Arkansas State University’s Bradbury Art Museum is about to celebrate its 20th year in existence and will welcome a new director.
Garry Holstein becomes BAM director at the beginning of February, the university announced Tuesday (Jan. 28). A practicing artist, educator and administrator, his main goals are to facilitate access to the arts for all ages through community engagement activities, student mentorship, exhibition development, and cultivation of the permanent collection, he said.
“I am very pleased to announce that Garry Holstein has chosen to join us in Jonesboro,” stated Dr. Carl M. Cates, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Communication at Arkansas State. “His background and professional experience should prove to be a great asset to the campus and community.”
Holstein has been director of the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art at the University of Southern Indiana, where he has served for the past seven years. Previously, he was visiting professor of art at Arkansas Tech University.
With a master of fine arts in visual design and master of arts in organizational communication from the University of Arkansas, he also earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Southern Indiana.
“I look forward to building upon the significant foundation provided by [former director] Les Christensen and working with the talented staff of BAM to cultivate programming that will enhance quality of life for members of our campus, community and region,” Holstein said. “It is a great honor to be chosen to further develop this notable asset of the Arkansas State University campus made possible through the vision of the Bradbury family, and supported by the Windgate, Kays, Brown, and Rea Foundations, James and Wanda Lee Vaughn, and so many others.”
Earlier in his career, Holstein was founding director of the University of Arkansas outreach gallery, sUgAr, in Bentonville. During this time, he also worked as Donald Roller Wilson’s personal assistant, an opportunity that he says provided experience with the mechanics of a very prolific, respected contemporary artist.
He has organized exhibitions on the local, regional, national and international levels that embraced a range of artists from student to professional. By spearheading invitational and juried shows in a wide range of media, he seeks to create an atmosphere that encourages diverse and exciting programming, fosters dialogue in the community, and provides opportunities for artists.
Holstein also exhibits his own work in regional and national venues.