Thursday, May 22, 2014

These 21 Pictures Are Not What You Think. They Will Blow Your Mind.

These 21 Pictures Are Not What You Think. They Will Blow Your Mind

Under the rain with Gregory Thielker

Todd DeShields Smith Appointed CEO and Director of Orange County Museum of Art

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the appointment of Todd DeShields Smith as the next CEO and Director of the Orange County Museum of Art.  After an eight-month international search, the OCMA Board of Trustees selected Smith because his extensive background in the museum field perfectly matched the needs of OCMA to ensure an exciting future for the institution. Smith will begin at OCMA on August 4th.

With extensive knowledge of non-profit practices and an artistic vision involving decades of experience at visual arts institutions, Smith was identified as the candidate best able to lead OCMA into the future.  Smith has served in leadership roles at several museums across the United States, organized significant exhibitions, and held teaching positions at several universities, as well as authoring publications that are considered important contributions to the field. 

Todd Smith comes to the Orange County Museum of Art from the Tampa Museum of Art where, as executive director for the past six years, he oversaw the building of a new internationally award-winning museum in 2010 which enjoyed post-opening successes that exceeded all expectations with attendance 87% above projections and new memberships 145% above stated goals. Under Smith's leadership, the museum was able to grow its exhibition budget, while identifying and decreasing non-essential expenses-ensuring financial stability and attainable museum goals while placing an institutional priority on the museum's artistic mission. 

Formerly, Smith was the executive director of the Gibbs Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina; and the Knoxville Museum of Art, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Smith also served as the president and CEO at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota; and held curatorial positions at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina; The Dayton Art Institute and the Kinsey Institute. 

We look forward to Todd's arrival later this summer.

Craig W. Wells

President, OCMA Board of Trustees

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Cool School: The Story of the Ferus Art Gallery

THE COOL SCHOOL is an object lesson in how to build an art scene from scratch and what to avoid in the process. Featuring Academy Award nominee Dennis Hopper and narrated by Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges, the film focuses on the seminal Ferus Gallery. Its proprietors, Walter Hopps and Irving Blum, groomed the LA art scene from a loose band of idealistic beatniks into a coterie of competitive, often brilliant artists, including Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses and Robert Irwin. The Ferus also served as launching point for New York imports Andy Warhol (hosting his first Soup Can show), Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein as well as leading to the first Pop Art show and Marcel Duchamp's first retrospective. What was lost and gained is tied up in a complex web of egos, passions, money and art. This is how LA came of age.