It is now official that Los Angeles County Museum of Art Curator Franklin Sirmans will serve as Artistic Director of the Prospect.3 biennial, slated to open in October 2013. His name first surfaced, less officially, at the Prospect.2 opening gala on October 21, when then Artistic Director Dan Cameron announced that he was stepping down from the role he had held since Prospect New Orleans’ inception in 2007. This week’s announcement concluded with the news that Cameron will assume a new post as chief curator of the Orange County Museum of Art in January 2012, posing the unexpected scenario of a major New Orleans art event being directed from Los Angeles, where both Prospect officials will be based. For his part, Cameron plans to remain actively involved as a member of the Executive Committee of Prospect New Orleans’ board of directors.
Until January 2010, Sirmans had been the head of modern and contemporary art at the prestigious Menil Collection in Houston before being hired by the LACMA. Says Cameron, “With the successful opening of Prospect.2 still fresh in people’s minds, this is the perfect moment to hand over the reins to another curator. I have hoped since its inception that Prospect New Orleans would become, like Venice and Kassel, a biennial that other curators would aspire to organize, and Franklin is excited to take on this role. We have a good working template for future editions of Prospect New Orleans in terms of how the biennial interacts with the city and its unique culture.” With shows to his credit such as the Menil’s NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, he seems a good fit for the Creole city.
Rounding out a busy news week in Nola art world officialdom, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art announced that William Pittman Andrews will become its next Director as of January 2, 2012, allowing Lisa McCaffety-Scott, acting director since 2010, to return to her position as chief operating officer.
A 41-year-old native of Starkville, Miss., and director of the University of Mississippi Museum and Historic House since 2009, Andrews joins Julia Reed, Chair of the Ogden’s Board of Trustees, Board member William Dunlap, and Collections Manager Bradley Sumrall among the Mississippi natives now holding high level positions at the Ogden.