ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum is proud to announce the dynamic exhibition The Director’s Cut: 1995 – 2010 with an opening reception on Friday, October 15, 2010 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The opening reception is free to the public. This exhibition is in the Museum’s Holden Community Gallery from Friday, October 15, 2010 through Sunday, March 13, 2011.
A new era began at the Asheville Art Museum on December 13, 1995, when Pamela Myers started her tenure as Executive Director. With prior experience at institutions including the North Carolina Museum of Art, The Strong Museum, Museum of the City of New York and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, she brought a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and new ideas to Asheville.
This exhibition is a celebration of Pam’s 15 years guiding the Museum through a period of extraordinary growth. By highlighting a fraction of art works that have been added to the permanent collection over this period, the exhibition serves not only to show the growth of the Museum’s collection, but the many avenues in which individuals, institutions and others have come together under Pam’s leadership to make the Museum the success it is today.
Gifts of art to the collection have always been an important part of the collection’s growth since the Museum’s inception.
Since 1995, the Museum’s collection has more than tripled to its current total of over 2,700 works. Works of art have been gifted to the Museum from the region and beyond, from artists, foundations, corporations and others. These works come from private collections and those in the art world due to Pam’s leadership. They are given to the Museum knowing they will be cared for in perpetuity and shared with and enjoyed by a wide audience.
In 2003, a group of Museum Members and supporters worked with Museum staff to found the Collectors’ Circle. This group is dedicated to both learning about collecting fine art and art connoisseurship, as well as being active supporters of the growth of the Museum’s collection through the annual purchase of works of art for the Museum. In 2007, a similar group, the Art Nouveaux, was also founded, modeled after the Collectors’ Circle but for those newer to collecting. Since their beginnings, these groups, and individual members, have added 60 works to the collection.
The founding of these two collecting groups, and their support of acquisitions, created new opportunities for the Museum to carefully and strategically plan for collections growth.
After a long and intensive process involving both Museum staff, Collections Committee members and other interested individuals, in 2008 the Museum completed work on a Collections Growth Plan. This document, which is a working document that is constantly updated, looks at the current strengths and weaknesses of the collection and provides a foundation for future growth. The Collections Growth Plan now informs the selections for the Collectors’ Circle and Art Nouveaux, as well as providing guidance for the Museum’s careful use of its limited acquisition funds.