Guild Hall announces Melanie Crader, accomplished art museum leader, as inaugural Director of Visual Arts
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Guild Hall announces Melanie Crader, accomplished art museum leader, as inaugural Director of Visual Arts
Portrait of Melanie Crader, Guild Hall's Inaugural Director of Visual Arts. Photography by Lori Hawkins. Courtesy of Guild Hall.

EAST HAMPTON, NY.- Guild Hall recently announced the appointment of Melanie Crader as the inaugural Director of Visual Arts. Crader, who comes to Guild Hall with over twenty years experience in senior level art museum positions, will be responsible for realizing a dynamic exhibition program that builds on the museum’s history while incorporating new directions in creative practice. Her previous posts include the Director of Exhibitions and Publication Management at the Hammer Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, held various management roles at The Menil Collection in Houston, including Budget and Project Manager and Manager of Curatorial Projects, and most recently, Deputy Director at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, where she also served as Interim Director.

Guild Hall Executive Director Andrea Grover states, “Melanie is an extraordinarily capable museum professional who has helped artists ranging from early career to internationally known realize their visions with complexity and sensitivity. We are fortunate to have someone with her robust talents joining our newly envisioned Program Team alongside Nick Schwartz-Hall, Director of Performing Arts, and Anthony Madonna, The Patti Kenner Director of Learning + New Works. Melanie completes this trifecta of exceptional artist-supporting professionals.”

“It is inspiring to join an artist-centric, interdisciplinary and storied institution such as Guild Hall,” said Crader. “The culmination of my experience, combined with my passion for relationship building, has prepared me to take on this new and exciting role as Director of Visual Arts in Guild Hall’s thoughtfully renovated facility. I look forward to working with Andrea and such an incredible collaborative team in this vibrant community I call home.”

At the Hammer Museum, Crader was responsible for financial and administrative oversight of all curatorial initiatives, exhibitions, and publications. Managing the institution’s exhibition program, she collaborated with local, national, and international institutional partners, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, MCA Chicago, Walker Art Center, Stedelijk Museum, and Pinacoteca de São Paulo. Crader provided financial and administrative oversight of multiple museum departments, managed the publications program, and developed a long-range exhibition and publication budget. She actively participated in key committees, including Senior Staff, Digital Strategy, Staff Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, and the COVID-19 Task Force focused on re-opening the museum.

At The Menil Collection, Crader managed the exhibition program and operating budget, led various special projects, institutional publications, major digital infrastructure initiatives, and implemented long-term budget planning for building projects and a capital campaign.

Most recently, Crader was hired by the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill as Deputy Director, where she bridged operations during leadership transition, reexamined café and retail operations, and organized the inaugural café mural project by artist Almond Zigmund. Crader was attracted to the area’s long history as a haven for artists, and over the last year, she and her family have become active members of the creative community.

Crader has been involved with the American Exhibition Organizers for over 10 years, including serving as a Steering committee member. She has also served on the Board of Directors and the Artist Board of DiverseWorks Art Space, Houston.

Originally from Louisiana, Melanie Crader, holds an MFA from Ohio University, Athens; a BA from McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA; and attended the Banco Santander W30 Program, UCLA Anderson School of Management. In addition to being a museum professional, she is an artist and educator.

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