So long, RISD and hello, MCAD! Jay Coogan, the former provost of the Rhode Island School of Design, has been named the 16th president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Coogan will take office in July, succeeding retiring president Michael O’Keefe. Among Coogan’s achievements during his 25-year career at RISD were establishing a dual degree program with Brown University, leading initiatives to link RISD with the greater Providence community, and spearheading the development of the Center for Integrative Technologies, a new interdisciplinary facility to provide studio space for graduate students. At MCAD, he’ll focus on “strengthening the College’s regional connections, building new partnerships, and elevating MCAD’s reputation as a leader in discovering and developing creative talent,” according to a statement issued by the school.
When not leading educational institutions, Coogan is an artist himself. His sculptural work includes this zippy sculptural frieze, a 1998 commission for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Want to get on his good side? Try wearing a fedora. “For many years, hats, in particular fedoras, have been an image basis for many of my sculptures,” notes Coogan on his RISD profile page. “I came to using hats from doing a number of sculptures involving hats, shoes, and gloves, all of which cover the extremities of the body. The hat suggested the most evocative range of interpretations as it is a natural surrogate for the mind.”