November 3, 2017

Queer|Art Partners with HBO for Inaugural LGBTQ Art Prize

Catherine Opie, Self-Portrait/Cutting, 1993.

Queer|Art, the New York–based nonprofit established in 2009 to support the LGBTQ community, has teamed up with HBO to launch its first annual Queer|Art|Prize. Photographer Catherine Opie and multimedia artist Reina Gossett were recognized for their work addressing queer culture at a ceremony at Manhattan’s Hudson Mercantile on Thursday night. Both artists will receive $10,000.

Opie was honored with a Sustained Achievement award. Born in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1961, Opie uses her practice to explore the many facets of queer American identity and community. After receiving the prize, she addressed the crowd, saying, “‘Sustainable achievement’ right now is an interesting thing to think about in our life. After thirty years of making work in relationship to my own identity as a lesbian, or radical dyke, so to speak, sustainable achievement should be thought about not in terms of myself as an artist, but what we all can do to sustain visibility within our own community.”

She continued, “We’ve had a horrendous year of Trump and his administration—we are looking at more hate crimes than we would’ve imagined we would witness right after getting the right to get married, and some sense of equality. When I think about Sustainable Achievement, I think, ‘It’s great, I’ve worked really hard, I’ve achieved, and I’m glad I’m being recognized for it,’ but then I also feel that our work isn’t done whatsoever . . . I want to raise a glass for us to continue to sustain the ability to have visibility within our communities, for us to teach our teenagers that it’s safe to come out, for us to work together not only as artists but as activists to continue in this movement that we all gathered for in the beginning of the AIDS crisis and that we need to carry forward.”

November 3, 2017

Cleveland Museum of Art Aims to Acquire $1 Billion Worth of Art as Part of New Strategic Plan

The Cleveland Museum of Art.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has announced a new strategic plan that will serve as a road map for the institution to follow over the next ten years. Dubbed “Making Art Matter: A Strategic Framework for Our Second Century,” the plan aims to acquire $1 billion worth of art through donations and purchases, grow the museum’s endowment from $750 million to $1.25 billion, and increase attendance from its average of 630,000 visitors per year to one million.

“Since the conclusion of our centennial late last year, the museum’s trustees and staff have been engaged in a rigorous strategic planning process, with extensive input from both volunteers and its community partners,” director and president William M. Griswold said. “The result is an ambitious plan that will position the museum for a second century of growth. The plan will support the creation of transformative experiences through art, advancing new and existing audiences’ understanding and appreciation of the museum’s truly extraordinary collection.”

The museum will also work toward diversifying its audience, doubling community support to $15 million per year by expanding membership and annual giving, and extending its reach by partnering with the Case Reserve University to establish an arts institute.

November 3, 2017

MCA Denver Campaigns to Raise $18 Million for Renovation

A design rendering of a renovated upper room at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Photo: Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

MCA Denver has announced that is working to raise $18 million to renovate its ten-year-old David Adjaye–designed building, expand its programming, launch a civic art initiative, and bolster the museum’s endowment, John Wenzel of the Denver Post reports.

The institution launched the fundraising campaign several months ago and has already secured $13 million, about 72 percent of its goal. A lead gift of $5 million was donated by board chair Mike Fries, the CEO of Liberty Global, and his wife, Michelle.

Since MCA Denver’s attendance has doubled since 2014—it has welcomed more than 75,000 visitors this past year, the majority of whom were between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four—its renovations will include additional space for teen programming and other public events to cater to its audience, as well as a new performance stage on its roof and an upgraded entrance and reception area.

November 3, 2017

Pérez Art Museum Miami Appoints New Board President and Adds New Trustee

Gregory C. Ferrero and Alia Tutor. Photo: Pérez Art Museum Miami

The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has elected Gregory C. Ferrero as president of its board and named Alia Tutor as a new trustee. Ferrero is a manager of a domestic and Latin American wealth management business in Florida. He succeeds Jeff Krinsky, who served as president for three years. Under Krinsky’s leadership, the museum acquired a number of significant works, created new endowments, integrated new technology, and welcomed its millionth visitor.

“The PAMM family is thrilled to have Greg Ferrero as its new president,” said Aaron Podhurst, chair of PAMM’s board of trustees. “Greg is a trusted advisor to some of the wealthiest families in the world. He has always been dedicated to helping the community as a volunteer. His dedication to the arts will help PAMM and all of the cultural institutions as they work together to make South Florida a better place to live.”

