It was recently announced that Brian Wallace, the director of the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery, has departed from Keene State College after four years acting as director here at Keene State.
Wallace previously served as curator and academic liaison at Bryn Mawr College and brought 26 years of experience in working in the arts. Wallace served as director for the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery for four years and contributed much to the arts department here at Keene State. Wallace’s selected exhibitions include “Carrying/Pistol Packing Pupils”, “Binary Visions: 19th Century Woven Coverlets from the collection of Historic Huguenot Street”, “analog catalog: Investigating the Permanent Collection” and “Carolee Schneemann: Within and Beyond the Premises”. Aside from his history at Keene State, he has worked as a curator for the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Platz from 2006 to 2011.
Despite Wallace stepping down as director, first-year art major Stacey Willett remains hopeful for the future.
“I’m sad that Wallace has left,” Willett said. “But we are blessed with the great opportunity to have a new, very educated and experienced director. I’m excited to be starting my degree path with a new director of the gallery.”
Other students are saddened to hear of Wallace’s departure, including graphic design major Katelyn Fisher.
“I’m looking forward to having new experiences with the new director and see how he will run the gallery for years to come,” Fisher said. “But I’m sad to hear that Wallace has left the program here at Keene as soon as I started my academic career here.”
“I believe that he brought a unique approach to the arts,” Fisher said, reflecting on Wallace’s time at Keene. “He brought a lot of unique exhibits to the Thorne-Sagendorph.”
First-year studio art student Sam Reinke shares these bittersweet views on Wallace leaving the program.
“I’m sad to see Wallace go. He did really great work in the art center, including bringing in many Andy Warhol works to the gallery,” Reinke said. “The department will definitely be different when he’s gone, but I am sure the new director will bring a new perspective and something new to the table.”
Along with Wallace’s departure, the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery is starting to move into a new direction, focusing on student involvement and student works.
“Brian Wallace worked independently from the art and design department curating exhibits,” Paul McMullan, the current director of the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery, explains. “The art and design department is looking forward to increased student involvement in the Thorne-Sagendorph not only in installing artwork, but also with help curating exhibitions, cataloging and working with the permanent collection, design of promotional material, along with many other opportunities including printing t-shirts.”
Paul McMullan said, “We are also looking into introducing a small coffee cafe in the lobby along with a small art book area with study space for students.”
Brian Wallace was not available for a comment on the article.
Tom Benoit can be reached