Keene State College has gained a new member of the parliament; the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery has a new Art Director.

Brian Wallace began his art-loving journey when he attended Ithaca College to study history.

“My friends would suggest going to New York City to visit some museums,” Wallace said, “I was surprised, I didn’t know museums were a cool thing!”

Wallace, originally from the suburbs of Connecticut, found himself becoming interested in the history of art.

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff New art director, Brian Wallace, in the art gallery.

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff
New art director, Brian Wallace, in the art gallery.

He then attended Bard College in Red Hook, New York and received his Master’s degree in Art History.

Wallace was one of the first students to take part in a Master’s program in contemporary art and curatorial studies at Bard College.

“It was a really interesting combination of theory and practical aspects of being a museum curator,” Wallace said.

He said his studies prepared him for future jobs he took at museums and galleries in and around cities and college campuses. Wallace said he has also done some independent curating, participated in public art projects and organized art festivals.

These previous jobs, Wallace said, have prepared him to be patient, communicate with peers, appreciate people of different backgrounds being involved in art and work with students.

Wallace spoke very highly of the Thorne and said he is excited to be at KSC.

“I think that [the Thorne] has both a really strong and well-established presence that bridges the campus and the community,” Wallace said.

In terms of responsibility, Wallace has a long to-do list at the gallery. He is in charge of maintaining and protecting the Thorne’s permanent collection which includes a large selection from nineteenth-century artists.

Wallace also finds local support from the community to help provide work from new and local artists.

“I really want to connect with students,” the new director said. He said he didn’t visit his first museum until his senior year of high school, so hopes to see more students getting involved at the Thorne.

Wallace also said he is interested in working with the safety and architecture programs on campus.

“I think the two majors can really relate to art,” he said.

Sophomore KSC safety major Abby Shea said she hasn’t been to the gallery yet this year, but is excited to visit.

“I’d love to exchange thoughts and ideas with Mr. Wallace on how to go about incorporating safety and architecture into the artwork displayed in the gallery,” Shea said.

After settling into his office in June of 2015, Wallace said he has really enjoyed the short time he has been at KSC. Wallace said he and the Thorne’s staff have put in a lot of effort to make the gallery more student-friendly.

“We redecorated,” Walllace said.

Wallace said there will soon be new couches in the lobby, and plugs for students to charge their phones

Senior and student worker at the gallery, Jess Mahoney, is also excited for the new changes.

“[The Thorne] was repainted a very modern color,” Mahoney said.

She said so many “wonderful changes” have already been done to improve the gallery.

“I can only imagine what other great accomplishments will be done for this upcoming year” Mahoney said.

“I’m excited for people to see where the Thorne goes in the immediate future,” Wallace said.

He said he hopes students and faculty will visit the gallery often and enjoy the art presented.

Students and faculty are more than welcome to check out the latest exhibit by Jules Olitski: Lakes, Mountains and Seas until December sixth.

Also, don’t forget to stop by the Thorne on September 24 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary!

Mackenzie Clarke can be contacted at

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