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Marjorie B. Searl, who retired on December 31 as the Gallery’s chief curator, has been honored by the University of Rochester with one of the year’s Witmer Awards for Distinguished Service. The awards, presented on April 21, recognize “outstanding and sustained contributions to the University.”
Last year when he announced her retirement, director Grant Holcomb called Searl “one of the Gallery’s guiding lights for more than 25 years” and cited her recent role as a driving force behind Centennial Sculpture Park.
Fittingly, she has also been recognized by longtime MAG friends Thomas and Marianne Kroon, who established the Marjorie B. Searl Endowment to support the acquisition and conservation of artworks in the park, as well as outdoor community programming.
Curator of American art Jessica Marten has been named acting chief curator.
In this season of change, yet another announcement: On January 1, Susan Daiss left her longtime position as director of education to accept a joint appointment between MAG and UR’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. As a senior associate at the medical school, Daiss’s academic responsibilities will include teaching, scholarship and administrative oversight of the visual arts courses in a new master’s program in medical humanities. At the Gallery, she will administer the program, along with other community health and wellness initiatives. Among them: Meet Me at the MAG, an ongoing collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association.
“This is not a goodbye, but a new chapter for both Susie and the Gallery—a perfect “win-win” on all fronts,” says director Grant Holcomb.
In Daiss’s previous position as director of education, welcome another familiar face—Marlene Hamann-Whitmore, formerly curator of education for interpretation.
Grant Holcomb, the Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director of the Memorial Art Gallery, has announced his retirement as director effective July 1, 2014. Holcomb noted that after an eventful year-long celebration of the Gallery’s 100th anniversary and the successful opening of Centennial Sculpture Park, the timing was right for him, as well as for the Gallery and the University. Board of Managers President Jim Durfee will lead a search committee charged with identifying a successor. Read the press release
The plaza, which opened in October as part of Centennial Sculpture Park, provides increased accessibility for students at the Gallery’s art school, as well as an inviting place to sit and stroll.
Kudos to MAG’s Centennial Sculpture Park, which has received the 2013 Reshaping Rochester Robert Macon Award for Innovation. The award, announced October 16 by the Rochester Regional Community Design Center, recognizes the new sculpture park for its positive impact on people, neighborhoods and the community. Learn more
Pictured: Visitors to this year’s M&T Bank Clothesline Festival enjoying Centennial Sculpture Park. Photo by Richard P. Wersinger.
The Memorial Art Gallery celebrated its 100th birthday with a series of events including the Celestial Centennial gala on October 5; Memory Theatre 2013 exhibition opening on October 6; formal rededication on October 8; public birthday party on October 13; and Director’s Circle Event featuring Dana Gioia, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, on November 8.
Right: Director Grant Holcomb stands in front of Memory, the iconic sculpture donated by MAG founder Emily Sibley Watson, at the October 8 rededication of the Gallery. Photo by Adam Fenster.
Albert Paley’s monumental stainless steel sculpture Soliloquy was installed September 24 under picture-perfect skies. Located near MAG’s Goodman Street entrance in the newly dedicated Cameros Family Plaza, it is the last of four anchor installations commissioned for Centennial Sculpture Park.
Above: Workers harness the seven-ton sculpture before hoisting it into place. Photo by Brandon Vick.
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