Title: Artist, Educator
Location: Savoy, Massachusetts, United States
Preston M. McClanahan, Artist and Educator, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in design and art education.
As a child, Mr. McClanahan loved to draw. After drawing an exception self-portrait at the age of 11, his mother sent him to an art academy for the next two years to hone in on his craft. Later, he attended the Cincinnati Art Academy and Columbia University, to which he attributes finding his appreciation for education. After experiencing some trouble finding a job as a designer, Mr. McClanahan decided to give teaching a sincere try, as opposed to doing it on and off as he had in the past. In 1972, he applied for a position at the Rhode Island School of Design. He was hired and found that not only did he have an appreciation for education, but that he loved being an educator. He taught for 26 years, which earned him the title of professor emeritus.
In light of his accomplishments, Mr. McClanahan has been lauded multiple times. He has been a grantee of several professional organizations, including the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Rhode Island Community Foundation. Additionally, in 1988, he was given the Famous Person Award at the Kanawha County Bicentennial in Charleston, West Virginia. Upon his retirement, he was given the key to the city from the mayor, which was an exceptional honor. An active member of his community as well, he is a member of the American Institute of Graphics.
Outside of his educational endeavors, Mr. McClanahan has worked as a design consultant for several major institutions throughout his career. In the early 1960s, he loaned his expertise to the Museum of Primitive Art and the New York Medical College, both in New York City. In the following years, he earned the opportunity to design exhibitions at the American Museum of Natural History, which was an amazing experience. Additionally, Mr. McClanahan provided his artistic insights to film in his role as the producer and director of the documentary films, “Zardis,” and “Conversations with Paul Rand.” Furthermore, he found success as an author by contributing myriad articles to professional journals throughout his career.
As a testament to his success, Mr. McClanahan is featured in the 24th edition of Who’s Who in the East. More recently, in 2019, he earned the honorable Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
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