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Plains Art Museum Names Colleen Sheehy as Director/C.E.O
Colleen J. Sheehy, Ph.D.

FARGO.- Plains Art Museum has named Colleen J. Sheehy, Ph.D., as its director/C.E.O. Sheehy’s background in museums and in education in the arts is extensive. She is currently director of education at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis , where she also curated numerous exhibitions. She will begin her duties in Fargo in mid-October.

Sheehy visited Plains Art Museum as part of a national search process and has interacted professionally with the Museum in the past in her role with the Weisman. Sheehy said, “I’m thrilled to assume the leadership position at Plains Art Museum and help to build its future. I was attracted to the position because the organization is strong and well respected regionally and nationally. I was very impressed by the commitment to education that permeates the organization, and the current capital campaign will increase those services. Fargo-Moorhead is a friendly community with a whole range of pluses: revitalization in downtown Fargo , strong economic conditions and three lively universities with the energy and innovation that faculty and students bring. I’m looking forward to getting to know the community in depth.”

Sheehy has worked at the Weisman since 1993, founding its first education department, curating exhibitions, organizing international conferences, launching its tour guide program, developing interpretation and curricula for Kindergarten through grade 12, university and community audiences. For eight years prior to that, Sheehy was the assistant museum director for touring exhibitions at the University of Minnesota Art Museum, where she curated and collaborated on exhibitions that traveled regionally and nationally. Several of those exhibitions appeared at the Plains Art Museum .

Sheehy holds a doctorate and a master of arts in American Studies from the University of Minnesota , Minneapolis . She was also awarded a bachelor of arts in English from U of M, Minneapolis . In addition to other awards and honors, she received the U or M Academic Staff Award for Outstanding Achievement and has served on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Studies and Forecast Public Artworks.

“We were thrilled and gratified by the quality of candidates who applied to fill the position of director/CEO at the Museum,” said Museum board chair Michael J. Olsen. “Colleen quickly rose to the top of the list based on the skills, knowledge and passion we were looking for in a leader who could help us complete our ‘Little Artist in All of Us’ capital campaign and take us to the next level of delivering on our mission of bringing people and art together.”

Olsen also commended acting CEO and current Museum CFO Mark Henze , the senior management team and the entire staff at the Museum for their stellar performance during the search for a new Director/CEO.

Arts Consulting Group, Inc. ( is the national firm that was engaged to guide the executive search process. ACG’s president, Bruce D Thibodeau said, “ACG received applications from dozens of highly qualified candidates located across the country. The Museum's search committee of board and staff leadership worked tirelessly to ensure that a rigorous process occurred. Its methodology ensured that the selected candidate met the skills, experience and competencies needed for the future of the Museum, involving many stakeholders from the community in the effort.”

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