Plymouth College of Art instals new Vice Principal

Christy Johnson has been appointed ‘to oversee continued innovation’ at the institution

Plymouth College of Art has appointed Christy Johnson as its second Vice Principal. She will be primarily responsible for academic leadership in research, scholarship and pedagogical practice.

As an artist, educator, and academic leader, Christy has worked across international contexts gaining a cross-Atlantic perspective on teaching and learning, particularly an interest in expanded notions of curriculum and how we create frameworks for independent learning within communities of practice.

Most recently, Christy was Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where she led the development of an integrated educational experience across the visual arts areas of Art, Design, Film and Media. She arrived there following 18 years at the University for the Creative Arts at Maidstone and Canterbury. Occupying a range of academic and leadership roles during this time, Christy led the School of Fine Arts as Associate Dean for three years until 2012.


The college’s facilities are some of the best I have seen

Professor Andrew Brewerton said: “We warmly welcome Christy’s contribution to Plymouth College of Art’s senior leadership team at a time of dynamic ongoing development in the work of the College, both as a creative academic community and as a catalyst for social and economic impact in and beyond Plymouth. Christy brings interesting transatlantic perspectives on academic leadership, curriculum development and contemporary practice that further extend the international scope of our work which, to date, has focused principally upon the Far East.”

California-born Christy said: “Plymouth College of Art is one of the last remaining independent art schools in the UK and that’s something to be valued and protected in an age of mergers, takeovers and overly bureaucratic conditions in Higher Education. I’ve lived and worked in London, Seattle and Los Angeles, and I’ve chosen to come to Plymouth College of Art as I want to be part of, and contribute to, the continuum of creative education project. It is not enough to be a maker practitioner – and it is not enough to be a thinker. What the world needs are practical thinkers and thoughtful practitioners, and I believe that Plymouth College of Art is well positioned to lead in sketching out what that overlap might look like.

“The college’s facilities are some of the best I have seen and the commitment to old, new, and emerging technologies refreshing. The college’s mission and socially minded stance on education for the 21st century drew me to the South West, and I am excited to be here.”

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