Montserrat College of Art
Montserrat College of Art is a four-year residential college
The school was established in 1970 as Montserrat School of Visual Arts and offered a diploma program. The school was founded by the North Shore Community Arts Foundation, a civic group that managed the North Shore Music Theatre. Gloucester artist and former head of the Fine Arts Department at New England School of Art and Design Joseph Jeswald was chosen to serve as the school's first president and North Shore Music Theatre founder Stephen Slane was named managing director. The school was accredited as a college and authorized to award the bachelor of fine arts degree in the mid-1980s, at which time it changed to its current name. In 1992 the school moved to its present location off Cabot Street on Essex Street in the Hardie Building, a renovated 19th century school building that serves as the center of the campus. In 2016, the college campus consists of twelve academic and residential owned or leased buildings in and around historic, downtown Beverly, MA, a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean.
Currently, the campus includes the central Hardie Building located on 23 Essex Street; 248 Cabot street, which is home to liberal arts courses, senior illustration studios, and administrative offices; the 301 Gallery which is home to senior studios and the Sculpture department; and apartment-style residence halls. A residence hall, the Helena J. Sturnick Student Residence Village, was also constructed and opened for the start of the fall 2009 semester. The school emphasizes the positives of its small size, which allows more academic attention to the progress of each individual student. Montserrat has an active student body of 370 students as of Fall 2015.
As was widely reported in the press at the time, in early 2015 Montserrat College of Art explored a possible merger with Salem State University, a much larger public institution in a neighboring city. After some months of research and negotiations the proposal was found to be not feasible, and the plan was dropped in summer 2015.
The college hosts annual summer conferences with international involvement and several study abroad opportunities.
The college galleries exhibit the work of prominent international, national and regional contemporary artists and offer free lectures and events intended to take art education beyond the college's classrooms.
Montserrat offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Animation and Interactive Media, Book Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Painting and Drawing, Photography/Video, Printmaking, Sculpture, Self-Designed studies; and a program in Art Education, as well as minors in Art History and Creative Writing. The college has study abroad programs in Viterbo, Italy; Mallorca, Spain; Niigata, Japan; and Cusco, Peru, and also offers non-credit classes for adults, teens, and for-credit summer programs for high school students. The college also has articulation agreements with several community colleges.
- "Four-year art school to open on North Shore". The Boston Globe. March 29, 1970.