Dr. Cindy Urrutia was named the new coordinator of the Center for Creativity and the Arts at Fresno State.
Housed in the College of Arts and Humanities, the center is dedicated to engaging diverse communities in artistic and intellectual discovery to understand, transform and inspire the Central Valley.
In addition to overseeing management of the center, Urrutia will coordinate with arts agencies on and off campus to develop programming, curricula, exhibitions and community events.
“I am honored to have been selected as coordinator of the Center of Creativity and Arts at Fresno State,” she said. “I am passionate about the center’s mission and ideals and look forward to working in partnership with the community to explore the important issues facing our region from a cross-disciplinary perspective.”
Urrutia’s expertise is in 20th century American art and culture, African-American art and the influence that Latin American art has had on American artists. She taught art history at several colleges, worked as a private art procurer and curated art shows. Her interests also include photography and Mesoamerican cultures.
“She’s a dynamic scholar and curator. Her interdisciplinary approach to art focuses on her belief that art inspires us and enhances our understanding of ourselves and our world,” said Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State. “Dr. Urrutia believes in the transformative effect of art, and this fuels her vision for consolidating the presence of the Center for Creativity and the Arts in our community.”
Urrutia earned a Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine in visual studies, a master’s degree in art history from California State University, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from Boston University.
The Center for Creativity and the Arts was founded in 2011 thanks to an anonymous gift of $1 million to the College of Arts and Humanities. Since then the center has brought internationally-recognized artists to Fresno State, including author Sandra Cisneros; visual artist Margarita Cabrera; and Guadalupe Rivera Marín, the daughter of celebrated artist Diego Rivera.
“Dr. Urrutia brings new vitality to the Center for Creativity and the Arts,” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “In the upcoming months she will be working with various stakeholders to set a bold, new vision to elevate arts and culture in the Central Valley.”