January 14, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Adam Price 

724 South 12th Street 

Omaha, NE 68102

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 AM - 6:00 pm


 New Hires at Bemis Center Signal Fresh Priorities for National Organization

 Leadership Changes Increase Capacity to Support Artists-in-Residence and Provide Community Outreach 


OMAHA, NEBRASKA - January 14, 2015    


The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts announced today that it has completed hiring of new leadership for its program team. The new hires bring unprecedented levels of professional experience and geographic diversity to the staff of the Bemis Center, an institution that has been hailed for providing international residency opportunities in the American heartland. The backgrounds of the new Bemis leaders signal the priorities of the organization going forward. "The new Bemis program team reflects our commitment to providing the most robust possible support to a broad range of contemporary artists in the research, development, and creation of new work," said Adam Price, executive director of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. "It also reflects our commitment to making the inner workings of the creative process accessible both to Omahans and those who follow our institution around the world."


The Bemis Center's new artistic director is Amanda McDonald Crowley. McDonald Crowley brings extensive curatorial and administrative experience to her work at the Bemis, as well as a host of new international connections to support the Bemis residency program. McDonald Crowley is a past executive director of the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in NYC-recognized internationally as a model for interdisciplinary fusions of art and technology. As past executive producer of the International Symposium of Electronic Art in Helsinki, Finland, and past associate director of the Adelaide Festival in Australia, she curated and produced integrated programs of internationally significant artist residencies, symposia and exhibitions. As former director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology she made significant links with art and science industries, developing a range of residencies and masterclasses to support artists in the production of new research and new work. She has recently curated exhibitions and programs with New Media Scotland (Edinburgh), the Austrian Cultural Forum (New York City), Pixelache (Helsinki) and Gallery CalIT2 (San Diego). McDonald Crowley will be responsible for creative leadership of the Bemis Center's programs.


The new associate artistic director for artist support is Ellina Kevorkian. Kevorkian is a practicing interdisciplinary artist and curator whose work, as well as the work of artists for whom she has advocated, has exhibited at such notable institutions as The Center for the Art of Performance at the University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions for the Getty Museum's Pacific Standard Time initiative, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Kevorkian has presented at symposia and conferences on diverse topics related to the needs of contemporary practitioners--including feminist practices, parenthood in the arts, and the fraught artist-curator relationship--at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Getty Research Institute, and the Université du Québec à Montréal, among others. She holds a master of fine arts in visual arts from Claremont Graduate University, and is a graduate of the Institute for Curatorial Studies in Performance at Wesleyan University. Kevorkian will be responsible for strengthening the Bemis Center's artist residency program to better meet the changing needs of contemporary practitioners in the early part of the twenty-first century. Kevorkian will focus specifically on articulating structures that support Bemis Center artists-in-residence in their conception, research, and development of new work and new artistic forms.


The new associate artistic director for community engagement is Nicole J. Caruth, a contemporary art educator, curator, and writer. Caruth is the former editorial manager for Art21--the globally recognized producer of documentary films on contemporary artists--and the founding editor of their online publication The Art21 Magazine. A past educational curator at the Brooklyn Museum, and the founder of the youth-focused arts organization With Food in Mind, Caruth brings her longtime commitment to engaging diverse audiences to her role at the Bemis Center. She has presented on cultural community engagement at the International Symposium on Art Museum Education and Sotheby's Art Institute, among others, and taught courses on socially engaged artistic practices at the School of Visual Arts. She received her master's degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Caruth will be responsible, primarily, for developing new programs, exhibitions, and related materials that extend the creative reach of the Bemis Center's residency program into the local community, as well as providing a window into the creative processes of Bemis artists for local, national, and international audiences.


"Between them, the three leaders of our program team have more than fifty years of experience building platforms for artistic work and creating connections between artists and the general public," said Price. "This is an important moment for our institution, setting the stage for immediate growth in our services to artists and community."


Ms. McDonald Crowley has already commenced her tenure at the Bemis. Ms. Kevorkian and Ms. Caruth are expected to start work on approximately February 1, 2015.



About the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

Through its internationally-recognized residency program, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts provides residency opportunities to artists from around the world, so that they may develop new ideas, expand their practice and engage the community. Jane Alexander, the former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, has called the Bemis Center "one of the great treasures of its kind in the country," and ArtInfo has recognized the Bemis Center as one of the "Top 10 residency program around the globe."
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Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts