The Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa have each recently hired new employees.
In August, SAMA appointed Lisa Abel as its new Chief Development Officer. She will design and lead the museum’s development program, including major gifts, grants and institutional giving, membership, endowment funding, and more. She has previously held positions as the Director of Development at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, Director of Development and Communication at the Currier Museum of Art, Chief Philanthropy and Marketing Officer for the Second Harvest Food Bank of South Louisiana, and Director of Advancement and Communication for KIPP New Orleans Schools.
In a press release announcing the appointment, Emily Ballew Neff, who was named SAMA’s Kelso Director late last year, said, “We are delighted to welcome Lisa to the museum and to the city of San Antonio. Her proven development experience across a wide range of cultural and community institutions gives her an exceptional ability to conceive and execute all facets of fundraising and philanthropic programming. As SAMA continues to evolve to meet the needs and represent the faces of the San Antonio community, she is the perfect choice to ensure that the next chapter in SAMA’s history is one that reflects its multi-faceted audience.”
Also this month, the Blaffer announced two new staff members: Erika Mei Chua Holum, the new Cythia Woods Mitchell assistant curator, and Antonie C. Evans, the museum’s design and digital resources manager.
A curator, art historian, and poet, Ms. Holum replaces Tyler Blackwell, who departed the museum in July. She is returning to her hometown of Houston from Chicago, where she held positions at Terra Foundation for American Art and Chicago Public Libraries. Ms. Holum has contributed to projects and exhibitions across the world, including the Second Edition of the Lagos Biennial in Nigeria in 2019 and the Obscura Festival of Photography in Malaysia in 2018. Ms. Holums holds an MA in Museum and Exhibition Studies from the University of Illinois Chicago and is completing an MA in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Mr. Evans is a Houston-based digital designer, artist, and curator. Recently he participated in Fresh Arts’ Space Taking Artist Residency, where he presented MythoFutuRiddim. The multidisciplinary pop-up exhibition featured emerging artists exploring ritual, cultural mythology, Afrofuturism, and constructed identity. Mr. Evans has been a designer at Bounce Marketing & Consulting in New York, Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn, and New York University. He has also served as a docent at the Brooklyn Museum and the Moody Center at Rice University.
In a press release announcing the recent hires, Blaffer Chief Curator Steven Matijcio stated: “Erika and Antonie bring a compelling mix of fresh, youthful energy to the Blaffer, combined with a substantial amount of experience they have both accumulated in their burgeoning careers. The Blaffer has made significant strides in the past three years to bring Houston artists and curators into dynamic conversation with the larger art world, and I am confident Erika and Antonie will push this mandate even further.”
Lastly, earlier this week, the Chinati Foundation announced the addition of two new staff members in leadership positions. Malinda Galindo is joining the organization as associate director of development, and Stephen Martin joins as director of preservation and planning. As Chinati continues with a multiyear master plan focused on renovating its facilities, and begins a search for a new director, following the departure of Jenny Moore earlier this year, these new staffers will help guide the foundation’s ongoing work.
Ms. Galindo recently worked in development at El Museo del Barrio in New York. She is the co-founder of Atomic Culture, an organization that works with artists to create site-specific experimental projects.
Mr. Martin recently served as the director of design and planning at Four Freedoms Park in New York, and he has also worked for the Calder Foundation, the Noguchi Museum, and the Library of Congress. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cooper Union, and has a background in design, capital construction, and land conservation.
In a press release announcing the new staff, Marella Consolini, interim director of the Chinati Foundation remarked, “These roles are essential to pursuing Chinati’s vision. Malinda and Stephen bring to us invaluable experience. They both are creative thinkers and outstanding communicators. The Board and I are very excited to welcome them to the team. We are confident that their impressive skill sets and knowledge will be an asset to Chinati and the Marfa community as a whole.”