The Board of Directors of the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) announced today the appointment of Susana Smith Bautista, Ph.D., as Executive Director of the Museum. Dr. Bautista will begin in this position on May 23, 2017.
Born and raised in Pasadena, Dr. Bautista is an expert on museums, digital technology, the arts, and strategic communication. With an M.A. in Art History/Museum Studies and a Ph.D. in Communication, both from University of Southern California, Dr. Bautista brings with her a wealth of experience in the museum world, curating exhibitions and creating educational programming, and digital media and communication. Dr. Bautista is committed to the Pasadena-area community, having served on the City of Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission, the Advisory Board of Southwest Chamber Music, the Board of Trustees of Westridge School, and the Board of Directors of Clazzical Notes.
“The Board of Directors is thrilled to have Susana take the helm of the PMCA,” says PMCA Chairman of the Board Jim Crawford. “She has a proven track record in the art, museum, and nonprofit fields. Her specialized focus on museum studies; digital technology and communication; and Latino, Chicano, and Asian art will ensure that the full, diverse scope of California art as well as modern media communication continue to be at the forefront of the PMCA’s programming. With someone as committed to California Art as well as to the Pasadena and Los Angeles communities, we are certain that with Susana as Executive Director, the Museum will continue to thrive and be a significant and essential voice within and beyond Los Angeles.”
Dr. Bautista replaces Interim Executive Director Jay Belloli, who says, "I have every confidence that Susana will sustain the PMCA's continued expansion of its educational and outreach efforts and will further demonstrate her leadership within the Pasadena community." Mr. Belloli commenced his directorship with the Museum upon the departure of former Executive Director Jenkins Shannon last June. Mrs. Shannon, now with Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Environmental Design, dedicated over a decade to leading the Museum and remains a strong supporter and member of the PMCA, as will Mr. Belloli, who will continue to guest curate exhibitions in partnership with the PMCA.
“As a longtime visitor and supporter of the PMCA, I am honored to take on this leadership role at the Museum,” says Dr. Bautista. “Having lived in Pasadena for most of my life, I have seen the major contributions the PMCA has made to the Pasadena community as well as those of Los Angeles and California. The Museum has filled a void in the study and presentation of California art, and as we approach this momentous 15th anniversary of the Museum, I consider it a privilege to be able to uphold the PMCA’s mission and to ensure that the longstanding tradition of innovative research and exhibitions, as well as engaging educational and outreach programming, continues for the next 15 years and beyond.”
Dr. Bautista has over 25 years of experience in the art world in Los Angeles, New York, and Greece, working with museums, commercial galleries, and non-profit art spaces; curating exhibitions on Latino and Latin American art; lecturing; and publishing, including her 2013 book titled Museums in the Digital Age. Her background in nonprofit arts administration includes former positions at the Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles as the Executive Director; USC Pacific Asia Museum as the Interim Deputy Director and Director of Public Engagement; LatinArt.com, the online journal of art and culture, as Editorial Director; and within distinguished institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, USC Fisher Museum of Art, and INTAR International Arts Relations. She also serves as a peer reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums.
About Pasadena Museum of California Art
The mission of the PMCA is to present the breadth of California art and design through exhibitions and educational programs that explore the cultural dynamics and influences that are unique to California. Since it opened to the public in 2002, the PMCA has presented over 125 exhibitions, including Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, The Golden Twenties: Portraits and Figure Paintings by Joseph Kleitsch
, and Picturing Mexico: Alfredo Ramos Martínez in California
, and published 18 catalogues, including Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey
, which is already in its second edition.