Houston Center for Photography Executive Director/Curator Dorota Biczel to Step Down

by Jessica Fuentes June 19, 2022

The Houston Center for Photography (HCP) has announced that Dorota Biczel, who was appointed Executive Director and Curator last summer, is stepping down from her position on July 1, 2022. 

Dorota Biczel, Ph.D., Director and Curator of the Houston Center for Photography. Image courtesy of Vera Mishurina.

In an email newsletter from HCP , Dr. Biczel explained, “I received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—a position that will allow me to dedicate myself full time to research and writing, and, specifically, to completing my book manuscript and developing a second one. I am taking on a postdoctoral fellowship in arts and ecology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, starting in August.”

Dr. Biczel holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism, and Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Art History and later a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Houston before joining HCP.

In her letter, Dr. Biczel also expressed thanks to HCP members for their support, and clarified that though she is leaving her position, she will stay on to oversee the fall 2022 and spring 2023 exhibitions that she has organized.

In a press release announcing Dr. Biczel’s departure, Patricia Eifel, the President of the HCP Board of Directors stated, “We are so proud of all Dorota has accomplished during her tenure at the Houston Center for Photography. She has contributed enormously to the institution, with great success in implementing innovative programming and exhibitions as well as advancing our mission. She secured two competitive national grants from the National Endowment from the Arts, worked with the Board to update the organization’s governance structure to reflect the current moment in its life cycle, and oversaw an ambitious plan to redesign the Learning Center.”

The Board has hired Linda Shearer (who previously served as Interim Executive Director both when Ashlyn Davis Burns left the position in 2020, and in 2016 after Sarah Sudhoff’s departure) to serve as Interim Executive Director while the organization mounts a  search for the role. Shearer has spent over 40 years in art museums and artist organizations, including the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Project Row Houses; the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts, among many others. The search for the next executive director will begin immediately, and the Board will hire a professional search firm to assist with the process.


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Caitlin Duerler Chávez June 19, 2022 - 09:56

Congrats Dorota!! Brilliant scholar and leader who inspired so many in Houston. Best of luck with your Nebraska adventure.

Jason Fricke June 20, 2022 - 23:28

I was fortunate to have known Darota
years ago n Milwaukee; she created strong and
exceptional artwork that spoke of technical
mastery and a profound desire to redefine
what art meant. Her generosity of spirit
inspired many other artists. I am one of them.

Manerva Staal June 21, 2022 - 09:03

What’s up with HCP to be forced into another ED search within a little over a year since this latest appointment? Whether this person stepped away or was let go, the picture is equally damning, of an organization that can’t seem to hold on to its EDs for very long. HCP has so much community support and great potential. Let’s hope this much-loved venue gets it right this time around.


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