After an exhaustive seven-month search by the recently combined AMOA-Arthouse Board of Trustees, the museum announced Thursday they have named Louis Grachos as the new Executive Director.
Grachos, the current director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery of Buffalo, NY, has over 30 years of experience in the contemporary and modern art world that includes curation, education and most importantly, innovation.
The gallery director helped to breathe new life into the gallery's permanent collection and energized the community to interact more with the modern/contemporary offerings through an innovative program he developed at Albright-Know called Remix. Through it, he helped community members to see the modern implications of works made by 19th and 20th Century artists.
The Albright-Knox was already renowned for its wide breadth of modern and contemporary works collected by its late patron, Seymour H. Knox. Since Grachos's arrival at the gallery in 2003, the more recent acquisitions to their collection highlights look like they would be right at home at the Jones Center.
"I am excited and energized by this unique opportunity to create a new model that will integrate contemporary art into the Austin community," Grachos says in Thursday's press release. "By utilizing the smart and flexible Jones Center, and the wonderful grounds and facilities at Laguna Gloria, we will find many incredible opportunities for commissions, exhibitions, and public programs."
While Austin is further away from his native home of Toronto, Grachos has built an impressive resume in many of the U.S.'s major art cities including Santa Fe, San Diego, Miami, San Francisco and New York City.
Regarding Austin and its relationship to its museum, he notes the thrill of working in a "thriving and creative city" that would accommodate AMOA-Arthouse as "a museum without walls," able to go beyond the museum and out into the community.
The visionary leader is set to take the reins at the museum part-time on November 1 of this year and will assume full-time responsibilities on January 1 of 2013. Interim Executive Director Jack Nokes has maintained the position since Dana Friis-Hansen stepped down in January of last year.