Office: Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Room 103
With more than 40 years of experience in the visual arts, Mr. Willard’s career has included, university teaching appointments, administration, fundraising and community arts leadership. Prior to assuming his position as Department Head for Art, Theatre and Dance in 2013, he was the Executive Director of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, a nationally recognized art school located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Prior to Arrowmont, he was at the University of Texas at Austin, and responsible for various administrative functions within the Department of Art and Art History. Additionally, he taught graduate seminars, and assisted the department through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation process.
Educated at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (BFA ‘74), and at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia (MFA ‘76), he continued his research in glass in the late 1970s as a Fulbright Scholar in the United Kingdom. Following his year abroad, he was appointed in 1977 as an Assistant Professor to head the glass program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A glass artist, who developed fused art glass processes, he exhibited his artwork nationally and internationally, and is represented in the collections of the Corning Museum of Glass in New York, National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., the Yamaha Company in Tokyo, the Lobmyer Collection in Vienna and the Dudley Museum in the United Kingdom. In addition to his exhibitions, he also conceived, curated, directed and secured National Endowment for the Arts funding for a number of art exhibitions, including Larry Bell: New Work, Northwest Furniture Today and Contemporary Glass: A Decade Apart.
Mr. Willard has been a community leader, and arts advocate throughout his career, graduating from a number of community leadership programs, and served on numerous local, national, statewide, and national arts boards.