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The Milton Measure

Departing Faculty: Maggie Stark

by Ethan Furdak on Friday, June 9th, 2017

Following today’s graduation ceremony, our community will be saying goodbye to a beloved faculty member: Ms. Stark. During her thirty-six years at Milton, Ms. Stark transformed the 3D arts program and infused her own passions into the curriculum.

In 1981, Ms. Stark, then in her twenties, came to Milton to work as an art teacher for the 7th and 9th grades. She later began to focus her teaching on the upper school after being asked to lead an architecture course. 3D art has long been Ms. Stark’s passion. She worked only part time so that she could practice art independently as well, but she always preferred to connect her own interests with those of her students. As time progressed, Ms. Stark expanded her artistic range into architecture, sculpture, and other 3D forms.

One of Ms. Stark’s more recent projects has been in art film. She creates her own theatrical stage sets and then films her actors interacting with them over various different scenes. Her main aim with her films is to showcase the passage of time and its effect on the characters. She stages these films in King Theater and has mainly used Milton alumni as actors. Although these projects are separate from her teaching career and not in collaboration with the school, Ms. Stark greatly values the connection between her two paths and frequently finds one lending itself to the other.

In reflection on her work at Milton, Ms. Stark says, “I have great affection and gratitude for the school.” She is reluctant to use the term “retirement” as she will remain an independent artist and keep her connections with this school. She has spent the majority of her life as a member of the community, and her two children attended Milton from kindergarten until they graduated in the classes of 2002 and 2005. Ms. Stark claims that teaching at Milton has urged her to develop her artistic techniques and to incorporate statements of social circumstance into her work. Following her departure, she will be succeeded by Ms. Swain and Mr. McDermott, an addition to the faculty next year.

Ms. Stark is genuinely excited for the new, young leadership of the 3D arts, saying that “the new guard of the program will bring incredible energy and foresight.” She places great importance on the influential aspect of art and wants the curriculum she once led to stay in touch with current events. Her goal is to diversify the arts as much as possible. During her nine years working in the Nesto Gallery, Ms. Stark tried to bring in a vast range of exhibits that could appeal to and represent the student body. She notes that by simply displaying artwork of different media, the Gallery can show the diversity of the artists themselves and inspire Milton students.

Because she values the principle of awareness, Ms. Stark has admired the student actions occurring on campus in the past few weeks. She states that the “ground up, not top down, influence is wonderful.” She employs these same tactics in her classrooms, wanting her students to find motivation from their own lives and to educate the community through their work. She strongly believes in a bright future for the arts program in the hands of its new leaders. After thirty-six years, she has seen the Milton community evolve and knows that it will continue to do so in her absence. With her departure, Ms. Stark wishes to share a final message of encouragement to the community: “Milton is fluid; there is no stasis. Constant change will keep the institution healthy.” Loved by her students and a great artist herself, Ms. Stark will be dearly missed.

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Posted by Ethan Furdak on Jun 9 2017. Filed under More News, News, Recent News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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