Former UIMA art curator first finalist for director position

Former UIMA art curator first finalist for director position

The name of the first person to interview to be director of the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art has been revealed.

UI officials say Catherine Hale, director of Creative Campus Galleries at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada, will be on campus on Monday and Tuesday. She’ll take part in an open forum at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the Becker Communication Studies Building.

Hale has Iowa ties, formerly serving as curator of African and non-western art for UIMA. She’s the first of three finalists for the position expected to visit campus; interviews and open forums are also scheduled for Wednesday and April 23.

Those three are vying to replace Sean O’Harrow, who last year took a position in Honolulu. Former congressman and visiting UI professor Jim Leach had been serving as interim museum director until stepping aside last week, with School of Art and Art History director Steve McGuire taking his stead. McGuire is one of two co-chairs of the UIMA director search committee.

The UIMA’s exhibits remain on the road, a plight they’ve dealt with since the flood of 2008 and the closing of the previous Museum of Art due to Lloyds of London’s refusal to insure art at the building. The UI plans to open a new museum next to the Main Library and Gibson Square, with an opening date expected some time in 2020.

However, construction on that building was delayed by at least five months last week as part of the UI’s construction freeze. Officials still hope to break ground on the new museum later this year.