This morning The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston announced that Bill Arning has been named as their new director. Arning has been the curator at the List Visual Art Center at MIT, and while we are very happy that Arning will be bringing his insight and intellect to a great contemporary museum, it is also a loss for Boston. Arning has been a vocal supporter of the arts here in New England, curating a number of impressive exhibitions for the List, serving on many boards for non-profits, writing and promoting art in a number of venues, and being a very visible and active member of our community. He will most certainly be missed.
Here's the PR from the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston:
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston announced its selection of Bill Arning as its next Director. The Museum selected Mr. Arning, currently curator at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from an extensive field of national and international candidates. The Board of Trustees elected Mr. Arning at todays meeting, and he will assume the directorship of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston on April 6, 2009.
"The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston just celebrated its 60th anniversary and as we look forward to our next sixty years, it is with the greatest enthusiasm that I announce the election today by the Board of Trustees of Bill Arning as the Museum's new director," said Reggie Smith, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and of the Trustee Search Committee. "Mr. Arning impressed us not only with his experience and scholarship but also with his infectious energy and love of contemporary art. He is an internationally respected art curator and writer whose prior experience as a director satisfies the Museum's long-standing conviction that a successful museum leader possess an understanding of both roles. We are confident that he will be an asset both to the Museum and the city of Houston; his track record is one of active involvement with the community—visiting artists' studios, meeting the public, talking with students, collaborating with arts organizations, and engaging the community at large."
"I am very excited to return to the director's role in an institution as vibrant as CAMH, located in a city blessed with many strong museums, alternative spaces, galleries, and artists working in all media," said Bill Arning. "I know something of the cultural landscape, having curated the Houston Area show for the Blaffer Gallery in 2004, and I have stayed in touch with many of the area's artists, curators, and gallerists. I look forward to renewing those relationships, learning more, and working together both with professional colleagues and the larger community to invigorate the dialogue around art in Houston."