PORTLAND – Just weeks after the resignations of all four members of its faculty, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies announced Wednesday the appointment of two new instructors, Andres Gonzalez and Christine Heinz.

Salt officials said they hope to fill the remaining two teaching positions by the end of June. The institute on Congress Street offers intensive, specialized programs in storytelling skills such as writing, radio and photography.

Gonzalez and Heinz each attended a 15-week semester at Salt in 2001. Starting this fall, Gonzalez will teach photography at the institute while Heinz will work as a multimedia instructor.

Executive Director Donna Galluzzo said she is thrilled about the wealth of experience that Gonzalez and Heinz will be able to share with students next semester. “It’s amazing to me what they’ve been able to accomplish in the decade they’ve been away from Salt,” she said.

Since his graduation, Gonzalez has worked everywhere from New York to Turkey, where he went on a Fulbright Scholarship and has spent most of the past four years.

“We’ve had good people in the past bring special things to the table, but we’ve never had someone with a Fulbright,” Galluzzo said. “It really speaks to the caliber of the photographer he is.

“It’s also wonderful to have someone with so much experience working abroad,” Galluzzo said of the Istanbul-based photographer, whose recent projects have taken him to Milan and Ukraine. “His visual aesthetic is really unique. His style, the way he approaches photography, is different.”

Like Gonzalez, Heinz earned a master’s degree from the School of Visual Communications at Ohio University.

“For photography, there are a few really top-notch schools, and Ohio has one of the best reputations in the nation,” Galluzzo said.

Heinz has held a variety of positions, including instructor of multimedia storytelling at the College of the Atlantic and director of operations, marketing and design at Salt. Among her recent projects is a collaboration called “More Than a Rapsheet,” which explores the lives of incarcerated women in Maine. She now lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

“(Heinz) has a real sense of Salt from helping with marketing — a sense of our aesthetic, what we’re looking to accomplish and what we want to provide graduates with to make them competitive,” Galluzzo said.

Gonzalez and Heinz are the first teachers to be hired since the four members of Salt’s faculty decided individually to leave the institute in May. The four had personal reasons for leaving, and concerns about curriculum changes that will shift Salt’s focus to a more multimedia approach.

Galluzzo said Salt will introduce more multimedia but will retain a focus on writing, photography and radio.

“We’re just excited to see what happens in the industries that we’re working with,” she said. “Every few years we’ll reassess our curriculum. Is it delivering what it needs to deliver to help our students be competitive in their industries?”

Bill Nemitz, columnist for The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, is on Salt’s board of directors, as is Deputy Features Editor Karen Beaudoin.

Staff Writer Sophie Gould can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

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