Teresa Bramlette Reeves, art historian and former director of the Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University (then known as the KSU Art Museum), is returning to the institution on July 1, this time as director of curatorial affairs. The news comes as the museum gears up for its fall opening in its expanded facility, designed by Stanley Beaman & Sears.
Reeves served as director for just over a year, leaving last summer to take a teaching post at the University of West Georgia. Her departure preceded the August 30 opening of her “Paper Moon” exhibition, which indicated a potentially promising future for the museum’s programming. Observers were left wondering whether the institution would continue its efforts to support contemporary art.
The appointment last August of Atlanta artist Justin Rabideau as interim director was somewhat reassuring. Rabideau has worked for 10 years in the museum world — at the Plattsburgh State Art Museum and the Everson Museum of Art in New York state and the Flagler Museum in Florida — though not in senior staff positions. Rabideau’s appointment ends July 1 (the end of fiscal year 2013).
In order to comply with University System of Georgia policies, a search is being conducted to fill the position of museum director, for which Rabideau is a contender. A KSU spokesperson says a decision may be announced within the week.
Part of the museum’s restructuring has involved honing its mission, putting a five-year strategic plan into place and developing exhibition guidelines regarding the permanent collection. That might help the museum address certain stipulations of previous museum benefactors, including Bernard Zuckerman, who died in February, that their gifts remain on display for certain, sometimes very long, periods of time.
“Apart from Ruth Zuckerman’s work, there are no components of our collection that will be on permanent display,” Rabideau says.
Despite the appeal of academia, Reeves says she missed engaging with artists directly, in the studio. The restructuring at the Zuckerman — dividing the responsibilities of the director and curator — piqued her interest in returning. Now, instead of the administrative tasks, fund-raising and other institutional duties of a director, her sole focus is on developing the curatorial program, which includes research and acquisitions as well as exhibition planning.
Reeves is essentially picking up where she left off. She was instrumental in the planning the Zuckerman and is returning just in time to see its completion. She is at work on the inaugural exhibition, “See Through Walls,” a spatial and architecturally themed show to commemorate the new building. Reeves had begun planning the show before leaving KSU, and while away she continued to work with Associate Curator Kirstie Tepper to realize the project.
“See Through Walls” will include work by Adriane Colburn, Bethany Collins, Annette Cone-Skelton, Ben Goldman, David Haxton, Imi Hwangbo, Casey Lynch, Gordon Matta-Clark, Casey McGuire, Jenene Nagy, Michael Oliveri, Sam Parker and Ruth Stanford.
Reeves and Tepper are also working on another exhibition, tentatively titled “Pause.” Selected works will embody “moments of stillness and quiet, tiny (sometimes infinitesimal) breaks in forward momentum, action or engagement . . . as well as the moral correlations,” such as meditation or inertia.
Other upcoming shows will include a solo by Indiana-based textile artist Rowland Ricketts and, in the spring, an exhibition of current Walthall Fellows, in conjunction with WonderRoot.
With its new building and a growing exhibition program, the Zuckerman firmly plants KSU on the Atlanta art map, and promises to entice intown art lovers to go beyond the Perimeter.
View photos of the museum construction in progress here.