Yael Reinharz.

Artis Director Yael Reinharz Steps Down to Lead Maine’s Surf Point Foundation

After nearly eleven years at the helm of Artis, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting contemporary Israeli artists who address social and political issues in their work, Yael Reinharz has announced that she will step down as executive director. Reinharz will relocate to southern Maine, where as founding director of the Surf Point Foundation she will launch a new residency program for midcareer artists and writers. Surf Point Foundation was established by philanthropist and collector Mary-Leigh Smart in 1988.

“We are sorry to say farewell to Yael, who has been the force and vivid spirit behind the growth of Artis over the last decade,” Rivka Saker, the founder and chair of Artis, said in a statement. “Her clear thinking and unending search for excellence have enabled the organization to maximize its potential and spread its message far and wide. We look forward to her continued involvement with the artist community from Israel as she embarks on her next professional steps.”

Under Reinharz’s leadership, Artis promoted Israeli art through organizing research trips to Israel, facilitating acquisitions for major US museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, presenting hundreds of public programs internationally, and awarding grants to artists and curators. Prior to joining the organization as codirector in 2007, Reinharz held positions at Creative Time, Matthew Marks Gallery, and Christie’s in New York.

“I have been so privileged to lead this organization,” Reinharz said. “My greatest joys have been to witness artists pushing their work to new levels of complexity and sophistication, to raise awareness of their work, and to create platforms to enable their growth. I think we have succeeded with our mission to a remarkable extent and I believe the stage is set for great accomplishments in the future.”