Assistant/Associate Professor, Illustration - Rhode Island School of Design in Providence Rhode Island

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Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island

United States

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Detailed Job Description

Rhode Island School of Design is seeking an active practitioner and educator to join its Illustration program.

The successful candidate will demonstrate commitment and excellence in undergraduate teaching as well as interest in graduate education as a possible area of exploration and growth for the department. While recognizing the deep roots of RISD Illustration in traditional media and illustrative applications, candidates should fully consider emerging technologies, including interactive narrative, as integral to teaching and practice. An interest in elevating the level of critical discourse about the profession is also highly desirable, with commitment to innovative and exciting visual communication as the primary aim of illustration practice. Candidates will ideally be suited to teach in the following areas: all levels (sophomore to senior) of illustration concepts; digital media/interactive narrative and design; illustration history and the development of critical perspective for the field.

Service to the Department and College are expected of all full time faculty, and the successful candidate will contribute to the intellectual profile of the Department, working alongside colleagues in the development of new pedagogical directions and the most comprehensive educational experience for Illustration majors, while recognizing the program's commitment to a broad-based curriculum with a robust drawing and painting component. Student advising, serving on Department committees, full engagement in faculty dialogue, and outreach to students in both the Department and the broader RISD community will be integral to the position.


RISD Illustration is the largest department at the College, with approximately 300 undergraduate students and more than 40 faculty, ten of whom are full-time with the Department. The Department has long identified itself with the Fine Arts Division of the College, the result of a commitment to the notion of illustrator as master of both content and aesthetic form.

RISD's Illustration department curriculum is broad-based and eclectic, traversing a number of media and disciplinary applications toward visual communication. Because Illustration is defined by purpose or intention rather than medium or application, it encompasses carefully composed single images in all media, sequential imagery in print and video as well as digitally-based interaction with the viewer. Illustrators tell stories, highlight political and social issues, and visualize scientific concepts. Through the interaction of style, content and material, the illustrator seeks to encapsulate and anticipate contemporary cultural trends.

The professional charge of the illustrator is to effectively communicate a specific concept or narrative to the viewer through the poetic synthesis of idea and image. Memorable illustration, however, goes beyond this charge and, through metaphor, pointed ambiguity and cultural reference, forges ties of meaning with broader subjective concerns in the viewer's imagination. The ability to tap into these associative connections, extending the narrative thread beyond the literal text, is the art of a great illustrator.

RISD Illustration pedagogically stresses an art form of complexity, depth and nuance: poetic concept made visible. We acknowledge the continuing relevance of traditional media in educating our student's eye and taste. At the same time we embrace the rapidly changing professional landscape that will confront our students, making use of exciting new media options for the delivery of visual narrative and poetic concept. It is our ambition and our charge now to define the illustration of the future.  


The successful candidate will have a minimum of 3 years of teaching experience at the college level. An MFA and/or extensive teaching and professional practice are preferable. Candidates should have a record of contributions to the global dialogue about the field. A record of professional accomplishment in one or more areas of practice is required.

Note: Rank will be dependent on substantial teaching experience, experience with curriculum design at the departmental level and a strong record of professional achievement.  

Other Requirements

The fullĀ­time faculty teaching load is six courses a year, comprised of a combination of sophomore through graduate level courses. In addition to teaching, fullĀ­ time faculty are expected to maintain a professional practice, serve on college committees, advise students, participate in curriculum development and other departmental activities and projects, and contribute to the vibrancy of the intellectual life of the college.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience in teaching, scholarship, professional practice, or service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.  

Keyword Phrases

  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Illustration
  • Creative, studio-based education
  • Diversity & Inclusivity are fundamental
  • flexible thinking & risk-taking
  • Art (generic)
  • Design (generic)
  • Digital Arts
Employment Type:Faculty
Degree Required: Not Specified
Experience: See Job Description
Level of Job: Associate Professor
Assistant Professor
Type of Faculty:Not Specified
Salary: Not Specified
Type of School:4 - Year / Masters Institution
Application Requirements: See Job Description