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Miki Garcia Named Director of ASU Art Museum

Miki Garcia has been named the new director of ASU Art Museum.EXPAND
Miki Garcia has been named the new director of ASU Art Museum.
Kendall Klein

Arizona State University Art Museum has selected Miki Garcia to serve as its next director. Garcia will officially begin on Friday, December 1.

"I am so excited to join the Arizona State University Art Museum," Garcia says in the August 21 press release announcing her new position. In the release, Garcia praises the university for assuming fundamental responsibility for the communities it serves.

Garcia is the former director and chief curator for the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara in California.

Garcia will oversee three museum locations, including the ASU Art Museum located inside the Nelson Fine Arts Center on the Tempe campus. The 49,700-square-foot museum has five galleries on three floors, where it rotates exhibitions each season.

The museum was founded in 1950 with a major gift of American and Latin American art. It's part of the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Recently, ASU filled another leadership position in the arts. Joanna Grabski joined ASU School of Art as director in July. That position was previously held by Adriene Jenik, who resigned to spend more time on her art practice.

The museum also has a 7,500-square-foot space called The Brickyard in downtown Tempe, where it operates the Ceramics Research Center and two gallery spaces. Garth Johnson joined the museum as curator of ceramics in December 2014.

In 2011, ASU Art Museum opened a 6,800-square-foot location in Roosevelt Row. The Project Space at Combine Studios includes six artist studios, a common kitchen, and public gallery that support the museum's artist residency program. Until recently, it was owned by artists Carrie Marill and Matthew Moore.

It's been nearly a year since the last director left ASU Art Museum.

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Heather Sealy Lineberry, senior curator for ASU Art Museum, has been serving as interim director. Before assuming that position, she was also associate director for the museum. Key museum staff also includes curator Julio César Morales, who started in 2012.

The previous director, Gordon Knox, joined ASU Art Museum in January 2010. In November 2016, Knox was named president of San Francisco Art Institute, which provides higher education in contemporary art. During Knox's tenure, ASU Art Museum established an international residency program and hosted dozens of artists including Postcommodity, Superflex, and Bassim Al-Shaker.

When ASU Art Museum put out the call for a new director last year, its long list of qualifications included "experience and success supporting diversity and inclusion." Garcia's statements in the August 21 press release echo those priorities.

"One of my passions," Garcia says, "is reimagining the potential of art and museums to impact the lives of all people in the spirit of inclusivity, equity, and diversity."

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