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Portland’s Yale Union Names Yoko Ott Its New Executive Director

The Portland, Oregon, contemporary art center Yale Union, has named Yoko Ott as its new executive director. Ott succeeds Yale Union’s director and cofounder Curtis Knapp, who resigned on March 1.

Prior to joining Yale Union, Ott served as the founding director of the New Foundation Seattle, the executive director of the artist residency program Open Satellite, and the manager of youth and community outreach programs at the Frye Art Museum. She also curated an exhibition of Martha Rosler’s work at New York’s Mitchell-Innes & Nash in 2016.

“We are all—board and staff—enthusiastic about working with Yoko,” said Aaron Flint Jamison, Yale Union’s cofounder and board chair. “We thank Curtis for his vision in cofounding Yale Union and the ten years he gave to it. With Yoko’s appointment we are fortunate to have the experience of a seasoned arts professional guiding the institution moving forward. We are privileged that Yoko understands and is committed to our mission and its history and are looking forward to the future with her as our leader.”

In addition to Ott’s appointment, Yale Union promoted curator Hope Svenson to the position of director of exhibitions, while Jennifer Martin has returned to the center as its interim director of operations.