Salt Lake City, UT - The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) expresses a fond farewell to Rebecca Maksym, Curator of Exhibitions as she moves to Portland, Oregon to pursue exciting new career opportunities. Jared Steffensen, formerly the Education and Outreach Programming Curator, will be stepping into the role.
Rebecca Maksym quickly made her talent known in the community as she rose through the ranks of the museum to UMOCA's Curator of Exhibitions in 2013. Maksym reflects on her time at the museum:
"It was a pleasure to work with UMOCA's amazing staff. I'm truly grateful for all of the opportunities to collaborate with local and international artists in an effort to help elevate the discourse of contemporary art in Utah. I wish the arts community well and look forward to hearing about the incredible endeavors that are sure to solidify Salt Lake City as an important artistic hub for vibrant and cross-disciplinary projects."
Rebecca Maksym has curated a number of exhibitions, including award winning Rolithica a photography and installation show incorporating dramatic compositions by David Brothers, as well as an exhibition showcasing the work of Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, and most recently a group sculpture show titled Object[ed]: Shaping Sculpture in Contemporary Art, featuring works by Olga Balema, Cailtin Cherry, Leeza Meksin, Tove Storch, Gili Tal, and Lizze Määttälä. This show, currently on display in UMOCA's Main Gallery is her final outstanding contribution to the museum. Executive Director Kristian Anderson affectionately comments on her departure:
"Rebecca Maksym's relocation is a substantive loss for the cultural community in Salt Lake City. UMOCA's identity is based on the people who hold key positions, such as Rebecca's. As Curator, she has provided UMOCA's curatorial vision for the past three years producing exceptional exhibitions."
A common thread runs through her practice, the pursuit of intellectual rigor and aesthetic excellence combined with a fearlessness for tackling difficult social issues. "Our loss is Portland's gain and we know that she will continue her bravery and merit in all of her future endeavors," continues Anderson.
Jared Steffensen has been a long time employee and asset to the museum, and his influence has spanned across numerous departments. Notably, Steffensen developed and implemented the Artist-in-Residence program whose primary focus is to provide long term support to local artists. In addition, he has worked closely with artists Lizze Määttälä, Whitney Bushman, Jennifer Seely, and Andrew Rice to curate complex and meaningful exhibitions, and played an integral role in the production and curation of past exhibitionsSupporting Elements, and Adjunct.
"Incoming curator, Jared Steffensen, will continue the museum's track record of thought provoking programming, while putting his own stamp on exhibitions," remarks Anderson.