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Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Announces New Head of Education

Sydney, Australia: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) announces the appointment of independent curator, art critic and lecturer Dr. Maura Reilly as the MCA’s new Head of Education.

With more than twenty years of experience, Dr. Reilly has built an impressive career in art education and curatorship. The role is a new position, reflecting the Museum’s increased commitment to education as part of its $50 million redevelopment, which starts construction next month. The redevelopment project will create a National Centre for Creative Learning, housing new facilities for the Museum’s renowned Bella program for young people with special needs, a digital classroom, multi-media room, library and resource room and a lecture theatre/new media events space.

“We are delighted that Dr. Maura Reilly has agreed to join our senior management team and lead the Museum’s vital education programs,” said MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor. “She brings with her extensive experience in a range of academic, educational and curatorial posts and her passion for contemporary art education will add a new dynamic to our programs. She will most certainly help us to position the MCA at the leading edge of contemporary visual arts education.”

Dr. Reilly has had a long involvement with contemporary art and is recognized internationally as a leading authority in the field. Prior to joining the MCA, she held Senior Curator positions at the American Federation of Art and Location One, both in New York City. From 2003 to 2008, as founding Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, she conceived and launched the first exhibition and education space in a U.S. museum devoted exclusively to feminist art, and organized several exhibitions, among them, the critically acclaimed Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art (2007), co-curated with Linda Nochlin, and Ghada Amer: Love Has No End (2008). Dr. Reilly has taught contemporary art history at Tufts University, written art criticism for Art in America, and has worked as a Public Programs Lecturer in the Education Department at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). She has also organized a number of exhibitions as an independent curator, including, most recently, Richard Bell: I Am Not Sorry (2009), Carolee Schneemann: Painting, What It Became (2009), Nayland Blake: Behavior (2009), and La Mirada Iracunda (The Furious Gaze) (2008). Dr. Reilly holds a doctorate in the History of Art, specialising in modern and contemporary art and architecture, from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (NYU), which she completed in 2000.

In accepting the new position, Dr. Reilly commented, “For over 20 years the MCA has delivered innumerable internationally respected contemporary art exhibitions that have travelled to museums worldwide. I have long admired its range of programs, and am particularly thrilled to be joining the museum at this exciting moment in its history. I look forward to assisting in the perpetuation of its proud tradition, and to working alongside the outstanding team of individuals at the MCA who have dedicated themselves to the museum’s unique vision.”

Dr Reilly will be relocating from New York, commencing in her role on 2 August 2010.

About the MCA:
The MCA is the only institution in Australia devoted to exhibiting and collecting contemporary art. It is renowned for making art accessible and engaging for a broad spectrum of public audiences through stimulating exhibitions, educational programs and special events. The MCA was voted as Sydney’s favourite museum in 2007 by an independent poll conducted by the Sydney Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, it was named winner of the Lord Mayor’s Sustainability Award, as well as the winner of the Culture and Creative Services category for the second consecutive year at the City of Sydney Business Awards.

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