Palm Springs Art Museum’s Board of Trustees has announced that Board Member Mark Prior will assume the role of interim Chief Executive Officer, for Elizabeth Armstrong, the JoAnn McGrath Executive Director, who is resigning effective October 1, 2018.
“During her tenure, Liz Armstrong has been a creative force and spearheaded a number of important initiatives,” said Palm Springs Board of Trustees Chairman Steven H. Maloney. “She guided our 20/20 Strategic Plan and brought the Museum several highly successful exhibitions, including the recent blockbuster Warhol Prints. She worked diligently to fulfill our shared goal of making the Museum a place where the community and visitors have a positive and inspiring experience. We salute her dedicated service and appreciate her numerous contributions.”
Reflecting on her time at the Museum, Armstrong said, “I feel extremely privileged to have served this community and institution as Executive Director. It has been a significant period of transition – as audiences continue to redefine ‘cultural experience,’ the Museum has responded with such timely exhibitions as Killer Heels, Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969, and, this fall, Unsettled: Global Art on the New Frontier. The Museum has grown its audiences, expanded its community outreach, and extended its school and education programs throughout the Coachella Valley.”
Board of Trustees member Prior is an entrepreneur who started his career by co-founding a software company. He has since served as a public company CEO and media executive. In addition to his Palm Springs Art Museum role as trustee, he is also a trustee of Canada’s ARC Foundation, a board member of the Engaged Buddhist Alliance, and a regular volunteer instructor in the California State prison system. Prior will assume the Museum’s management leadership role during the search for a new Executive Director.
“I am honored to have been asked to help continue the Museum’s vital mission, and look forward to using my skills and passion for art, business, and leadership in this new capacity,” said Prior. “I am grateful to be joined by Steve and the Board of Trustees, who are committed to guiding and supporting our accomplished staff through this transition.”
The Museum has a busy schedule of programs, performances, tours and events coming up this fall including planning for its noteworthy 80th Anniversary Celebration. There are a number of new exhibitions at all three of its locations, including the aforementioned Unsettled, a sweeping presentation of global art on the new frontier at the main location; Scraps, a look at how discarded textiles and fabrics can be used in creative, fashionable and environmentally conscious ways at the Architecture and Design Center; and Shoulder to Shoulder: Depicting the Figure at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, which features works from the Museum’s permanent collection that represent the body across time, cultural contexts and artistic movements.