SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Kenneth Foster, Executive Director of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), today announced the appointment of Betti-Sue Hertz as Director of Visual Arts. Hertz’s appointment builds upon YBCA’s successes in its first fifteen years as an institution and reflects YBCA’s commitment to taking the visual arts program to the next level – both expanding its reach and its aesthetics. Currently the Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Diego Museum of Art, Hertz is working with YBCA on a contract basis to plan the 09_10 season and assumes her post full-time in December, 2008. She succeeds René de Guzman who left YBCA in October of last year to take a position as Senior Curator of Art at the Oakland Museum of California.
Hertz plans to continue YBCA’s established record of presenting provocative works and supporting local artists through exhibitions such as Bay Area Now. In addition, she brings significant experience in museum practice and a focus on making exhibitions accessible to general audiences. Hertz’s strong international connections – in Latin America, Asia and beyond – are also important to YBCA given the influence of these regions on the West coast and San Francisco, in particular. Her background includes positions at larger institutions, including the San Diego Museum of Art, and at smaller community institutions such as the Longwood Arts Project at the Bronx Council on the Arts.
Kenneth Foster states, "The Board and I are thrilled that Betti-Sue Hertz will join YBCA as our new director visual arts. We are extremely impressed with her exhibitions which are intelligently conceived, thoughtfully curated and exceptionally designed. And while she challenges audiences with her thinking and her ideas, she also invites them into the conversation in a way that creates real excitement. She has made the contemporary art component of San Diego Museum of Art both respected and popular. It’s that rare combination of skills and talent that we have been seeking for this position and which will help us take the program to the next level as YBCA matures as an organization.”
Betti-Sue Hertz adds, "YBCA has set the standard for presenting Bay Area artists and issues, while reaching out to artists from around the world who enrich our understanding of various global regional and cultural perspectives. I plan to build on these accomplishments and continue YBCA's efforts to present compelling exhibitions rooted in a belief that visual art, through a synthesis of intellectual, emotional and psychological imperatives, is capable of shifting dialogues and perspectives that lead to a better society. Capturing the attention of an ever-widening public interested in the current trends in thought-provoking visual art is integral to this plan.”
Betti-Sue Hertz served as the curator of contemporary art at San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) from 2000-2008. Previously, she was the director of Longwood Arts Project, Bronx, New York from 1992-1998. She co-organized (with Lydia Yee) Urban Mythologies: The Bronx Represented Since the 1960s (1999) for the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Her recent major exhibitions and catalogues at SDMA include Eleanor Antin: Historical Takes (2008); Animated Painting (2007); Transmission: The Art of Matta and Gordon Matta-Clark (2006); Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia (2004); and Axis Mexico: Common Objects and Cosmopolitan Actions (2002). She was adjunct curator for Farsites: Urban Crisis and Domestic Symptoms in Recent Contemporary Art, a program of inSite_05, SDMA, and Centro Cultural Tijuana (2005). Hertz has organized several editions of Contemporary Links, a series in which contemporary artists respond to works in SDMA’s collection. Participating artists have included Alexandre Arrechea, Sandow Birk, Regina Frank, James Hyde, and Shahzia Sikander.