Charles Altschul, President of Maine Media Workshops + College, will leave his current position in May, 2012 to become the first Director of Maine Media’s Design and Book Arts Program. “I look forward to working with my staff and Board colleagues to ensure a successful search and seamless transition to new leadership,” said Altschul.
“With the Rockport Elementary School project on hold,” he continued, “I have had time to think about how I can best serve the institution going forward. I am pleased and proud of what the staff, Board and I have accomplished together, and, at the same time, excited by the opportunity to turn my attention to my lifelong passion, Design and Book Arts. This new program is a perfect extension of the school’s existing photography, film and multimedia programs; the written word is such a vital component of media. Artists here will find new ways to express their vision.” Altschul’s plans for the new Design and Books Arts program include a series of publications that explore the combination of photographic imagery with the printed word.
Commenting on Altschul’s five years as President, John Claussen, Chair of the Board, noted, “Charles has led Maine Media through very challenging times. Without his willingness to step forward in 2006 and his tireless leadership ever since, the success story of the past 5 years would not have been possible. The Board has been lucky to have kept him as our President for so long and is thankful that he has agreed to help with the leadership transition and stay significantly involved with the Workshops in the future.”
Altschul became the president of Maine Media in December 2006. During Altschul’s tenure, the school completed the transition from a privately owned, for-profit business that was on the verge of bankruptcy into an ongoing, debt-free, non-profit organization. The school now owns outright its central campus on Camden Street. A successful $1.2 million capital campaign has allowed the school to upgrade its technology, make significant improvements to its campus and facilities and to open a street front gallery that hosts shows of national significance.
With both Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Yale, Altschul joined the faculty of the Yale School of Art in 1988. In 1991, he left and moved to Camden to become Director of Education at the Eastman Kodak Center for Creative Imaging. When Kodak sold the business in 1993, Altschul worked with several art schools, including the Cooper Union in New York, to help them integrate digital technologies into their curricula. In 1997, he created the nation’s first Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Multimedia at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Altschul’s work as an artist stems from contemporary as well as historical perspectives. His photographs have been exhibited widely and published in numerous publications. He has designed and published handcrafted books, most notably an illustrated folio signed by Nobel prizewinning author Samuel Beckett.