For Jim Durfee, new president of the Gallery’s Board of Managers, art is a family affair. His younger sister, graphic designer Kathryn D’Amanda, is a long-time Board member who will serve as his vice president. His mother, Jan, is a past Gallery docent. And his daughter, Andrea, is an artist and former Clothesline Merit Award winner.
“We grew up with parents who were excited by art and who encouraged us to appreciate art.” Indeed, one of Durfee’s earliest memories is of painting on the Gallery’s front lawn with his Creative Workshop class.
So it should come as no surprise that Durfee chose a career in the arts. A Columbia-educated architect, he is vice president and design principal at Bergmann Associates, the firm overseeing the city’s ARTWalk extension and University Avenue improvements. He’s also an inveterate painter who recently took his family to Italy, where he relaxed with his sketchbook in some of his favorite Renaissance gardens.
“I’m honored to lead the Gallery through the Centennial year,” says Durfee, who sees MAG’s “great resources, great expertise and commitment, and support from the University of Rochester” as a formula for success. He’s also well positioned to understand the technical challenges of turning the MAG campus into a community resource populated with major works of art. “This fall,” he says, “everything will begin coming together quickly.”