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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Adam Price, Executive Director, to Depart Utah Museum of Contemporary Art @ UMCA

Strong Leadership Remains in Place to Guide the Institution Forward

Salt Lake City – Adam Price, who has served as Executive Director at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) since 2009, has announced that he will leave the museum before the end of the year.  “Adam’s departure is a real loss for the museum,” said Board President Roy Jespersen. “He guided the institution through a very turbulent period and we are grateful that he left the museum in much better condition than he found it.”  

Past UMOCA President James Roberts agreed: “Adam had a remarkable impact on the life of the organization, helping us all coalesce around an exciting new vision while engaging a broad local audience in the world of contemporary art.”

Price’s tenure was marked by numerous accomplishments, including: the transformation of the institution from the Salt Lake Art Center into the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; a nearly 50% increase in fundraising; a 500% increase in audience, bringing total attendance to over 100,000 annually; a series of external community events including Luke Jerram’s piano-based Play Me, I’m Yours; the opening of two new galleries in the museum, including one devoted to Utah artists year-round; the launch of the Art Truck at UMOCA, a program that brings original commissions of contemporary art to area schools free-of-charge; the creation of a new national prize for contemporary painting; a reduction in the museum’s operating overhead by nearly half; the reduction of the museum’s cost per visitor from approximately $44.00 per head to approximately $8.50 per head (“one of the lowest rates for an art museum in the nation,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune); the hiring of two curators—from Los Angeles and Berlin—who brought a host of nationally- and internationally-recognized artists to the our state; and the launch of a new artist-in-residence program intended to provide long-term support to contemporary artists who wish to have a national career while maintaining their homes in Utah.

Under Price’s leadership, UMOCA was recognized as Best Museum in Utah for 2011 and 2012, and received a major national grant from The Hearst Foundations and as well as a largest-in-nation support grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. During Price’s tenure, UMOCA also received first ever mentions in USA Today, The Wall St. Journal, W Magazine, Sunset Magazine, The Huffington Post, Yahoo! Finance, Art Forum, and more.

“It is not uncommon after periods of major activity to see the executive directors of nonprofits move on to other engagements, and I just felt that the time was right for me to go,” says Price. “UMOCA has an outstanding Board of Trustees led by Roy Jespersen—and the staff members who actually keep the institution running from day-to-day are among the strongest I’ve ever seen. As a result, I’m able to look forward to a brief sabbatical before starting my next cultural engagement knowing that UMOCA will be in good hands.”

A select committee of Board Trustees and community leaders will run the search process for new museum leadership. The Board has asked Price to stay on as a Special Advisor for a period of time in order to ensure maximum organizational stability. Price has happily agreed. “I think UMOCA has an important role to play in the community, and I want nothing more than to see it get a strong start on the next phase of its existence.  I will remain forever grateful for the role I was allowed to play there.” 

The award-winning Utah Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits groundbreaking artwork by local, national, and international artists. Five gallery spaces provide an opportunity for the community to explore the contemporary cultural landscape through UMOCA’s exhibitions, films, events, classes, and presentations.
Located at 20 S. West Temple; open Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. For more information call (801) 328-4201 or visit www.utahmoca.org.

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