As we anticipate the fall and improved community health, we look forward to teaching and training with a little more ease, and returning to a more open and fuller in-person School. Restarting and expanding our community programs will be a priority, and across NBSS, we'll advance what has worked well this year, continuing the success of our virtual events, technology-assisted teaching, and online efforts. And still we'll show up, every day, to work in person, by hand. Thank you for being a part of it.

Sarah Turner, President

Sarah Turner

Previous Messages from the President

Steady, Daily Work
Sarah Turner

Message From the President: I would have been proud to write this note to you simply marveling that we made it to the end of 2020 teaching in person with no program closures or serious health concerns at NBSS. That alone is an accomplishment, and I'm grateful for the diligence, care, and resilience that made it possible.

Careful, Yet Expansive
Sarah Turner

Message From the President: Though much is different on the surface this fall, our students and faculty are engaged as ever. Despite the precautions and the quiet, slow work of reopening, there is buoyancy and energy at NBSS. This is the framework for the year ahead, I believe; two simultaneous inclinations to be balanced. While we are protective and careful, reserved, and cautious with our work and resources, happily, we are also in an expansive, experimental, and outward-focused mindset, one that follows the generative opportunities that come with change.

Optimism and Conviction
Sarah Turner

Message From the President: In June, the president typically sends a letter to the NBSS community to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and signal the way ahead. Usually, summer is a transition season, a slowing of pace and rhythm, a reset between semesters. Writing this seems quaint and dreamy now, as nothing about the last months have been typical or marked by gradual transitions. Instead, sudden changes and urgent needs have upended our routines, calling us to reimagine our work and ways.

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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