Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Alumnus Mia Hall Named Director of Prestigious Art School

Mia Hall, former furniture and woodworking MFA graduate to head Penland School of Crafts

Alumnus Mia Hall Named Director of Prestigious Art School

By Mara Parker

Alumnus Mia Hall Named New Director

Artist, editor, administrator, and former School of Art and Design alumna, Maria “Mia” Hall, was named incoming director of the renowned Penland School of Crafts near Ashville, North Carolina. Hall, who currently serves as interim chair of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will begin her new tenure on January 1, 2018.

Penland School of Crafts

Located in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, Penland is an international center for craft education, offering short and long term workshops in books & paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, and wood. The school also offers artists’ residencies, community collaboration programs, and a gallery and information center.

From Sweden, to SDSU, to a career in academia

Originally from Sweden, Hall earned both her Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Design, and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Furniture Design from SDSU in 2003 and 2006, respectively. While at SDSU, Hall worked under the tutelage of Professors Emeriti, Wendy Maruyama, and Helen Shirk, whom she largely credits for much of her long-term success as well as for the success of others in her program.

“Their ability to foster personal relationships with their students, very often resulting in life-long friendships, and equipping us with the skills for a professional career in academia made all the difference, “said Hall. “Looking back at the group of 16 graduate students in my program, seven are faculty members at universities, three are department chairs or school directors, two have established their own design businesses and run them full-time, four have full-time employment in a related field, and two are full-time artists who teach occasionally. That is fifteen out of sixteen. Those are pretty impressive program statistics!”

Following the receipt of her Master’s degree, Hall was hired by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she’s taught and served as an administrator for the past 10 years.

Hall is married to metalsmith and educator David Clemons, a long-term artist-in-residence at UALR, and a regular instructor at Penland School of Craft.

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