Faculty Off the Cuff Photo by Kris Qua._x1200

Going Rogue: Maverick Leadership in the Arts

For immediate release: April 9, 2010

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) presents an inaugural event to celebrate the receipt of a million dollar endowment to Williams College, administered by WCMA, to support programs related to arts leadership. The Fulkerson Fund for Leadership in the Arts provides pathways to leadership for Williams College students, building upon Williams’ preeminent role in educating the next generation of leaders in arts professions. The inaugural event, Going Rogue: Maverick Leadership in the Arts, will be held on Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 pm at the Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus. This event is free.

Prominent arts leaders will give their interpretation of what being a leader in the arts means and how that definition has changed throughout their careers. A moderated discussion will conclude the event. Opening remarks will be given by Williams College president-elect Adam Falk. Participating speakers include: Lisa Corrin, Class of 1956 Director, Williams College Museum of Art; Rick Lowe, Artist/Founder, Project Row Houses, Houston; Susan Sollins, Executive Producer and Curator, Art21; Joe Thompson, Director, MASS MoCA, and Williams College Class of 1981; Paul Tucker, Professor of the History of Art, UMASS, Boston, Williams College Museum of Art Visiting Committee Member, and Williams College Class of 1972; and Mariët Westermann, Provost, New York University Abu Dhabi, and Vice President Designate, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Williams College Class of 1984. Full biographies follow.

The Fulkerson Fund for Leadership in the Arts, established by Allan Fulkerson, Williams College Class of 1954, provides intimate opportunities for students to interact with key art world figures; encourages mentoring of Williams students by professionals and Williams alumni in the arts field; creates opportunities that enable students to connect with local arts leadership, institutions, and resources; and empowers students by making available space and resources for student-initiated experiential projects. The program, administered by the Williams College Museum of Art, is organized around a series of annual events featuring well-known arts leaders.

A Fulkerson Award for Leadership in the Arts will recognize an outstanding graduating Williams senior or second year graduate student in the history of art for their potential in arts leadership and their contributions to the museum and campus community.

“The definition of arts leadership is rapidly changing,” explains Class of 1956 Director Lisa Corrin. “Allan Fulkerson’s visionary gift will enable our students to participate in an ongoing dialogue with professionals who grapple with these changes everyday. What better preparation as they embark on their own careers in the arts?”

About the Speakers

Lisa Corrin is the Class of 1956 Director of the Williams College Museum of Art. She previously held the positions of Chief Curator at The Contemporary Museum (Baltimore), Chief Curator at the Serpentine Gallery (London), and Deputy Director of Art/Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Seattle Art Museum where she was the artistic lead on the new waterfront Olympic Sculpture Park. Corrin has curated over fifty solo and group exhibitions of contemporary art as well as innovative exhibitions using the permanent collections of The Maryland Historical Society, The Walters Art Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. She has also published widely on contemporary art, public art, museology, and curatorial practice. Her book, Mining the Museum: An Installation by Fred Wilson, was awarded the Wittenborn Prize in 1994. She has also co-authored a Phaidon monograph on Mark Dion.

Rick Lowe, artist and activist, founded Project Row Houses in 1993.  This innovative project converted 22 “shotgun” houses in one of Houston’s oldest African American communities into workshops, studios, gallery spaces, and low-income housing. Now 17 years old, Project Row Houses serves as a model for similar transformations across the country, combining architecture, art, and philanthropy. Lowe’s artwork has been shown internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles, the Kumamoto State Museum, Kumamoto, Japan, and the Venice Architecture Bienale. He was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University, an arts planner for the Seattle Public Library designed by Rem Koolhaus, and recipient of the Rudy Bruner Award in Urban Excellence, AIA Keystone Award, the USA Artist’s Award, and the Heinz Award in the arts and humanities.

Susan Sollins has enriched the field of contemporary art for more than 30 years with her innovations in public programming, museum education, and curatorial practices. She is the founder of Art21 and Executive Producer of its Peabody Award winning television series Art:21 – Art in the Twenty-First Century, now in production for PBS (Season 6), and Co-founder and Executive Director Emerita of Independent Curators International (iCI). Sollins serves on the Boards of the MacDowell Colony and iCI, was Visual Arts Consultant for Thirteen/WNET’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning City Arts, and early in her career was a member of the senior curatorial team at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. Recent curatorial projects include TABAIMO at 601Artspace in New York, and Project 35 for iCI. Her feature length film on William Kentridge is now in production.

Joseph Thompson (’81) is the founding director of North Adams’ Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).  Now in its 11th year, MASS MoCA is the largest contemporary art museum in the world, renowned for daring exhibitions in its vast former factory building spaces.  Thompson has overseen the development and programming of the center for 23 years, spearheading the institution’s program and supervising the development of staff, governing board, and endowment.  In 2009, MASS MoCA installed an unprecedented retrospective of Sol Lewitt’s wall drawings, exhibiting more than 100 works created over four decades.  A 1981 graduate of Williams College, Thompson received an M.A. in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

Paul Tucker (’72), Professor of the History of Art, UMass Boston, and Williams College Class of 1972, has taught art history since 1978. Regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Claude Monet and Impressionism, Tucker earned his Ph.D. at Yale University and has served as Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, University of California Santa Barbara, and Williams College, where he also currently participates in WCMA’s Visiting Committee. He has curated five international exhibitions, including “Monet in the 20th Century” (MFA, Boston, and the Royal Academy of Arts, 1998–99), and is working on a late Monet show for Gagosian Gallery, NY and on a college textbook on modern art. Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Tucker served as President and Chairman of the Board of the Terra Foundation for the Arts, and is founder and Director of Arts on the Point, a public sculpture park in Boston.

Mariët Westermann (’84), the Provost of New York University Abu Dhabi and Vice President Designate of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, played a leading role in developing and implementing NYU’s commitment to global liberal arts education and scholarship in the arts. As chief academic officer of NYU Abu Dhabi, she is responsible for faculty recruitment, research, and overall academic strategy. Before taking up this role in 2007, she served as Director of NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and Associate Director of Research and Academic Programs at the Clark Art Institute. She graduated magna cum laude from Williams College in 1984 and earned her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts. Her scholarship focuses on the history and aesthetics of European painting, particularly that of the early modern Netherlands.

Calendar Listing

Fulkerson Fund for Leadership in the Arts
Inaugural Event
Going Rogue: Maverick Leadership in the Arts
Thursday, April 22
7:30 pm
Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, Williams College
Opening Remarks by Williams College President Adam Falk
Mariët Westermann, Provost, New York University Abu Dhabi, and Vice President Designate, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Williams College Class of 1984
Rick Lowe, artist/founder, Project Row Houses
Susan Sollins, Executive Director, Art21
Joe Thompson, Director, MASS MoCA, and Williams College Class of 1981
Paul Tucker, Professor of the History of Art, UMass Boston, WCMA Visiting Committee Member, and Williams College Class of 1972