LAFAYETTE, LA.- Hilliard Art Museum
announced today the appointment of Ben Hickey, curator of exhibitions and Emily Cyr Bridges endowed professor of art, as its interim director. He replaces LouAnne Greenwald, who served as director for 9 years. Hickey assumed the role Oct. 1, 2023. A national search for a permanent director is underway.
In his tenure, Hickey, who played an integral role in the museums accreditation by the American Association of Museums in 2022, organizes eight to ten exhibitions annually for Hilliard, including Kota Ezawa: Two Views and Twenty Years of Marais Press: Imprinting a Campus and Collection. In total, Hickey organized more than 52 exhibits at the Hilliard.
Hickey and the Curatorial Department has also advanced the museum's relationship with the university and Lafayette community with interdisciplinary educational opportunities inside and outside of the museums walls like Creative Conversations, campus partnerships, K-12 school tours, Let's Make Art! and Yoga in the Galleries. More than 12 percent of students have engaged with the museum this semester, the highest engagement rate since tracking began. His scholarly contributions have also supported the University of Louisiana Lafayettes recently attained R1 status. His publications reside in the collections of the Library of Congress, Getty Research Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and several others.
Former Director Greenwald hired Hickey from the Masur Museum in Monroe, LA in 2018, where he served as curator and developed a reputation for furthering the understanding of the American Souths influential role in the history of Western art. In total, Hickey has more than 100 exhibition credits in his career including exhibitions with the artists James Surls, Pat Phillips, Letitia Huckaby and L. Kasimu Harris.
The Hilliard fulfills the important function of bringing important art on campus for students and the community. We have become an institution known for bringing diverse audiences together to further academic and cultural understanding, Hickey asserted. Our new designation as an accredited museum enhances our profile. We must use this opportunity to present unexpected ideas and experiences for our guests, whether they are students, alumni, community members, or tourists.
Hickey, who obtained a masters degree in art history from the University of California Riverside also contributes regularly to academic publications, most recently in Cloudburst: The Work of Matt Kenyon (Baton Rouge Gallery, Louisiana State University School of Art, 2022), Twenty Years of Marais Press: Imprinting a Campus and a Collection (University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 2022), and Felicific Calculus: Technology as a Social Marker of Race, Class & Economics in Rochester, NY (CEPA Gallery, Booksmart, 2021). Prior to the Masur Museum of Art, Hickey worked at the California Museum of Photography and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. He is an active member of the Association of Art Museum Curators, where he served as a trustee from 2015 to 2020.
The Hilliard Art Museum
Our Museum is a bridge. Our Museum is a catalyst. Our Museum is for everyone. We connect art and education, our university and our community, generations, heritage and cultures. The Hilliard Art Museum-University of Louisiana at Lafayette is not just a place to look at art. It is a place where visitors are encouraged to truly see art. It is a place of learning, where students sketch in the galleries and artists talk about their work. It is a destination for families, where kids express their own creativity through hands-on activities. And it is a resource for academic research and observation. Museum experiences build skills that extend into every aspect of life. Viewing art promotes dialogue and understanding between individuals, among families and throughout our community. Art makes life richer and better for everyone.