Pamela Miller Ness, President, Gallery Council, 2018-20

Pamela Miller Ness

Pamela is found at each of the many Gallery Council events, at the Admission Desk or volunteering in THE STORE @ MAG. On July 1, 2018, she stepped into the role of Gallery Council President. We wanted to get to know a little more about her with four questions.
Have you always lived in Rochester?
Born in Boston, I’ve spent most of my life in the Boston area and New York City. For many years, my husband, Paul, (who grew up in Rochester) and I visited his parents (and, of course, the MAG), and we chose to retire here in 2010. A great decision!

Favorite work of art at MAG?

While I have many favorite works in the MAG collection, one of my very favorites is one that I remember fondly from my first visit to MAG on a cross-country trip with my parents when I was 15: the Chinese wood sculpture of Guanyin, the Buddhist boddhisatva of compassion. Throughout my adolescence, I had a postcard on my bulletin board, and I frequently visit him when I want to feel a sense of peace and tranquility.
Favorite thing to work on while not at MAG?
My favorite thing to do when not at MAG is crochet. I’ve been doing needlework of all kinds since I was a child, and I love the process of designing and crocheting pieces for a variety of charities. Often my inspiration for color and design comes from works of art.
Favorite Fundraiser?
I love being involved in all of our fundraisers, but my favorite is Art & Treasures because of the sense of purpose and camaraderie among all of the volunteers and pride in the amount we raise for MAG from all the generous donations.

2018-20 Docent Officers

Every year, MAG docents (a word derived from the Latin “to teach”) introduce thousands of schoolchildren and adults to the collection and exhibitions.
Chairperson Jane Colangelo
Vice-Chairperson John Burch
Secretary Ronna Grimes
Treasurer Freddie Amstey
Travel Julie Reynolds & Ellie Stauffer
Hospitality Bonnie Nolan & Dorothy Petrie
Nominating Isabel Kaplan
Past Docent Chair Ellie Kozel

MAG Docent Officers 2018-20

Todd D. Green, President, MAG Board of Managers

Todd has over 30 years of experience working with not-for-profit organizations. Currently, he is Chief Investment Officer of Alesco Advisors. Alesco serves as financial advisor to over 110 charities and advises on $4 billion of client assets. He brings this tremendous breadth and depth of experience to his leadership role at MAG.

Todd Green

Gallery Council Board 2018-19

Gallery Council Officers

1st row L to R: Audry Liao, Susan Senise, Linda Cassata, Anita Bonanni
2nd row: Bonnie Voll, Bev Pickering, Pamela Miller Ness, Jean Ligozio
3rd row: Cecelia Horwitz, Hannah Solky, John Burch, Janet Morris, Lois Sumberg, Paula Carter, Rody Krugh, Elena Shandelov

Absent from the picture: Julia Tan, Mary Crowe, Carmen Zapata, Dee McCreary, Doris Davis-Fritsch.

Lois Sumberg, Gallery Council President, 2016-18

Lois Sumberg

Lois is found at each of the many Gallery Council events, donning her green volunteer apron and a keeping a keen eye on the environment. On July 1, 2016, she stepped into the role of President. We wanted to get to know a little more about her with these four questions:

Have you always lived in Rochester? If not, where else? I have lived in Rochester since 1972. I grew up in Utica, NY. Before coming to Rochester my husband, daughter and I lived in Michigan (East Lansing and Flint).

Favorite work of art at MAG? I have many favorites, but if I have to choose, I would pick John Koch’s Interlude, 1963 (right).

Gallery Council has been your passion for quite some time. What is your favorite thing to work on when not working at MAG? I’d have to say my garden, although I never have enough time and am forever replacing plants that die, because I don’t have a green thumb!

Favorite fundraiser?
No contest here. Art & Treasures is my favorite.

Interlude by John Koch 1963

Gallery Council Board 2017-18

First row: Vicki Burns, Jean Ligozio, Carmen Signorino
Second row: Patricia Gately, Julia Tan, Paula Carter, Pat Rahn, Linda Cassata
Third row: Lois Sumberg, Bonnie Voll, Susan Senise, Pam Foye, Dee McCreary
Fourth row: Elena Shandalov, Lee Foster, Marilyn Merrigan, Pamela Miller Ness, Kathy Farrar, Jane Colangelo, Freddie Amstey

Absent from the picture: Katherine Cove and Linda Friedman.

Trudie Kirshner, President, MAG Board of Managers

Serving on numerous Boards in the Rochester area, Trudie is a true asset in guiding MAG’s recent initiative on strategic planning.

Trudie Kirshner, MAG Board President

Elsbeth Kozel, Docent Chair 2017

MAG Docent Board
Every year, MAG docents (a word derived from the Latin “to teach”) introduce thousands of schoolchildren and adults to the collection and exhibitions.

Chairperson: Ellie Kozel – front right, Vice-Chairperson: Jane Colangelo – front second from left (sunglasses), Secretary: Ellie Stauffer – middle front, Treasurer: Marguerite Quinn – back left, Travel: Gail Reeves (not present) and Sue Tkach – back second from right. Hospitality: Carol Redden – top right and Mike Rick – bottom left, Nominating: Mary Clare Hamlin – front second from right, Past Docent Chair: Peg Rachfal – back second from left.

A “Win-Win” for the Gallery

susie-webOn January 1, 2014, 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.

High Honors for Retired Curator

margie-award2Marjorie B. Searl, who retired December 31, 2013 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. Above: Holcomb and Searl at the awards ceremony.


The Memorial Art Gallery was happy to be a part of Shawn Dunwoody’s #HappyRochester video. Watch it here – we think you’ll get happy, too.

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