UMFA Announces New Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Salt Lake City, UT – Following an international search, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) at the University of Utah is pleased to announce the appointment of Whitney Tassie as the organization’s new Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Tassie fills an important role that will strengthen the UMFA’s position as Utah’s premier visual arts institution.

In her curatorial capacity, Tassie will create a cohesive vision for the growth, management and interpretation of modern and contemporary art at the UMFA. She will organize rigorous exhibitions of 20th and 21st century art, including the continuation of the UMFA’s salt series of projects highlighting emerging international artists. Tassie will work closely with University of Utah faculty and the UMFA’s Young Benefactors, a donor affinity group dedicated to supporting the museum’s modern and contemporary art collection. Tassie will also create contemporary art programming that furthers the museum’s commitment to excellence and relevance.

“We are thrilled to welcome Whitney Tassie to the UMFA. We are confident that her fresh energy, great eye, scholarship and creative curatorial ideas will bring incredible value to students and the broader community,” said Gretchen Dietrich, UMFA executive director. “She made a tangible difference in the art scene of Chicago, and we look forward to the extraordinary art experiences she will bring to Salt Lake City, the University of Utah, and the region.”

Over the past seven years Tassie served as the Director of Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago, where she curated six to eight annual exhibitions of work by internationally renowned contemporary artists. In 2011, she co-founded Gallery Weekend Chicago, a groundbreaking annual weekend focused on promoting and enhancing Chicago’s contemporary art scene to collectors and curators. From 2002 to 2005 she worked as an exhibitions and curatorial assistant at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, New York, where she contributed to education, collections, exhibitions and curatorial work. Tassie holds a master’s degree in modern art history, theory and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in art history and archaeology from Cornell University.

“I am delighted to be curating in Salt Lake, a city that is clearly experiencing a period of growth,” said Tassie. “I look forward to strengthening the UMFA’s connection to and dialogue with the international contemporary art world.”

As Utah’s official state art museum, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) has long served as a bridge from the University of Utah campus to the broader community. The UMFA’s mission is to engage visitors in making meaningful connections with the world of art. The museum’s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years of human creativity and features over 18,000 works from around the globe. Special exhibitions make each visit a new experience, and a variety of public programs are scheduled year-round to encourage dialogue and discovery. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy lunch in The Museum Café and browse artistic keepsakes in The Museum Store. The UMFA is located in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at 410 Campus Center Drive. Open Tuesday through Sunday; closed Mondays and holidays. Info at (801) 581-7332 and www.umfa.utah.edu

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