GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. April 5, 2011 – ArtPrize, the radically open public art competition, today announced its continued progress toward long-term sustainability. The organization has hired Catherine Creamer, an expert in business development and management, as its new executive director.
Creamer, who began with ArtPrize on March 21, will oversee ArtPrize and align the creative and business elements of the organization, including finance, operations and administration, reporting to ArtPrize chairman, Rick DeVos. Bill Holsinger-Robinson, ArtPrize’s outgoing executive director, will refocus his efforts as the president of Pomegranate Studios, leading projects including Momentum and 5×5 Night.
Among Creamer’s first responsibilities will be establishing new financial goals that will enable the organization to reach self-sustainability, in addition to reporting and auditing procedures required for nonprofits with 501©(3) status. ArtPrize earned this distinction on January 1, 2011. Creamer’s most recent experience include business development and management positions with Herman Miller, faculty at New North Center for Design and Business and curriculum research for Kendall College of Art and Design.
“We selected Catherine based on her range of experience leading major projects, her remarkable administrative skill in non-traditional organizations and appetite for new challenges,” said DeVos. “She will be a strong leader for ArtPrize as we undertake expanded initiatives in community engagement and take further steps to becoming an organization that is broadly supported and valued by the community.”
Since its inception, self-sustainability has been integral to ArtPrize’s long-term viability. The new director brings a strong combination of management, development and education to ArtPrize that will help the organization reach financial independence.
“ArtPrize continues to undergo significant growth, and its future requires someone with a strong business and organizational background as well as significant nonprofit experience, and we found that in Catherine,” added Bill Holsinger-Robinson. “Catherine is a seasoned leader who can develop new arts management talent and nurture the ArtPrize platform.”
For the past five years, Creamer has led a consulting firm specializing in business development and material design innovation. She was responsible for framing new business ideas in preparation for launch and identifying and vetting design professionals for the furniture industry. Her clients have included the Material ConneXion, Natural Capitalism Institute, DARPA, Dial, Egg Strategy and Herman Miller.
“It is a great honor to join the ArtPrize team and I am humbled by the great work that has established this competition on the national scene,” said Creamer. “In this position, I hope to further our goal of becoming a self-sustaining organization while reaffirming our core mission: to dramatically transform the public art conversation through social engagement using Grand Rapids as a canvas.”
Creamer has held the position of secretary of the board of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and a member of the executive committee for eight years as well as president of West Michigan Environmental Action Council since fall 2010. She has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Rochester Institute of Technology with additional executive education from the University of Michigan, Wells College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Originally trained as a master weaver, Creamer began her career as a full time artist in a New York studio. Her work has been shown in galleries nationally as well as in at the Cooper Hewitt in N.Y. and the Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. She currently resides in Grand Rapids with her two sons.
ArtPrize 2011 begins Sept. 21 and runs through Oct. 9. Last Thursday, it was announced that the organization would find a new home at a new arts incubator in the soon-to-be former UICA building. Information about ArtPrize and scheduled events can be found at artprize.org.
ArtPrize is a radically open competition, which has no formal jury, curator or judge, and asks the public to vote and decide the winners using mobile devices and the Internet. During ArtPrize 2010, more than 1,713 artists from 44 states and 21 countries participated in the unprecedented competition that awarded nearly $500,000 to the prizewinners. More than 460,000 votes were cast during the 19-day event. For more information about ArtPrize visit artprize.org.