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Walker Art Center in Minneapolis hires new director

MINNEAPOLIS — Just a day short of one year since Walker Art Center executive director Olga Viso announced her resignation from the Minneapolis institution, the Walker announced that Mary Ceruti will be its next executive director.

Ceruti is director and chief curator of SculptureCenter, a multidisciplinary organization in Long Island City, N.Y. She began her career at the Philadelphia Museum of Art before serving as the program director for Capp Street Project in San Francisco. Ceruti has been with SculptureCenter since 1999.

“Mary’s visionary leadership of SculptureCenter, her dedication to supporting the most important emerging artists of our time and her well-known track record of attracting and developing great talent made her a tailor-made choice to lead the Walker now,” John Christakos, Walker Art Center board president, said in a news release.

Ceruti, a Cleveland native, will start at the Walker in late January.

She said: “The Walker has been a trailblazer in identifying the experimental and influential art and artists of its time, continually demonstrating the power of art to help us understand, navigate and shape the contemporary world. I am honored to be selected as the next director of this great institution and believe it is uniquely positioned to create new models for how museums work with artists and diverse constituencies. I am looking forward to partnering with international artists and colleagues, the Minneapolis community, and the experienced and dedicated staff and board of the Walker to build on its world-class collection and ambitious programs.”

Ceruti’s appointment concludes a nearly yearlong search that included more than 40 internal and external stakeholder interviews. Ten candidates were interviewed for the position, according to a Walker release.

Viso had been at the Walker for 10 years, a period that included a $75 million capital campaign and remodel of the museum’s entrance to better connect it with the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. She was criticized for a sculpture depicting a gallows in the revamped Sculpture Garden.

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