Friday, June 27, 2008

Institute of American Indian Arts Names New Museum Director

The Institute of American Indian Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Patsy Phillips as Director of the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum. She will begin her position on August 11, 2008. “She brings a wealth of both professional experience and personal attributes to fill the critical vacancy of IAIA Museum Director,” Jim Santini, member of the IAIA Board of Trustees and Chair of the Museum Committee notes. “She will be a long-term asset to both the Institute and Museum.”

Dr. Robert G. Martin (Cherokee), President of the Institute of American Indian Arts, said he is “…extremely pleased that we have selected someone with Patsy Phillips’ credentials, vision, experience and skills to lead the IAIA Museum. She values collaboration and will bring energy and enthusiasm in building on our museum’s strong foundation as a center for important exhibitions and programs relative to contemporary Native American art.” Phillips was selected after an extensive national search, and joins IAIA after working at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C for more than eight years. While there, she developed and managed several programs. As Director for NMAI’s participation in the world-famous Venice Biennale, she organized the sponsorship and promotion of artists such as Edgar Heap of Birds and James Luna. After noticing NMAI’s need for a unit dedicated to contemporary Native arts, Phillips oversaw the planning and development of a strategic plan for contemporary arts which was launched this May. Before working for the National Museum of the American Indian, she was both Interim Executive Director and Program Development Director at Atlatl, Inc, a national service organization for Native American arts in Phoenix, AZ.

A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Phillips says, “I am thrilled to begin my new post as the Director for the IAIA Museum. I look forward to working with the smart and dedicated IAIA staff and students who are committed to the advancement of contemporary Native arts. I plan to find ways to work collaboratively with other organizations across the country so that together we can change the way contemporary Native art is understood and represented.” She holds a Master of Arts degree in non-fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Administration from Harvard University.

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