University appoints new Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music
The University of Melbourne has appointed Professor Marie Sierra as the new Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, home of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Professor Sierra joins the University following the retirement of current Dean, Professor Barry Conyngham, who will be leaving after 10 years of distinguished service.
Professor Sierra, who has a 30-year career in the arts, has recently served as Deputy Dean of the University of NSW Faculty of Art and Design for six years. Prior to this, she was the Head of the Tasmanian College of the Arts at the University of Tasmania, embracing fine arts, theatre and the conservatorium of music.
Earlier, Professor Sierra was Associate Professor in Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, where she led Sculpture and Spatial Practice, the higher degree research program for Fine Art, and also served as Associate Dean Research. Her practice, and her research, explores the intersection of art and nature.
Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell welcomed Professor Sierra back to the University of Melbourne.
“Professor Sierra is a visual artist and arts writer and a noted researcher," Professor Maskell said. "She is a former Chair and current Treasurer of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools, and is also Treasurer of the Deans and Directors of Creative Arts, a peak body which represents all the creative arts.
“Professor Sierra brings a strong track record as an academic leader who delivers excellence in research and education in the vital field of the creative and fine arts. She has four Category 1 grants in creative arts. I am delighted to have someone of Professor Sierra’s experience in visual art, theatre and music training and research at our University.”
Professor Sierra said she was excited to take up the role of Dean.
“It is a privilege to return to the faculty at a time such as this," she said. "In many ways a fine arts and music education has never been more important to how we live our lives. Not only do our artists and musicians challenge how we perceive our world, but our students, researchers and staff have a vital role to play in reshaping and reimagining the arts sector post the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Professor Maskell thanked Professor Conyngham for his leadership and visionary thinking to create a world-class fine arts and music institute and help shape an amazing campus at Southbank.
“I want to pay tribute to Barry for his outstanding work and commitment that has left an incredibly positive legacy across the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music," Professor Maskell said.
Professor Sierra will commence in January 2021.