Art Papers magazine released news this morning that Saskia Benjamin, formerly the director of institutional advancement at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (ACAC), is taking the reigns as the publication’s executive director.
Those who’ve worked closely with Benjamin often describe her as purposeful and humble. These qualities will certainly come in handy as she leads an organization that for decades has embodied Atlanta’s relationship with the international art world. The burden of Art Papers is proportional to our ambitions as a regional cultural capital, an intellectual exchange that’s often intensified and complicated by the identity politics of place.
The previous executive director, Sylvie Fortin, also served in the double role of editor-in-chief, a position that Art Papers is now separating once again from the more managerial position. Many readers will remember the days of Jamie Badoud’s tenure as executive director from 2000 to 2007, a time characterized by growth and a greater division of labor between management and the creative side of the publication. (Badoud currently works as executive director of the Hambidge Center.) For now, Cinque Hicks will continue serving as interim editor until a new hire for editorial leadership is announced later this month.
Her professional qualifications include master’s degrees from Georgia Tech and the University of Southern California in urban planning and art history, respectively. Her longtime familiarity with Atlanta’s cultural industry spans back to her undergraduate days studying art history at Emory University, as well as her 15 years in the local dance community as a performer and choreographer. Her nonprofit leadership experience includes service as program manager for the Georgia Conservancy and on several committees for the Atlanta BeltLine.
And in terms of family, Benjamin’s ties to the local scene also run deep. Her husband, artist Scott Ingram, was a 2009 finalist for the Artadia Award and was formerly represented by veteran art dealer Nancy Solomon. Her brother, Lloyd Benjamin, is the owner of Get This! Gallery, located just around the corner from ACAC, where he also has inherited some of Ingram’s old business as a custom framer.
Read more in the press release:
“Art Papers is pleased to announce the hiring of Saskia Benjamin as its new executive director. Benjamin is leaving her position as director of institutional advancement at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center to join Art Papers. Prior to joining ACAC, Benjamin was the growth management program manager for the Georgia Conservancy, and worked for the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology. From 1998-2004, she worked at the High Museum of Art as a registrar, exhibitions coordinator and assistant to the deputy director. She has Masters Degrees in City and Regional Planning (Urban Design) from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and in Art History from the University of Southern California. She graduated summa cum laude from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Latin. Benjamin has been active in her community via the BeltLine, serving as the BeltLine Network’s appointee to the Tax Allocation District Advisory Committee, chairing the Public Art, Architecture, and Historic Preservation committee, as well as the committee on Community Outreach. Benjamin was also an active choreographer and performer within Atlanta’s dance community for fifteen years.
‘I am honored to be the new executive director of Art Papers. This is an exciting time for the organization as we reconnect with Atlanta’s arts community while continuing to expand the national and international reach of the magazine. Art Papers has always had a unique critical voice and perspective and we will build upon that reputation in a meaningful and sustainable way,’ said Benjamin. She will be assisted by former Board member Cinqué Hicks, who is acting editor-in-chief during a transition period. Art Papers’ Board sees significant opportunities to expand and enhance the organization’s programs and is eager to announce a new editor-in-chief by this fall.
‘Saskia is a great fit for managing the future challenges and growth of Art Papers,’ said Board President Robert Brawner. “The Board is energized by our new leadership. We look forward to supporting Saskia, and are focused on our effort to divide key management responsibilities between the executive director leading the overall organization and an editor-in-chief focused on the creative leadership of Art Papers magazine and related programs.
“Art Papers is a non-profit organization dedicated to the examination, development, and definition of art and culture in the world today. Its mission is to provide an independent and accessible forum for the exchange of perspectives on the role of contemporary art as a socially relevant and engaged discourse. This mission is implemented through the publication of Art Papers magazine and the presentation of public programs. Art Papers magazine was founded in 1977 by the non-profit Atlanta Art Workers Coalition and within the year received its first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.