Mark Towner, Dean
School of Visual and Performing Arts
Office Location: Center for the Arts
Office Number: VPAC 104
Mark Towner was appointed Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts September 2000. Previously, he held academic appointments at The University of Iowa, St. Ambrose University, Saint Mary's College at Notre Dame, Ohio University, and Wayne State University. Additionally, he held administrative positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Northeast Document Conservation Center, American Craft Museum, and Davenport Museum of Art.
Mr. Towner received his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, where his studies included aesthetics, photography, histories of photography and film, and printmaking. He received his B.A. from Columbia College, where he focused on two disciplines; museum studies and photography. He also studied filmmaking, grant writing, history of photography, and creative writing. Dean Towner continued his education at the American Law Institute-American Bar Association, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The International Center of Photography, and Visual Studies Workshop. A firm believer in internships, he has student intern experience at Light Gallery, Inc., New York and The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography.
His participation in national conferences and panels includes the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois-Iowa Art Education Conference, the Society for Photographic Education, and the Iowa Museum Association. He has also been an invited guest speaker at many colleges and museums. Dean Towner has curated exhibitions or coordinated local venues relating to contemporary issues in the arts, including, Wellness, Disease & The Visual Art;, Subjective Truths: Six Photographers; The Face of Breast Cancer: A Photographic Essay; Three Decades of Midwestern Photograph;, Faith Ringgold: 25 Year Survey;, A Different War: Vietnam In Art; Judaica: Paintings by Hilu & Ceramics by Lipnick; and Liberty In the Americas: Art & Politics. A few of his publications include Printed Pleasure: Published Pain, The Arts in Healing, Sex Wars: Photography On the Frontlines, and Megalopolis and articles on Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Bea Nettles, Nathan Lerner, Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry.
As a practicing artist Mark Towner continues to exhibit his art. In addition to shows at Endicott College, his works have been included in solo and group exhibitions at Des Moines Art Center, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH, Fort Wayne Art Museum, Illinois State Museum, and in New York City Towner has exhibited at Bond Gallery, Trabia-MacAfee Gallery, Circlework Visions and PACA Gallery.
A few of the successful grants which Mr. Towner has authored or co-authored include; the N.E.A., U.S. Department of Education, Getty Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Massachusetts Cultural Council.