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Deputy Director of Art to Leave SAM

SEATTLE, WA.- Lisa Corrin, Seattle Art Museum’s Deputy Director of Art/Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, has accepted the prestigious position of Director of the Williams College Museum of Art, SAM Director Mimi Gates announced today. She will be leaving her post in fall 2005. Corrin will remain a consulting curator at SAM until the opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park, working with artists and staff to finalize the artistic program of the park.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Lisa to lead one of the finest college art museums in the country,” said Gates. “Lisa’s contribution to SAM during this time of transformation has been enormous. Her energy, creative vision and hard work have created an extraordinary legacy on which her successors will build.”

"I am proud and grateful to have been part of one of the finest curatorial teams in the country,” said Corrin. “This was a very difficult decision especially because SAM is an amazing institution in an incredible city that I have called home for four years. But I couldn’t turn down this fantastic opportunity to become a director and faculty member at an institution known internationally for its museum and art history program.”

Corrin joined the SAM staff in 2001. A major achievement of her tenure at SAM has been the development of the artistic program for the Olympic Sculpture Park, a free 8.5 acre park on Seattle’s waterfront opening in the summer 2006. Her vision for the artistic program was one that resulted in an extraordinary roster of art anchored by major works and commissions such as Richard Serra's monumental Wake, Mark Dion's Seattle Vivarium and Teresita Fernandez's 200 foot glass bridge, Seattle Cloud Cover.

"Lisa has helped create a place that will be like no other in the world," said Gates. "She is leaving us with the sculpture park artistic program in excellent shape and we are thrilled that she will continue her work on the park in a consulting capacity."

“The Olympic Sculpture Park is the pinnacle of my career,” said Corrin. “It is unimaginable that I would have been offered this job without my experience at SAM and the opportunity to work on the park and expansion.”

During Corrin’s time at SAM, she led the museum’s artistic program in new and exciting directions, focusing on diversity and an increased global perspective. She greatly expanded SAM’s contemporary art program especially in the area of contemporary Asian art. She was responsible for organizing exhibitions such as Do-Ho Suh (co-curated by Corrin), Li Jin's A Feast and Maki Tamura’s installation of Hello Kitty. Corrin was instrumental in securing major traveling exhibitions including, Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence, Charles LeDray, Sculpture 1989-2002, Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self and the upcoming Isamu Noguchi – Sculptural Design.

In addition she co-curated Baja to Vancouver and secured key acquisitions for SAM's collection including Do Ho Suh’s dog tag sculpture Some/one, William Kentridge’s video Shadow Procession, The Contemporary Art Project collection as well as Serra's Wake for the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The reinstallation of the museum’s permanent collection for the upcoming downtown expansion have thrived under both Corrin’s leadership and that of Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Chief Curator for the Collections and Curator for European Painting and Sculpture. The downtown expansion enabled the curators to create a new framework for the permanent collection narrative. Corrin and Ishikawa led a series of discussions with the curatorial team over 18 months to develop a narrative that will place works of art in a broader cultural context and emphasize bridges between cultures. The curatorial team is finalizing the design of the expansion galleries and installations this summer. Ishikawa will oversee the new installation for the downtown expansion scheduled for completion in spring 2007.

While in Seattle, Corrin was involved with many community organizations. She taught a graduate seminar in art history at the University of Washington with Susan Rosenberg, SAM’s Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and is a board member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

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