Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Curatorial change at Boston Center for the Arts?

Change is coming for visual arts leadership at the Boston Center for the Arts. The nonprofit has begun advertising for a new “visual arts manager” to oversee programming at its Mills Gallery beginning Aug. 13. There have been rumors for a while that gallery director Laura Donaldson would be leaving, but my (admittedly limited) reporting has been unable to get a straight on-the-record answer.

For example, when I asked BCA communications manager Rob Watson yesterday via email when Donaldson’s last day was and what the staffing shift would mean for BCA programming, his response was:
The Visual Arts Manager position is actually a different job from Laura’s position of Mills Gallery Director and reflects a number of shifts that are happening across our programming department – affecting all performing and visual arts programs at the BCA. These shifts will go into effect in the fall, but we’ll be announcing the new structure on May 30. So stay tuned for an update then!
To me, the posting for the visual arts manager sounds a lot like Donaldson’s job but with more words in the official title – but even if it isn’t, a new visual arts manager means new leadership at the BCA.

Donaldson has declined to talk publicly about the matter over the past few months – and didn’t respond to a call and email yesterday. She has been BCA gallery director since 2003 and organized many of the gallery’s exhibits, including “Bruce Bemis: Reciprocal Illumination” in 2005, which was selected as the best show in an alternative space by the New England chapter of the International Association of Art Critics that year. Previously Donaldson spend four years as assistant director of the Montserrat College of Art gallery in Beverly and a year as acting director there.


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