Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art has hired Hanh Ho, owner of Cydonia Gallery in Dallas, as its new curator. She'll be working remotely with the museum this year, prior to relocating on January 1, 2019.
The museum, founded in 1999, specializes in art, architecture, and design. It’s part of Scottsdale Arts, the nonprofit tasked by the city of Scottsdale with managing the museum, as well as Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale Public Art.
Gerd Wuestemann, CEO and president of Scottsdale Arts since March 2018, shared the news by email on Tuesday, October 2.
"Besides scholarly expertise, she brings entrepreneurial experience," he wrote, in part. "She has a business degree in addition to her art degrees."
The curator news comes several months after the spring departure of Sara Cochran, who resigned as director and chief curator of the museum in April 2018.
Previously, Jennifer McCabe served as curator of contemporary art for the museum. Wuestemann appointed McCabe as acting director following Cochran’s departure.
The museum has undergone several leadership changes in recent years.
Neale Perle resigned as CEO of Scottsdale Arts in October 2017, a position he’d held since August 2014. During his term, Donna Isaac retired as director for Scottsdale Public Art, and was replaced by Kim Curry-Evans. Amy Nesbitt served only briefly as director of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, from August to early October of 2017.
Changes occurred earlier in Perle’s term, as well. Tim Rodgers stepped down as director for Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in May 2015, after six years in the role. Then, Cory Baker resigned as director for Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in June 2015, a position she’d held since 2010.
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Under Wuestemann, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts now has three directors. Maribeth Reeves is managing director, Abbey Messmer is programming director, and Jamie Prins is event director.
Those changes have already produced visible outcomes, including more performances by Arizona-based musicians, and plans for the center to present its own theater productions.
For now, of course, all eyes are on the museum, and how its new leadership will impact future exhibitions and other offerings. Wuestemann is clearly optimistic, especially given Ho's background in gallery operations.
"I am particularly excited about getting her insight into the gallery side of things as this has been a concern for our gallery owners here," he wrote. "This should help us build consensus and momentum."