Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, Oregon, has named Blake Shell, currently director and curator of the Art Gym and Belluschi Pavilion at Marylhurst University, as its new executive director. Blake Shell succeeds Disjecta’s founder Bryan Suereth, who was dismissed by the board over conflicts of leadership in January.
“Blake Shell’s passion for supporting artists at every stage of their career, her knowledge of the challenges presented by risk-taking programming, and her ability to increase resources will complement Disjecta’s innovative Curator-in-Residence and Biennial exhibition programs,” the board of directors said. “She brings energy and experience to us at a time when contemporary art centers need passionate, dedicated and articulate leaders to advance their work.”
Shell has over fifteen years of experience in directing nonprofit galleries. During her tenure at the Art Gym, Shell provided artistic direction, worked on development initiatives, helped establish a brand identity, and expanded programming and publications. Previously, Shell served as executive director of Dinnerware Contemporary Arts in Tucson and as gallery curator and director of the University of Arizona’s Joseph Gross and Lionel Rombach Galleries, where she worked as an adjunct professor and public art coordinator.