Alex Freeman Leaves the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts; Laura Romer Huckaby Named Interim Director

by Jessica Fuentes September 2, 2023

The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (SAMFA) has named Laura Romer Huckaby as its Interim Director following the departure of Alex Freeman, who joined the museum as President and CEO on January 1, 2023. 

A photograph of Alex Freeman and Howard Taylor standing side by side.

Alex Freeman (left) and Howard Taylor (right). Image courtesy of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

Last fall, Mr. Freeman was named the successor of longtime SAMFA director Howard Taylor. Mr. Freeman had previously served as the Executive Director of the Texas Association of Museums (2018 – 2022), as an international educational technology researcher at the New Media Consortium (2012-2017), and held educational and curatorial positions at the Mexic-Arte Museum (2011-2012 and 2008-2009) and Artpace San Antonio (2009-2011).

Mr. Taylor remained on board as the Development Director and President Emeritus from January 1 to August 1, 2023. In this capacity, he took on an advisory role and assisted with Mr. Freeman’s onboarding with the museum. The recent announcement that Mr. Taylor had officially retired from the organization seemed to indicate that the transition had been smooth, however, on Wednesday, August 30, Mr. Freeman penned an article announcing that he had been terminated from SAMFA.

In the opinion piece, published on San Angelo Live, Mr. Freeman praised the museum for its ceramics collection and its educational offerings. He also recounted recent successes for the museum, such as developing new fundraising streams, connecting with the community, progress toward a shared collection storage and conservation lab with the Fort Concho Historical Site and the City of San Angelo, updating accounting practices, and assessing and updating technology needs. 

Mr. Freeman went on to explain that the SAMFA Board of Trustees voted to terminate his employment, effective August 31, 2023. Though he did not provide details surrounding the decision, Mr. Freeman noted that he “believe[s] [he has] practiced sound and ethical judgment throughout the year and over [his] career.”

In a press release, SAMFA recognized that Mr. Freeman “joined [the museum] as Director in September 2022 and then served as President/CEO beginning January 1, 2023, [and] will no longer be with the museum as of September 1, 2023.” It did not elaborate on any internal decisions behind Mr. Freeman’s termination. The museum has not responded to Glasstire’s additional request for comment on Mr. Freeman’s article. 

Tom Gregg, SAMFA’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees remarked, “We wish Alex the very best and will begin a professional search immediately for an individual who will lead the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts into the future. In the meantime, we have full confidence in Laura, and we’ll move forward to celebrate our beautiful new roof, new exhibits, and new vision during our Grand Re-Opening in the first quarter of 2024. Our commitment to serving San Angelo and the Concho Valley is steadfast.”

A headshot of curator Laura Romer Huckaby.

Laura Romer Huckaby

Ms. Huckaby has worked at SAMFA since 2012, serving as the Assistant Director and Curator. She holds a BA in Art Education from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and a MA in Art History from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

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Olga sosa September 3, 2023 - 11:38

Congratulations Laura…you will do great! Your knowledge and familiarity with samfa and our community will serve you well.


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