Colgate University President Rebecca Chopp has announced the appointment of Scott Habes as director of the university’s Picker Art Gallery.
As director, Habes will provide vision and artistic direction for the gallery, taking the lead in shaping its role in the visual arts and education on campus and the Central New York region.
“This is a moment of great opportunity for the Picker and for Colgate and I am confident that we will see great things from the Picker as Scott is a person of experience, vision and energy,” said Chopp. “The Picker is poised to play a more significant role on campus and in the community as it pursues its mission to engage the imaginations, stimulate the minds and captivate the eyes of students, faculty, staff, community members and visitors to the area.”
Habes comes to Colgate from The Art Gallery, based at the University of Maryland, where he served as director since 2000.
The Art Gallery is known as a leader in the Washington, D.C., area for its exhibitions, collections and programs emphasizing contemporary art and visual culture. The gallery has received critical acclaim for its innovative vision that serves as an extension of the undergraduate and graduate curricula of the university and as a cultural resource for the Baltimore-Washington region.
“I am delighted by the opportunity to contribute to Colgate’s educational mission at this key moment in its history,” said Habes. “The Picker Art Gallery is poised to play an essential role in the region in introducing leading artists and concepts into the field, and I look forward to advancing Colgate’s unique culture as a truly integrated institution committed to visual art in its many dynamic permutations.”
During his time at The Art Gallery, Habes set the strategic and artistic direction for the gallery, curated exhibitions by such artists as Chan Chao, Michael Platt, and Oliver Herring, and led in the development of a new art center at the university.
Habes previously held positions at the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland and the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.
Habes earned a dual BA in art history and economics from the State University of New York at Oswego and an MBA in arts administration from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
“Scott brings great enthusiasm not only for excellent art, but a passion for connecting it with teaching and learning in ways that will enhance the experience of our students and those in our community,” said Provost and Dean of the Faculty Lyle Roelofs. “I thank the search committee for their excellent work in bringing Scott to Colgate.”
Search committee members were: Hugh Bradford, associate vice president for budget and financial aid; Mary Ann Calo, professor of art and art history; Joachim Homann, curator; Linck Johnson, Charles A. Dana Professor of English; Judith Oliver, professor of art and art history and Medieval & Renaissance studies; and Russ Wilkinson ’70, Colgate trustee.
About the Picker
Opened in 1967, the Picker Art Gallery has grown from a temporary display space for art produced by Colgate faculty and students, and for short-term loan exhibitions of contemporary art to a gallery of significant potential. Areas of strength include twentieth-century American prints, drawings, and paintings; the Dr. Luther W. Brady Collection of American Expressionist Works on Paper; the Herbert A. Mayer Collection of Australian Aboriginal Drawings from the Carrolup Native River Settlement; the Yevgeny Khaldei Collection of Soviet Era Photographs; the Theodore and Evelyn Herman Collection of Chinese Woodcut Prints; the Thomas Nast III Collection of Political Cartoons by Thomas Nast.
Each year, the Picker Art Gallery holds approximately twelve temporary exhibitions, many drawn from the permanent collection and from alumni loans. Some projects are partially or wholly curated by Colgate students in the gallery’s intensive internship program, and by members of the faculty in conjunction with their research and/or teaching. A wide array of talks, concerts and other public programs, as well as special activities for families and children and for area schools, attract several thousand visitors each year.