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Vance Wall Art Education Center at MAM Hires First Education Director

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Credits: Montclair Art Museum
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MONTCLAIR, NJ, April 23, 2015—The Montclair Art Museum is pleased to announce that Leah Fox has been appointed MAM’s first director of the Vance Wall Art Education Center. This newly created center—made possible by a generous donation by the Vance Wall Foundation—will enable a strategic and ambitious expansion of MAM’s educational profile in the region.

A nationally recognized leader in her field, Fox brings 17 years of experience working in art museums, helping to advance education programs and engage new audiences. Most recently, as the director of interpretation and audience engagement at the Currier Museum of Art, in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she worked for 10 years, Fox led the educational staff and 80 docents, overseeing all programs, tours, gallery interpretation, and visitor engagement initiatives. She has published widely, led workshops, and lectured extensively on a range of topics, including best practices for making museums accessible and engaging to diverse audiences. She has also led programs on forming museum/school collaborations and on bringing art and culture to children and adults with sight loss.

“We’re extremely pleased that the Vance Wall Foundation has given us this opportunity to reimagine how a midsize museum can operate in the future to assure a relevant and meaningful educational role in its communities,” said Lora Urbanelli, director of the Montclair Art Museum. “We have a strong tradition on which to build. Our award-winning art school has been a part of the Museum since 1924, and our education programs have earned widespread respect. But MAM is committed to innovation, and we hope to establish new approaches in teaching and learning that will serve as a model for educational efforts at other similar institutions across the nation. The Museum is already well known for its high quality, groundbreaking exhibitions. We are equally serious about our education programs. Leah’s experience, passion, and leadership role in the educational world of museums will help us attain these ambitions.”    

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“I am excited to collaborate with the diverse communities in Montclair and throughout North Jersey to develop a vision for the Vance Wall Art Education Center that will build upon existing strengths of the Museum and respond to the needs of the community. With an established school tour program, highly regarded studio art courses and education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, and an outstanding collection, the Museum is deeply committed to supporting art education. I also look forward to working with area schools to ensure that the Museum fosters the skills in students that are essential now and for the future.” 

Before the Currier, Fox worked in education and audience research capacities at the Museum of Modern Art and at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She received her bachelor’s from Clark University (Worcester, MA) in psychology and art history and her master’s in museum studies from John F. Kennedy University (Berkeley, CA).

Fox and her family will relocate to Montclair over the summer and officially join the MAM staff in August.

 

About the Museum

The Montclair Art Museum, a notable, community-based institution with an international reputation, boasts a renowned collection of American and Native American art that uniquely highlights art making in the United States over the last three hundred years. The collection includes more than 12,000 objects: paintings, prints, original works on paper, photographs, and sculpture by American artists from the 18th century to the present, as well as traditional and contemporary Native American art and artifacts representing the cultural developments of peoples from all of the major American Indian regions. The Museum’s education programs serve a wide public and bring artists, performers, and scholars to the Museum on a regular basis.

 

MAM’s Yard School of Art is the leading regional art school, offering a multitude of comprehensive courses for children, teens, adults, seniors, and professional artists. The Yard School was recently recognized in the Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Awards 2015 as the Favorite Place to Take a Kid’s and Adult Art Class.

 

The Montclair Art Museum is located at 3 South Mountain Avenue in Montclair, N.J. Information and directions are available on the Museum website, montclairartmuseum.org, or by calling 973-746-5555. MAM is open Wednesdays through Sundays, Noon – 5 p.m., and on the first Thursday night of the month (October–June), from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and major holidays. Museum admission is $12 for nonmember adults, $10 for senior citizens and students with I.D., and free for members and children under 12. Free First Thursday Nights and Free First Fridays are free for everyone. The Store at MAM is open Wednesdays 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursdays–Sundays Noon–5 p.m. and has extended hours until 9 p.m. on Free First Thursday Nights.

 

All Museum programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the

Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds

from the National Endowment for the Arts, Carol and Terry Wall/The Vance Wall Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.

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