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Irene Hofmann Named Phillip s Director and Chief Curator of SITE Santa Fe
Irene Hofmann is currently executive director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. Photo: La Kaye Mbah.

SANTA FE, NM.- On the eve of its Eighth International Biennial, The Dissolve, SITE Santa Fe today announced that Irene Hofmann has been named Phillips Director and Chief Curator, effective October 1, 2010.

The appointment was ratified at a meeting of SITE Santa Fe Board of Directors held on June 8, 2010.

Ms. Hofmann succeeds Laura Steward, who became Director of SITE Santa Fe in 2005 and in September 2009 announced that she would be stepping down following the opening of the 2010 International Biennial.

“Irene’s passion for contemporary art and her understanding and appreciation of the nuances of leading an arts organization are breathtaking and inspiring,” said Cornelia Bryer, President of SITE Santa Fe’s Board of Directors. “Irene’s career includes prolific work as a curator in organizing and touring innovative, inclusive exhibitions in collaboration with a wide range of partners. As Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum, in Baltimore, MD, she has stabilized and expanded the museum’s vision and reach, investigated many provocative areas of artistic thought and expression, and launched successful fundraising initiatives. Her remarkable achievements constitute a body of work that is consistent with SITE Santa Fe’s mission and core values.

“We are confident that Irene will be a wonderful successor to Laura Steward, who during her five-year tenure presented the first one-person museum exhibitions of numerous emerging and now internationally recognized artists, spearheaded the construction of a 3000 sq. ft. workshop, and led SITE to a higher profile among its national and international peer institutions as well as in our own community. We are extremely proud of her leadership and accomplishments and are honored that she chose to serve as Director of SITE Santa Fe. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining such a dynamic institution as SITE Santa Fe and to continue its tradition of artistic innovation, curatorial excellence, and groundbreaking artist-centered projects,” said Ms. Hofmann. “At the heart of SITE’s mission is a dedication to exploring the artistic vanguard and a belief in the power of contemporary art to create inspiring personal experiences for its audiences, local, national and international.

“I am inspired by these ideals and look forward to working with SITE’s Board and staff as we continue SITE’s challenging and rewarding work,” Ms. Hofmann said.

Ms. Hofmann is a curator, exhibition organizer, writer, arts administrator, and museum director. She served as Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum, in Baltimore, from 2005 to 2010, where she established an invigorated programming schedule of new art, new ideas and new creative processes. Most recently, she curated Bearing Witness, a multi-venue survey of the artist duo Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry. She also curated Cell Phone, the first museum survey of artworks created using cell phone technologies; St. Cecilia, a new commission and national touring exhibition of works by Chicago-based artist Joseph Grigely; Broadcast, a large-scale exhibition and national tour that explored artistic interventions into broadcast radio and television; and Cottage Industry, an exhibition that explored the artist as entrepreneur.

In addition, Ms. Hofmann produced major exhibitions, residencies, and new commissions by artists such as Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Rineke Dijkstra, Fritz Haeg, Dawoud Bey, Christine Hill, Ruben Ochoa, Futurefarmers, Mads Lynnerup, Gregory Green, Marjetica Potrc, and Lisa Anne Auerbach.

Also while at the Contemporary Museum, she introduced best practices, drafted bylaws and conflict of interest policies, set a board dues structure, and motivated the board to develop fundraising initiatives.

From 2001 to 2005, Ms. Hofmann was curator of the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, CA, where she co-organized the 2002 and 2004 California Biennial and the national touring exhibition, Girls’ Night Out, which featured work by a new generation of women photographers and video artists. Some of her other projects at OCMA include developing The Orange Lounge, an off-site new media gallery, and curating the first United States museum exhibitions of work by Swiss artist Fabrice Gygi and by Berlin-based artist Jason Dodge.

She has also held positions at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

She holds a BA in Art History from Washington University in St. Louis, and a MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

SITE Santa Fe | Irene Hofmann | Laura Steward |

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