Rick Johnson has been named the new director of the Lamar Dodd School of Art’s Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy. He will assume the position in January 2006. Johnson has been at UGA for 33 years-26 as a faculty member in the art school, where he has taught book arts, printmaking, graphic design and photography, and eight in student administration.
“For the past seven years, Rick Johnson has served as the associate director of the School of Art and has done a remarkable job working with the students, faculty and staff,” says Carmon Colangelo, director of the art school. “Rick is widely known to be one of the students’ favorite teachers and is a great person to work with. He also demonstrates a clear sense of vision and passion for the Cortona program.”
A nationally recognized book artist and graphic designer, Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Louisiana State University in 1969 and his master’s degree in graphic design from UGA in 1976. In addition to being a student in the Cortona program, Johnson has taught in the Cortona program on seven different occasions since 1984.
“With his experience and affection for the program, I can’t imagine anyone better qualified to take over,” says R.G. Brown, who has directed the Cortona program since 1998. “I know he will take the program to a higher level.”
The Cortona Studies Abroad Program provides an opportunity for art students who wish to combine international travel with an intensive studio and classroom experience. The medieval hill town of Cortona offers a rich historical environment where students can easily integrate with the lifestyle of a typical Italian community.
“Rick Johnson will make an ideal director for the Cortona program,” says Franklin College Associate Dean Hugh Ruppersburg. “His enthusiasm and energy, along with his many years of experience, will help the program continue to build on its record of excellence as the oldest and among the most distinguished of UGA study-abroad programs. Cortona is a unique resource that has contributed to the university’s national reputation. Rick will honor and strengthen the goals of this valuable program.”