AUSTIN, TX.- AMOA-Arthouse
announced today that Louis Grachos has been named its executive director. The appointment completes an extensive, seven-month international search. Mr. Grachos, director of the renowned Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, brings with him more than thirty years of experience in the contemporary and modern art world. Throughout his career, Grachos has demonstrated a clear and uncompromising vision as a curator and community-focused museum director. He has designed high-impact, multidisciplinary exhibitions and innovative education initiatives, and commissioned exceptional works of art. At AMOA-Arthouse, Grachos will play a major role in reinvigorating art presentation, commissioning new art, and programming the museum's two sites. He will bring nationally prominent exhibitions and artists to Central Texas. Grachos takes on his new role part time at AMOA-Arthouse on November 1, 2012, and will assume full-time responsibilities on January 1, 2013.
"We are thrilled to have Louis Grachos on board to lead the museum during this very important time in its history," said Michael (Mickey) Klein, chairman of the AMOA-Arthouse Board of Trustees. "He comes with an outstanding reputation in the art world and extensive relationships with artists, collectors, and museum colleagues. He has a wealth of knowledge and a history of creating exciting exhibitions and programs. I know Louis will be a great asset to the Austin arts community."
"After an extensive and thorough search process, we feel that Louis Grachos is the best possible person we could have found to direct AMOA-Arthouse," Darrell Windham, president of the AMOA-Arthouse Board of Trustees, said. "Our board is impressed with his vision, and his ability to bring nationally prominent exhibitions and artists to Austin. Louis will have great success in providing new opportunities for Austinites to experience modern and contemporary art."
Speaking about his new appointment, Grachos said, "I am excited and energized by this unique opportunity to create a new model that will integrate contemporary art into the Austin community. By utilizing the smart and flexible Jones Center, and the wonderful grounds and facilities at Laguna Gloria, we will find many incredible opportunities for commissions, exhibitions, and public programs. In addition, I envision AMOA-Arthouse as a museum without walls, and in that respect the city and the parks present another great programming opportunity. Austin is a thriving and creative city that makes it a very attractive place to engage contemporary artists in all artistic disciplines. "
During his 10-year tenure at the Albright-Knox, Grachos has built long-standing relationships with artists, donors, and nationally prominent art collectors. He oversaw of the growth and development of collections, exhibitions, and programming at the 150-year-old gallery, and has a proven track record in fundraising and building strong ties to the community. In addition, Grachos has initiated a space study for a master plan for growth at the Gallery. Perhaps most importantly, Grachos oversaw significant growth of the permanent collection of the Gallery through a variety of significant donations, commissions, and major acquisitions.
Grachos previously served as the director of SITE Santa Fe, where he led the renovation of a warehouse for exhibition space and was a driving force behind a highly successful international biennial. He also served as curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, and as both the interim director and curator of exhibitions at the Center for the Fine Arts in Miami. Prior to these roles, he held various positions at the Queens Museum of Art and The Americas Society, as well as internships at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
A native of Canada, Grachos was educated at the University of Toronto and New York University. He also completed post-graduate work at the Center for Museum Studies at John F. Kennedy University, San Francisco, California.