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Art museum director candidates narrowed down

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The search for a new director at Springfield Art Museum has been narrowed to three finalists who are visiting the city today for interviews and will participate in a public meet-and-greet this afternoon, according to a city of Springfield news release.

The finalists, in alphabetical order: 

  • Nan Curtis, director of Forsyth Center Galleries at Texas A&M University. She has 22 years of experience in museum management and has completed two museum assessment programs, led two broad-scope digital management initiatives and developed three new media initiatives. Curtis has worked as a professor of art history at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas, and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, in lifetime learning.
  • Brian O. Hill, executive director of the Trenton City Museum in New Jersey. In his current role for 13 years, he has more than three decades of experience in the arts. He is a past chairman of the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission and recipient of the 2008 New Jersey Theatre Alliance Applause Award. Hill holds a Master of Arts in Museum Studies with a certificate in arts administration from Seton Hall University. 
  • Richard Metzger, executive director of the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center in Pike County, Ala., since 2007. Among his accomplishments, he managed the renovations of a 100-year-old, two-story post office, turning it into the Johnson Center for the Arts. He also initiated ArtBridges in the county and city school districts. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

The candidates will be interviewed by a selection committee that comprises Springfield Regional Arts Council Executive Director Leah Jenkins; arts advocate Rob Baird; Assistant City Manager Collin Quigley; Human Resources Director Sheila Maerz; and the Art Museum board. As required by city charter, the Art Museum board will make the final selection. 

Public input from the museum board’s Sept. 8 meeting is incorporated into the interview process, and additional feedback from the public meet-and-greet session scheduled for 4–6 p.m. at Springfield Art Museum, 1111 E. Brookside Drive, also will be shared with the board.

Springfield Art Museum is the permanent home for 8,895 works of art, including painting, watercolors, sculptures and prints. The museum, which was incorporated in 1928, has been in its current home adjacent to Phelps Grove Park since 1958. Renovations through the years include a new wing and entry hall, galleries, gift shop and a new library, completed in 2008.

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