Public Art Fund announces leadership and board of directors appointments

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Public Art Fund announces leadership and board of directors appointments
Allison Wiener. Public Art Fund

NEW YORK, NY.- Public Art Fund announces the appointments of Stephanie Adams as Deputy Director for External Affairs and Karyn Olivier and Allison Wiener as Members of its Board of Directors. With breadth and depth of experience, they each play essential roles in advancing Public Art Fund’s mission of free and open access to exceptional contemporary art in New York City and beyond.

Stephanie Adams brings extensive development leadership in the arts and culture sector to her new role as Deputy Director for External Affairs. She will serve as a key institutional leader, strategist, and advocate for the Development and Communications departments, playing a critical position within the organization’s senior leadership as Public Art Fund enters its next growth phase guided by strategic goals and commitment to artists and diverse communities.

Adams joins the organization with over 30 years of development experience in the education, culture, and museum fields. Previously, Adams served as Chief Development Officer at the International Center of Photography (ICP), where she partnered with senior leadership to increase the visibility of ICP in its newly opened Lower East Side home, and oversaw funding strategies for key initiatives throughout the museum, school, and collection. Prior, she served as Director of Individual and Leadership Giving at the Whitney Museum of American Art, leading individual fundraising efforts to realize the $760M capital campaign for the new building and increase annual operating support for its expanded program, with exhibitions featuring established artists such as Glenn Ligon, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jasper Johns, and Julie Mehretu, as well as emerging artists like Jennifer Packer, Kevin Beasley, and Salman Toor.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stephanie Adams, an outstanding leader with a wealth of experience, at this pivotal moment in the evolution of Public Art Fund. Realizing our ambitious strategic goals depends on building significant new resources for the organization, and Stephanie stands ready to make a vital contribution to our success,” said Public Art Fund Artistic & Executive Director Nicholas Baume.

“It has been my great joy and privilege to play a part in realizing the ambitions of artists and to witness the public’s engagement with their work,” said Adams. “A long-time beneficiary of Public Art Fund, I have experienced the organization’s projects for years. The impact of public art is never lost on me—how lucky we are to live in a city where artists’ visionary works enhance the value and impact of community spaces. I am thrilled to directly support Public Art Fund’s mission of providing free and open access to illuminating art.”

Enhancing the breadth of experience of Public Art Fund’s leadership, Karyn Olivier and Allison Wiener recently joined the international group of philanthropists and artists that form Public Art Fund’s Board of Directors. They further expand the range of expertise represented in the organization’s Board and will be instrumental in supporting Public Art Fund’s work, at a moment when the importance of free and open access to art has never been more vital.

Karyn Olivier, born in Trinidad and Tobago, is an internationally recognized artist based in Philadelphia, PA. In 2022, Olivier created Approach, a monumental permanent installation of two multi-level sculptures in a commission that stemmed from Public Art Fund’s partnership with Newark International Airport for Terminal A. Her practice considers history, displacement, migration, and visibility versus invisibility through conceptual sculptures made of industrial materials and found objects. In 2024, Olivier will unveil two memorials in Philadelphia (USA)—honoring a former slave at Stenton House, and commemorating more than 5,000 African Americans buried at Bethel Burying Ground. She has exhibited at Documenta 15, the Gwangju and Busan biennials, the World Festival of Black Arts and Culture (Dakar, Senegal), The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Whitney Museum of Art, MoMA P.S.1, SculptureCenter, ICA Philadelphia, ICA Watershed Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, among others. Olivier has received numerous awards, including the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, a NYFA Award, and a Creative Capital Foundation grant. She is a sculpture professor at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University.

A native and devoted New Yorker, Allison Wiener is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Wiener practiced commercial real estate law in New York City for 15 years at several law firms and most recently in-house at UJA-Federation of New York. Passionate about art, particularly public art, for as long as she can recall, Wiener now spends much of her time engaging with the visual arts. She has been involved with the Whitney Museum of American Art for over 20 years—she is on the Drawing and Print Committee, a member of the Director’s Council, and a docent. An all-around community leader, Wiener is also the President of her co-op board.

“We are thrilled to welcome Allison Wiener and Karyn Olivier to the Board of Directors. Both long-standing champions of Public Art Fund, Wiener and Olivier share our belief that engaging, thought-provoking contemporary art is essential to civic life,” said Board Chair Elizabeth Fearon Pepperman. “As we continue to expand upon Public Art Fund’s long history of providing unparalleled opportunities for artists to activate public spaces, we celebrate the election of two passionate community leaders whose breadth of knowledge and experience will further advance our mission.”

As the leader in its field, Public Art Fund brings dynamic contemporary art to a broad audience in New York City and beyond by mounting ambitious free exhibitions of international scope and impact that offer the public powerful experiences with art and the urban environment.

Public Art Fund is supported by the generosity of individuals, corporations, and private foundations including lead support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, along with major support from Abrams Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, The Cowles Charitable Trust, the Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, The Fuhrman Family Foundation, The Marc Haas Foundation, Hartfield Foundation, William Talbott Hillman Foundation- Affirmation Arts Fund, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, Red Crane Foundation, the Meyer and Deanne Sharlin Foundation, The Silverweed Foundation, and Wagner Foundation.

Public Art Fund exhibitions and programs are also supported in part with public funds from government agencies, including the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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