WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Smithsonian Institution—comprising nineteen museums, twenty-one libraries, and a zoo—has named historian and curator Lonnie G. Bunch III as its new Secretary. He assumes leadership of the nearly 175 year old institutional constellation following an unanimous board vote. Bunch has been involved with the Smithsonian since the 1990s, serving most recently as the the founding director of the National Museum of African American Art and Culture from its inception under the Bush Administration in the early 2000s through its opening in 2016. He succeeds outgoing Secretary David Skorton on June 16.
JACKSONVILLE—Ylva Rouse, one of the founding curators of the Prospect triennial in New Orleans, has joined MOCA Jacksonville as the museum’s exhibition curator, effective immediately. A New Orleans native, Rouse most recently served as director of Prospect in 2017 and has served as director of Javier Lopez Gallery Art Space in Madrid and curator at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, respectively. In a statement, MOCA Jacksonville director Caitlín Doherty said, “Ylva is a highly accomplished professional with a depth of experience in both the global and national contemporary art worlds, as well as leadership in the implementation of strong regional collaborations.” Doherty continued, “She will serve as a fantastic asset to our organization and our mission to serve as a premiere destination for cutting-edge contemporary art.”
FAYETTEVILLE— As of July 1, artist Gerry Snyder will assume the post of executive director of the University of Arkansas’s School of Art. U of A, the first and only college in the state of Arkansas with an accredited art program, has yet to graduate its first class. The art program was founded in 2017 after a generous gift from the Walton Family Foundation. In addition to his duties as executive director, which include creating a strategic plan and growth strategy for the program, Snyder will also serve as distinguished professor of art. Snyder has served as the inaugural dean of the Pratt Institute’s School since its founding in 2014.
In a university statement, Snyder said, “I look forward to joining the University of Arkansas this summer and working with the talented team of faculty and Chancellor Steinmetz to build this new School of Art and infuse art into curricula that touches all areas of campus.” He continued, “This is truly a unique opportunity and I’m honored to be a part of it as we continue to weave the arts into the fabric of the Northwest Arkansas region, beginning with the growth of the school and the new Windgate Arts and Design District.”
The Windgate Arts and Design District, endowed by a forty million dollar gift from the Windgate Foundation, is a new art and design district which will open in south Fayetteville as an expansion of the school’s J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Hill Avenue Sculpture Complex, providing community programming alongside its U of A functions.
MIAMI—Through a combination of gifts and purchases from PAMM’s Collectors Council, PAMM has reaffirmed its commitment to collecting work by artists with backgrounds in historically underrepresented groups including African Diasporic, Caribbean, Latin American, and the American Latinx experiences. These recent additions include the large-scale oil painting Rwanda 1994 (2014) by Barthélémy Toguo, which documents the horrors of the Rwandan Genocide; Sleepers (2001), the first video work produced by late Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami; a massive spun wool installation by Cecilia Vicuña; and a hanging installation by Teresita Fernandez acquired in the lead up to her retrospective at PAMM, which opens on October 18.
WINSTON-SALEM—The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) announced that, as of June 3, educator and administrator William J. Carpenter will assume the role of executive director of SECCA. The director of the NCMA, Dr. Valerie Hillings, said, “Dr. Carpenter will bring renewed attention to SECCA’s contributions to the field of contemporary art by celebrating its history while emphasizing the multidisciplinary nature of art today and inviting reflection on the ideas that shape our time. ” Carpenter comes to SECCA from High Point University, where he was a professor of English and chair of the Writing Program.
“As a teacher and administrator in higher education, I’ve seen firsthand that engagement with the arts can change lives for the better by helping us invent new ways of seeing ourselves and our world. I’m excited to join SECCA and to help it partner with schools, families, and organizations across the region to strengthen arts education and to connect audiences with artists and scholars,” Carpenter said.
ASHEVILLE— As members of the newly announced curatorial cohort for the Center for Craft, artists Lauren Kalman, Matt Lambert, Kayleigh Perkov and Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy will work with staff to produce the exhibitions, didactic material and catalogues for the 2020 season. Themes for the planned exhibits include queer curatorial strategies, technology based craft practices, and funk ceramics. The curatorial fellowship was developed as an extension of the Windgate Museum Internship Program in 2016 to give emerging curators and artists greater opportunities to develop and explore the future of craft.