Head of Education, Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture
Rebecca Allan’s 25 years of exhibiting art have made her an educator who truly lives what she teaches. Collaborating with scholars, designers, educators and students, Allan leads the development of public programs for the Center’s wide ranging exhibitions, particularly programs that foster an appreciation for the history and meaning of the decorative arts and design. A renowned painter, Allan has been a fellow at the Hermitage Artists Retreat, Centrum Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Dorland Mountain Art Colony. And, her most recent solo exhibitions were presented at Ringling College of Art + Design, Seattle Art Museum Gallery, 2/20 Gallery in NYC, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Allan ranks the continual fight to not be thrown off course by the unpredictable nature of funding, varying trends in the art world, and lack of inspiration on any given day, among her greatest challenges. So what motivates her when things get tough? “Reading the biographies of artists and thinkers such as Bayard Rustin, Leon Golub or Nancy Spero, who have persevered under much more difficult political, social or personal challenges and contributed ideas or works of art that have made an important mark on society,” she says. Allan’s most recent exhibition, Ground/Water at Utah State University last September, explored her own longstanding interest in coastal environments and ecosystems.