Wexner Center for the Arts Names a New Director, From New York

The Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University has appointed Johanna Burton as its new director. Ms. Burton, who has served as Keith Haring director and curator of education and public engagement at the New Museum in New York since 2013, will be succeeding Sherri Geldin in March.

The Wexner Center, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, includes 13,000 square feet of gallery space; a black-box theater that accommodates 150 to 500; a film and video theater that seats about 300; and the Mershon Center stage, which seats 2,500 for dance, music, theater, multimedia productions and lectures. It was conceived from the beginning as a place devoted to the most advanced ideas in contemporary art.

It also advocates artist experimentation, by those both well-established and newly emerging — and that is something Ms. Burton aims to preserve and expand upon. “My hopes are to continue the path of the Wex as groundbreaking and risk-taking,” she said in an interview. “The Wex has shown again and again that it is unafraid to test the waters.”

“Continuing to be unafraid and take risks, and allowing artists to take risks, is my hope for the future; continuing to have a place that’s both foundational and stable but allows for that kind of experimentation,” she added.

As a hub for the cross-pollination of artistic disciplines, the center funded the Wexner Prize, starting in 1992, to be awarded to pioneering and innovative artists. The award has gone to the likes of Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Merce Cunningham and Annie Leibovitz.

In her new position, Ms. Burton will be overseeing a staff of 70 and budget of $12 million.

At the New Museum, Ms. Burton is also series editor for its Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture, which she revived after a 10-year hiatus. Previously, she was director of the Graduate Program at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies and associate director and senior faculty member at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program.

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