Tutor is a philanthropist and humanitarian, and established the Alia Tutor Chair in Reproductive Medicine at University of Southern California. She is also a member of several boards, including the Southern California regional board of directors for UNICEF, the board of trustees for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the board of trustees of the Aspen Music Festival and School.

November 3, 2017

Brooklyn Museum Names Margarita Karasoulas Assistant Curator of American Art

Margarita Karasoulas.

The Brooklyn Museum has announced the appointment of Margarita Karasoulas as its new assistant curator of American art. Karasoulas has previously held curatorial positions at the Delaware Art Museum, the Bruce Museum, and Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Most recently, she curated “Electric Paris” (2016) at the Bruce Museum and “The Puzzling World of John Sloan” (2015) at the Delaware Art Museum. Karasoulas is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of art history at the University of Delaware and specializes in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American art.

November 3, 2017

Art League Houston Executive Director Resigns after Five Months

The Art League Houston has announced that executive director Kheli R. Willetts is stepping down after only five months at the organization, ||Glasstire| reports. Willetts was hired to lead the institution in May, and she began her tenure on June 1. She succeeded Michael Peranteau, who resigned after five years.

Prior to joining the Art League Houston, Willetts was an independent arts consultant in Houston. In the fall of 2016, she was named the inaugural director of the Houston Museum of African American Culture but left the post after less than a year. Previously, she served as the executive director of the Community Folk Art Center at Syracuse University in New York as well as a professor in the university’s department of African American studies, focusing on the practice of African American art history and film.

November 3, 2017

Center for Curatorial Leadership Announces 2018 Fellows

The Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York has selected twelve curators to participate in its annual fellowship program for 2018. The incoming class of fellows includes Jose Carlos Diaz, the chief curator of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; Jodi Hauptman, senior curator of the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and Mia Locks, cocurator of the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

“The 2018 cohort exemplifies a commitment to scholarly excellence, collaborative thinking, and inclusive practices within museums and the visual arts,” the center said in a statement. In January, the fellows will take two weeks of classes at the center before starting residencies with directors of museums across the United States. They will also contribute to the development of the organization’s Diversity Mentoring Initiative, which aims to increase diversity in the arts.

The eleventh fellowship class is as follows:

November 2, 2017

Former Studio Assistant Accused of Stealing Artist’s Works

Sean Scully in his Barcelona studio with the works Wall of light Pink Grey Sky, 2011, Red and Black, 2013 and Barcelona Red Black Pink, 2013. Photo: Nick Ballon Courtesy: Sean Scully

A former assistant of painter Sean Scully has been arrested for allegedly stealing the artist’s works, Colin Moynihan of the New York Times reports. Arturo Rucci was arraigned in a Manhattan district court on Friday and was charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

Scully first alerted the police about the possible theft of his works after Bonhams contacted him about one of his pieces in early September. The auction house wanted the artist to confirm details about the painting before it went under the hammer in an upcoming auction. The piece looked similar to other works by Scully, but according to the artist, “the composition was off.”

Following an investigation, Scully suspects that Rucci took around half a million dollars worth of artworks from his Manhattan storage space. German-born Rucci worked for Scully from 2005 to 2010. After taking paid leave, he returned to Scully’s employment in 2011 but was dismissed that year. Rucci’s works have been shown at the Mixed Greens gallery in Chelsea.

November 2, 2017

New York Nonprofit Eyebeam Moves to Bushwick

Exterior of Eyebeam’s new space at 199 Cook Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Photo: Eyebeam

Eyebeam, an arts and technology incubator established by John S. Johnson nearly twenty years ago, is relocating from Sunset Park to Bushwick, Claire Voon of Hyperallergic reports. The nonprofit, which describes itself as “a place to think creatively about how technology was transforming our society,” collaborates with artists and hosts a residency program, education initiatives, and other public programming.

The organization recently launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise $15,000 in support of transforming its new 6,000-square-foot space at 199 Cook Street into a sustainable home that will engage with society through technology and art and serve as an active hub for the creative community. As of Thursday, November 2, it has raised $3,681.

Prior to moving to Sunset Park, Eyebeam operated in Chelsea for seventeen years. Its new space on the ground floor of a three-story development was built with artists’ needs in mind. The nonprofit’s residents, American Artist, BUFU, Stephanie Dinkins, and Dhruv Mehtora, will move into the building tomorrow. The organization will open its doors to the public on November 30.