New Blood: Cleveland Institute of Art Announces New Faculty Appointments in Ceramics, Illustration, Painting, and Liberal Arts

A ceramicist who is also an industrial designer, an illustrator who loves character development, a writer with a sci-fi bent, and a painter represented by a New York gallery have all been appointed to faculty positions at Cleveland Institute of Art.

The new appointees promise to add additional depth to CIA’s “already strong and dedicated faculty,” said Christopher Whittey, vice president of faculty affairs and chief academic officer. “We are delighted and deeply honored to have four fantastic members joining the ranked faculty.”

Nagelberg Brings Design Emphasis to Ceramics

Artist and designer Seth Nagelberg has been appointed associate professor and the new chair of the Ceramics Department. He comes to CIA from Parsons School of Design, where he spent the past 13 years teaching industrial design.

A graduate of Hartford Art School (BFA) and Cranbrook Academy of Art (MFA), Nagelberg has been widely published in ceramics periodicals and put out a book this year called Batch Manufacturing for Ceramics: Models and Molds, Process to Product. His work has been exhibited across the country, and he has done consultation work for Rookwood Pottery and fabrication for Calvin Klein Collection.

“I choose clay for its properties,” Nagelberg said about his work. “Whether working from ready-made objects or starting from a sketch, I strive to create a cohesive language of forms that inform and inspire new designs. My exploration of manufacturing techniques and technology enable me to connect the past and future of ceramics.”

Nagelberg was appointed after a search that included reviews of more than 50 portfolios, 13 extensive interviews, and visits to campus by the top three candidates, who came for intensive two-day workshops as well as interviews with all interested faculty and students.

“CIA is in the midst of a watershed moment in its physical facilities and its direction as an institution. The committee felt that Seth was the best fit for the future of the ceramics program, the Craft and Design Environment, and the institution,” said Professor William Brouillard, who chaired the search committee. “Seth’s interest in and experience in teaching ceramic design was a major factor in our decision along with his background in sculpture and 3D design.”

Nagelberg was “looking for a program where I could go back into a crafts or arts department, but that was willing to embrace what I was doing with design,” he said. He replaces Judith Salomon, a widely collected artist who retired in May after 39 years of serving on the CIA faculty.

Cleveland-Institute-of-Art-eye Robot HARTER

For Harter, Illustration is inspirational storytelling

Jeff Harter takes on the role of assistant professor and Illustration Department chair after years spent illustrating and animating for two of the best-known arts and entertainment companies in the world: Disney and American Greetings.

At American Greetings, he worked extensively on alternative humor, and also developed an animated show for Disney XD called Packages from Planet X, which drew on his childhood love for sci fi, cartoons and the original Star Wars.

Harter’s first foray into animation was at Disney, where he was tasked with making sure “the animation flowed perfectly” for central characters on several high-profile animated films, like Tarzan (he worked on Jane) and Mulan, where he worked on the title character.

Harter also worked on Winnie the Pooh characters, with whom said he became so familiar that he could see them “from any angle” in his head, an experience that he said ultimately transformed him from an illustrator/animator into “an actor with a pencil.”

“I feel that students are best mentored by individuals aggressively practicing in their fields,” said Whittey.

An avid illustrator from early childhood, Harter was the comic book collector, the kid who watched cartoons as often as possible, and who—along with probably millions of others—felt his whole world tilt on its axis after a single trip to the movie theater in 1977.

“I saw George Lucas’s film Star Wars as a 10 year old, and I was absolutely blown away. I knew I wanted to invent characters and tell inspirational, emotional and funny stories, so illustration was the obvious route for me,” he said.

He earned both his BFA and MFA in Illustration, graduating from the University of Buffalo, and later from Syracuse University.

Harter began teaching at CIA in 2014. His goal with students is to imbue them with a sense of “unstoppability, so that, no matter what happens to them while they are a student or a professional, they will get back up and try again.”

Harter replaces Dominic Scibilia, a professional illustrator and 1972 CIA graduate who taught from 1984 until his retirement in May.

Creative Writer Moody at Home with Artists

Christian Moody is CIA’s new assistant professor of English and creative writing. “A phenomenal writer, Moody joins an already top-notch Liberal Arts faculty,” said Whittey.

Moody describes his own work as “toward the [stranger] end of fiction, where they take place in a world that has maybe small magical elements to it, or a sci fi element.”

When he read the job description for this position, he immediately saw how well CIA would suit him. The school was “looking for someone well versed in popular writing. They mentioned sci fi and fantasy writing. It just seemed perfect, that they wanted someone who was interested in these weird, alternate reality genres that I really like to work in and to read in.”

Perhaps even more significant to his appointment at CIA is that Moody thinks of himself foremost as a creative person, an artist. “So being part of a community where people are talking about how to make things, to make art, sounded like a dream to me,” he said. He says he wants to help CIA students become good storytellers and communicators because these things will benefit both their own careers and the school’s goals.

Moody’s work has appeared in a range of literary journals including Esquire, The Cincinnati Review and Sonora Review, among others. His stories have been anthologized in Best New American Voices and Best American Fantasy. He earned his MFA at Syracuse University and his PhD from the University of Cincinnati.

Clevleand-Institute-of-Art-nikki2 TONY INGRISANO

Ingrisano Promotes Creative Community

Anthony Ingrisano, who was hired for a one-year appointment to the Painting Department last year, now joins the full-time faculty roster at CIA. Ingrisano taught at Briarcliff College for several years and was a contributing essayist to Sharon Louden’s book, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life. He earned his MFA from Pratt Institute.

Academic Affairs Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Christopher Whittey said Ingrisano “will add greatly to an already robust and vibrant Painting Department that can boast a stellar history with its many successful albums.”

Ingrisano says his major goal is to “help students establish a real independent sense of creativity, so that once they’re outside of the school environment, they’re still very much part of the creative community.”

Ingrisano shows with Lesley Heller Workspace on the Lower East Side of New York.


Cindi Deutschman-Ruiz is a freelance writer/editor and instructor of journalism and mass communication. She lives on the West Side of Cleveland.



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