Visual Arts Department
Member of the Faculty, 1980–2017
Inspired by the social change sweeping college campuses in the late ’60s, Paul Menneg first taught at the Verde Valley School in Arizona before coming to Milton. From his first moment in the ceramics area of Warren Hall, Paul personalized his spaces and made himself available to his students. He has stayed close to them and to the School’s graduates. And those students-turned-alumni have experienced the laughter, sense of inner calm, and love of the absurd that animates Paul’s everyday life. They know him as a kind man.
Paul helped Milton progress from its groundbreaking Arts Program diploma requirement to a full complement of semester electives. He established a challenging standard as the department’s primary teacher of ceramics and sculpture. Over time, his students won first prizes in New England competitions and demonstrated that they could create
works of art that could be called professional. Informed by Paul’s love of surrealism, these pieces were a surprise and delight to all, as a life-sized torso acquired a bird’s nest and tree branches for a head, as sculptors transformed found objects into “windows of vulnerability,” and as others created metamorphoses of one form into another. Paul’s students embraced “creative process” in numerous ways, as they constructed cardboard boats to achieve a “Victory at Sea” in Milton’s swimming pool.
In the 1980s, the visual arts department initiated the process that led to the construction of the Kellner Center and ultimately to the department’s current home. Paul embraced this long effort and believed as much as anyone in the commitment to creativity that this project would mean. In the politics that sometimes came into play, Paul remained dedicated to the “cause of art,” understanding that something precious was always at stake: enabling students to find their expressive voices, as an essential part of growing up. His students did grow— many still creating in the ways this dedicated teacher showed them how to do.
Paul shared his 37 years at Milton with his spouse and fellow art instructor Maggie Stark, and with their two children, Emilie and Edie. We will remember Paul on campus for his warm sense of humor and his clear-eyed honesty—affirming what Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan once said: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
Former Visual Arts Department Chair