Lorie Mertes to Lead Miami’s Locust Projects

The Miami nonprofit exhibition space Locust Projects announced today that Lorie Mertes has been appointed executive director. Currently the director of public programs at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, Mertes will officially assume the position on May 5. She succeeds Chana Budgazad Sheldon, who is stepping down after eight years to pursue new opportunities.

“Lorie’s ingenuity and ambition will prove invaluable at a time when Locust Projects celebrates two decades of programming and looks towards implementing a strategic planning process to map our path for the years to come,” said board chair Debra Scholl.

Mertes will be responsible for overseeing Locust’s exhibition program and annual programs such as Locust Art Builders, which provides artist-led instruction and resources to Miami-Dade high school students, and Locust Talks, a lecture series that hosts visiting directors and curators.

Established in 1998 by Miami-based artists Elizabeth Withstandley, Westen Charles, and COOPER, Locust Projects is dedicated to supporting contemporary artists at critical stages in their careers. Since its founding, the venue has presented more than 150 exhibitions featuring more than four hundred artists.