Craft Contemporary appoints Rody N. Lopez as new executive director

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Craft Contemporary appoints Rody N. Lopez as new executive director
Rody Lopez, new executive director of Craft Contemporary. Photographer Hector Islas.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Craft Contemporary announced the appointment of Rody N. Lopez as the new Executive Director of Craft Contemporary, succeeding Suzanne Isken who successfully led the museum since 2011 and announced her plans to retire in May. Lopez started in his new position on September 25, 2023.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rody to the museum – he brings with him a keen understanding of art and the nonprofit landscape, and his passion and vision will be critical as the museum enters this next chapter. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d also like to thank Suzanne for her extraordinary leadership for the past twelve years, under which the museum has grown immeasurably,” said Joseph Coriaty, chair of the search committee.

Lopez has held numerous administrative positions at museums and nonprofits in the Los Angeles area, in addition to curating exhibitions and contributing to various catalogs and books. Most recently, Lopez was Director of Development and Communications for QueensCare—a faith-based charitable entity offering essential healthcare to underserved communities in Los Angeles—and QueensCare Health Centers (QHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center with five prominent locations throughout Los Angeles County.

Prior to his tenure at QueensCare and QHC, Rody served in the Development Department at Para Los Niños (PLN), a comprehensive social services organization. Simultaneously, in 2018, he curated and authored Living with Clay: California Ceramics Collections at the Nicholas & Lee Bogovich Gallery, Cal State Fullerton, which was accompanied by a catalog.

Before joining PLN, he held several roles in the museum sector, including the Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA), where he served as Associate Director of Exhibitions, steering curatorial initiatives and spearheading major fundraising events. There he co-curated Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape, which celebrated twenty site-specific, ephemeral murals and installations.

Before joining LBMA, he served the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) in Pomona, CA, as Associate Curator for half a decade. There, Lopez oversaw exhibitions, installation, registration, and for over two years, steered the Membership Program, Museum Store, and volunteer engagement efforts.

Lopez is a native of Guatemala and has an MFA in Exhibition Design from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), and a BA in Art from Pomona College.
Craft Contemporary opens three new exhibitions October 1, 2023, including Carolyn Castaño: Cumanday- Beautiful Mountain; Linda Sibio – Economics of Suffering, Part IV, and Chirk: Margaret Griffith.

Craft Contemporary is an art museum whose purpose is to reveal the potential of craft to educate, captivate, provoke, and empower. Craft Contemporary achieves its mission by exhibiting the artists of our time who favor craft materials and processes. Giving voice to local artists, emerging artists, and often under-recognized mid- career artists is a museum priority that works to ensure the recognition of various voices not always heard in larger institutions. The museum strives to achieve equitable access through free and low-cost programs, and the inclusion of multiple teaching artists from communities throughout Los Angeles who offer unique art making workshops, 3-12 school programs, senior adult workshops, and art talks.

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