Avery Glassman takes over curatorial position at Western Colorado Center for the Arts
Editor’s note: “Who We Are” features men and women who embody the unique spirit of the Grand Valley. Email nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Avery Glassman, 23, moved to Grand Junction last month from Chicago, she happily traded skyscrapers for mountain ranges.
“The landscape is the biggest difference for me,” she said, “and it’s the best thing, too. There’s something about an actual mountain that’s really cool.”
Glassman, an Ohio native, transplanted to western Colorado for her “dream job.” On Oct. 11, she took over an expanded curatorial position at Western Colorado Center for the Arts in Grand Junction, otherwise known as The Art Center.
“It’s really two jobs rolled into one,” she explained.
On the education side, Glassman will be planning classes, workshops and lecture series for The Art Center, as well as managing instructors. On the curatorial side, she’ll plan The Art Center’s exhibitions and oversee installations of all kinds.
“Avery is really visioning the packaging of shows,” including the pairing of classes with exhibits, said Camille Silverman, The Art Center’s executive director.
According to Silverman, the local arts nonprofit puts on 26 exhibits yearly, some of which are annual while the rest are signature events. The Art Center also puts on 18-24 workshops each year, with 15 regular classes per session and five sessions per year. More than 300 students participate in activities monthly.
“We saw our future when we found Avery, and it looked good,” Silverman said. “We saw what we wanted.”
Glassman recently graduated from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn., with a degree in art history and minors in French and theatre. She loves to both perform and sing.
“This is my first full-time job out of school,” she said.
While in Chicago, she participated in local theatre productions, gave architecture tours and worked at The Driehaus Museum.
Glassman was one of 40 national applicants for the job, Silverman confirmed. The Art Center cast a big net for the position, covering metropolitan areas with big schools.
“We wanted someone with museum and art-history experience so they could talk about work in an in-depth way,” Silverman continued. “What we also liked about Avery was her theatre background. She’ll hang shows differently, and she has a good understanding of lighting and navigation through space.
“She has a strong presence.”
With the recent hiring of Glassman, Silverman will be focusing her job more on fundraising, visioning and management and less on curation.
“I think it’s nice that we went back to this format, having an exclusive creative director,” Silverman said. “We want extended conversations on art. It’s not just product; it’s a process.”
Glassman’s first big project out of the gate was scheduling The Art Center’s winter course load. Now she’s planning spring sessions as well as two big shows — the members art show in February and a contemporary show in May and June.
“In 2008, the members show was in one gallery, and it’s grown through the whole building now,” Silverman added.
For information about The Art Center’s classes or upcoming exhibits, visit http://www.gjartcenter.org or call 970-243-7337. Like “Western Colorado Center for the Arts” on Facebook for regular updated.
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