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Society for Photographic Education Announces New Executive Director

SPE Board Chair Jeff Curto has announced the selection of James Wyman as the organization’s new executive director, effective August 3. “We are thrilled with the outcome of this extensive–and intensive–search process and the almost magical way Jim’s background, talents, and career priorities line up with our SPE mission and current challenges,” Jeff said. “Every board member and staff member is invigorated by the vision and great feeling for SPE that Jim showed during the interviews. I am certain that SPE is poised for a number of breakthroughs in our service to our membership, and Jim is the person to lead us there.”

Jeff also praised Claude Baillargeon for his diligent spearheading of the Search Committee, the other members of the committee, and the rest of the board for their avid involvement in the search process.

Jim Wyman has more than twenty years of experience as a curator, museum director, educator, and fundraiser specializing in photography at institutions of higher education and museums of art. Among his administrative and fundraising achievements are successful multi-million-dollar building campaigns and strategic departmental leadership roles in major capital campaigns at doctoral/research universities. Examples are Ohio University’s Bicentennial Campaign, where he served as director of the Kennedy Museum of Art, and the University of Michigan’s The Michigan Difference, where he served as chief curator of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Jim has developed and implemented many new membership and community outreach programs and received more than 100 grants from various state and federal agencies, foundations, and corporations. As a curator, he has organized hundreds of art exhibitions, dozens of which have traveled to museums and galleries throughout the United States. His exhibitions and accompanying programs have been among the first to explore participatory, multi- and inter-disciplinary interpretive strategies. He is a leading figure in the development of new paradigms for art exhibitions, public engagement, and the museum experience. Most recently, he served as director of development at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY.

He earned his BFA in photography from The Ohio State University, an MFA in photography from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and completed certificate work in Organizational Behavior, Master of Business Administration, University of Liverpool, England (2006).

Jim had the following to say to SPE members:

“SPE has always held a special place in my heart. If not for SPE, I would not have had the many opportunities I have enjoyed throughout my career. SPE provided many meaningful, formative, (and employable) experiences for me. I am humbled beyond words to join with the staff and board–a community with values and principles I share in advancing our mission with every interaction.

I am attracted to forging a bold, clear, global vision for SPE as a ‘new-model’ organization, one that passionately embraces region and articulates such sense of place in the context of global citizenship. It is an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to learn from my colleagues and to play a part in ensuring SPE’s bright future as a catalyst for cultural vitality, education, advocacy, and creativity throughout the U.S. and beyond.

Here, I will get to do what I love most: To support photographers and scholars and to instill the value of photographic education, lifelong learning, and giving through service to others in a community that I love and respect. We are fired-up to shape the future of photographic education and to lead the discourse. Surfing the wake isn’t for us!”

From spenational.org

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