BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications announces chair and director appointments

The appointment of two new chairs, one new director and one reappointed chair was announced for the College of Fine Arts and Communications. (Nicole Peterson)

Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications Ed Adams appointed two new chairs and one new director and reappointed one chair for the college.

Joe Ostraff will replace Gary Barton as chair of the Department of Art, Diane Reich will replace Kirt Saville as director of the School of Music and Brent Barson will replace Eric Gillett as chair of the Department of Design. All three appointments will be effective July 1.

Additionally, Department of Dance Chair Curt Holman has been reappointed for another three years.

“I have great appreciation for those who have filled these leadership appointments so diligently,” Adams said in a press release. “We have all been blessed by their leadership, and I know they will continue to have a significant impact on the college. We also look forward to the contributions of those in new leadership roles.”

Ostraff, who received his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the University of Washington, came to BYU in 1993 and has primarily taught painting, drawing and advanced studio courses. He has also directed numerous collaborative projects between BYU and international programs. Ostraff received the College of Fine Arts and Communications Excellence in Scholarship/Creative Works award in 2017 and has been awarded the Utah Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship three times.

Reich earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the Indiana University School of Music before coming to BYU in 2007. She served as vocal division coordinator in the BYU School of Music for eight years. During that time, more than 40 of her students have received top placements in regional, national and international competitions or auditions.

Barson earned his bachelor’s degree in graphic design at BYU and his MFA in media design from the Art Center College of Design before returning to BYU as a visiting assistant professor in 2004. Barson has since become the graphic design program leader and received the Randall L. Morgan Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship at BYU in 2014. Barson has also received awards for his opening titles created for a variety of independent films and was recognized at the 2017 London Film Awards for his film “Ghost Beats,” which was awarded Best Animated Film.

Holman received his bachelor’s degree in communications at BYU in 1989 and his master’s degree in dance from BYU in 1996. Holman was a member of the BYU Ballroom Dance Company as an undergraduate and he and his wife later competed professionally as ballroom dancers for seven years. Holman has served on numerous committees during his 25 years as a faculty member at BYU, including ballroom area administrator, associate dance department chair and Ballroom Dance Company artistic director.   

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