ENMU introduces new dean of fine arts

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

Eastern New Mexico University’s new dean of fine arts sees art as what makes people most human and most special, he said.

Joseph Kline is moving to ENMU from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga. While he began acting in college, Kline said he has always been an artist by nature.

“Art is a mechanism to reveal the divine light that is in every human,” Kline said.

Thinking about ENMU, Kline said he didn’t know if he was more impressed by the administration, faculty or students when he visited campus. He said everyone was positive and held good goals, and there was a sense of community.

“I think the first thing I really need to do is enmesh myself in the college,” Kline said of his plans.

The new dean wants to get to know people, especially department chairmen because student success depends so much on them, he said.

Kline is also looking forward to discovering new occasions for artists to work together and move art forward.

“As the world gets more advanced technologically, we need to seize the opportunities that technology gives to us and use these in our art making, our adventure to reveal the truth,” he said.

In addition, Kline wants to engage the community in fine arts. He sees the performing arts, where his background lies, as the way to accomplish that goal, and hopes to offer top-flight productions and, possibly, new events.

Kline holds a doctorate in fine arts from Texas Tech University and a Master of Fine Arts from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. The Philadelphia native earned a Bachelor of Arts in performing art from Colorado State University.

In his professional life, Kline has worked in theater and television as an actor, director, playwright and theater producer, as well as teaching. He acted at the Denver Center, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Kline also once toured Russia for about a month with a play he wrote, “The Angels’ Share,” with Barter Theatre in Virginia.