Mystic Museum of Art announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously appointed V. Susan Fisher of Taos, New Mexico, to be the museum’s next Executive Director. David Madacsi, President of the Board, said, “We are delighted to announce Susan’s appointment. We are impressed with Susan’s leadership experience and skill sets and how well they align with the goals of Mystic Museum of Art for its next chapter, and we were all charmed by her energy and enthusiasm for our mission, staff, and community.”
Fisher will relocate from Taos where she served for six years as Executive Director and Curator of the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House. The Taos Art Museum houses a celebrated collection of works by the Taos Society of Artists (1915–1927) in the remarkable studio of Russian émigré and painter Nicholas Fechin. Under Fisher’s leadership, the museum mounted exhibitions of the permanent collection, temporary and traveling exhibitions, and shows celebrating local and contemporary artists. She also developed new programming and strengthened both earned and contributed income for operations.
Fisher brings impressive intellectual and artistic credentials that pair well with the historical legacy of MMoA serving regional artists. She has an MFA in painting and worked for many years as an active artist in Philadelphia. She studied art history at the Sorbonne, museum studies at the Ecole du Louvre, and served as a correspondent for New Art Examiner for more than a decade, writing both art criticism and art reviews. She has served as a visiting lecturer and adjunct faculty at three universities: Temple University in Philadelphia, Rowan University in New Jersey, and the University of Delaware.
In addition to her curatorial and academic background, Fisher brings significant development experience, including a year as Director of Development at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico; three years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as Director of Foundation and Government Relations, and seven years as Director of Development for a Pennsylvania independent school.
Mary Anne Stets, Chairman of the Museum’s Board, added, “Mystic Museum of Art is at an important juncture in its 100-year history as it continues to transform from an artists’ association and art center into a regional art museum. Susan brings the right package of skills we need to move forward, and that includes fundraising experience, curatorial work with living artists, strategic planning, a track-record of working with a national board of directors, and a reputation for building community engagement. She will help us build our collections, programming, educational and public offerings, and museum profile.”
Fisher looks forward to beginning work on December 5, 2018, and said, “It has been my recent goal to return to the Northeast, and I am thrilled to be coming to Mystic Museum of Art and to this community. I look forward to working with the staff, board, and elected artist-members to advance the museum, which is a beloved cultural focus for the community and region and which continues to expand its offerings.”
Fisher was selected following a national search guided by consultants Marilyn Hoffman and Connie Rosemont of Museum Search & Reference, a firm in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Boston, Massachusetts. The search committee was chaired by Mary Anne Stets and consisted of Andy Halsey, Michele Kirk, Patty Kitchings, Mari Kodama, David Madacsi, and Cindy Martin. Fisher will take the reins from Judy Flora, Director of Finance, who has been ably serving as Acting Executive Director.