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Dying city gets transfusion from Austin: Friis-Hansen named director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum

Dana Friis-Hansen, former director of the Austin Museum of Art,  has been chosen as the next Director and CEO of the Grand Rapids Art Museum. In the museum’s press release, Friis-Hansen  looked forward to his new home and job with typical directorial optimism, citing the dying city‘s “vibrant creative culture, its forward-looking civic leadership, its exciting art scene, its lively downtown, its beautiful natural environment, and its leadership in sustainability.” A reception at the museum is planned for Friday, July 15 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm, giving everyone a chance to meet the new director and welcome him to Grand Rapids.

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8 Responses

  1. Dana Friis-Hansen

    Bill, get over it. Texas is being led down a trail to no-know land by its leadership (government, philanthropic??) and MICHIGAN (of all places!) is taking a serious look at a positive future and building a better place for the creative class and the knowledge economy. I’m gonna try to help make MICHIGAN as fertile in this decade as TEXAS was when we all first came here in the 80s. Then we’re gonna invite y’all up to our thriving economy and artist-friendly cities. And they can make a complicated film in one take. Check out the one the local university students did months ago…at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn5L3gsCHgQ&feature=related

    1. Rainey Knudson

      Oh come on Dana: the Dallas arts district and greening of Woodall Rogers are an example of grand civic vision and government and philanthropic leadership. Just because the Austin tech money is (mostly) still more interested in shopping at BMW and By George than thinking seriously about art and supporting it, well, that’s hardly reason to slam the whole state.

      1. Rachel Koper

        So, Katy C. the amazing owner of By George in Austin buys some contemporary art herself, good taste too, if I may say so myself. GR as I always call Grand Rapids, has one of the strongest economies in the state… low bar at the moment perhaps, but it’s a lovely city. I’ve been to Flint, GR is no Flint or Detroit. Enjoy the sour cherry pies, blueberries, nice Lutherans, white pine trees and bald eagles.

  2. Patron Collector

    Dana won’t be missed, not with his departing words that show his true colors, as his walls speak. The guy never really did his job, never ventured out to show anything other than the little clique of insider traded commodity artists , and a few even less risky internationally known artists. He leaves not with honor and grace, but with a shameless and thankless FU to those that supported him for all these years. Our mistake, and now Grand Rapids. Let’s hope we continue to shake up the curatorial world in Texas. The art here is as fertile as anywhere in the world. Remember, it is the curators job to search out that fertility, to foster the artists, and to present the work. When a curator thinks he or she is more important than the art, artist or their non-profit employer and their audience, won’t venture out and visit studios, threaten the success of an artist, they have rendered themselves useless as a curator. The only thing that is stagnant in Texas is, in general, the curatorial and gallery world. Too tepid, conservative, lazy and lackluster, not to mention the cliques. It’s as predictable and redundant as Dana. Run to GR and shout horrors of the art world of Texas. It’s the art world that you and all of you created since you came here in the 80’s. If you couldn’t find the fertile art class you speak of in Texas, you weren’t doing your job and you can’t find it anywhere.

    1. Nancy Lili

      Next time you plan on being rude on the internet, have the decency and the balls to use your real name.

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