Bellevue Arts Museum appoints Stefano Catalani Director of Curatorial Affairs/Artistic Director

The Board of Trustees of Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Stefano Catalani as Director of Curatorial Affairs/Artistic Director. Catalani has served as BAM’s Curator since 2005 and will transition into his expanded role on February 12, 2010.

“Stefano has the vision and leadership to ensure the Museum’s continued vitality,” says Susan Edelheit, President of the Board of Trustees. “He has established a track record at BAM of developing thought-provoking, engaging exhibitions and programs that transform our understanding of art, craft and design. We are thrilled he has accepted the position, and look forward to his continued contributions as the leader of our curatorial team and our artistic programs.”

Stefano CatalaniA highly regarded figure in his field, Catalani has an extensive background in curating exhibitions and educational programs focused on art, craft and design. At Bellevue Arts Museum, he has conceived and organized 17 acclaimed exhibitions, including ÜberPortrait, Ed Pien: Haven, Dim Sum at the On-On Tea Room: The Jewelry of Ron Ho and A Tapestry of Memories: The Art of Dinh Q. Lê. Paying special tribute to Northwest artists, Catalani has showcased the work of some of the most promising talents of the region, including Mandy Greer, John Grade and Etsuko Ichikawa. Four exhibitions curated by Catalani have traveled to other museum venues nationwide, introducing on-the-rise artists to new audiences across the continent. During his tenure at BAM, he has written and/or contributed to nine exhibition catalogues published by Bellevue Arts Museum; among them an award winner from the American Association of Museums (2007, Dim Sum at the On-On Tea Room: The Jewelry of Ron Ho).

“I’m honored and excited to expand my role at BAM,” Catalani states. “I’ve been very fortunate to be part of the Museum’s tremendous growth over the past five years, and I continue to be deeply committed to engaging artists and audiences alike in new conversations about art, craft and design. In my new role, I will dedicate my energy to creating strong programs that emphasize the interactive and transformative role of art in society. I will continue to foster both emerging and established artists from the Northwest – a key commitment of BAM – as well as open a discourse between local, national and international artists through the Museum.”

As Director of Curatorial Affairs/Artistic Director, Catalani will spearhead the development and implementation of the Museum’s multi-faceted curatorial and educational programs. He will work in close partnership with Executive Director/CEO, Mark W. Crawford, on strengthening the Museum’s vision of “illuminating and enriching the human spirit through art, craft and design.” Both will report directly to the Board of Trustees.

“Stefano’s appointment is exciting news, not just for BAM, but for the entire arts community,” Crawford states. “After working with Stefano for the past year and seeing the extraordinary exhibits he has organized and brought to the Museum, I am thrilled he has been appointed Director of Curatorial Affairs/Artistic Director.”

Catalani succeeds Michael W. Monroe who is retiring after a rewarding 40-year career in the arts. Monroe was recently awarded the prestigious Award of Distinction for Contributions to the Field of Craft by the American Craft Council. He has been named Director Emeritus at BAM in honor of his outstanding contributions to the Museum’s success, and will be the honoree of BAM’s annual fundraiser, Artful Evening, held on July 17, 2010. Nora Atkinson, who has served as the Museum’s Exhibitions Curator since 2006, has been promoted to Curator, effective February 12, 2010.

In 2010, Bellevue Arts Museum continues to explore art, craft and design through innovative exhibitions, dynamic educational programs and engaging community events. Featured exhibitions include Beth Levine: First Lady of Shoes, shoe designs by one of the greatest female designers of the 20th century, and BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Thrown down!, the inaugural edition of the Museum’s new bi-yearly exhibition competition, to name just two. New programs include INDULGE, a jewelry marketplace held February 5 – 7, and several symposia inspired by the Museum’s exhibitions. 2010 also marks the 64th anniversary of the annual Bellevue Arts Museum artsfair, one of the most prominent juried arts events in the nation, featuring over 300 exhibitors, artist demonstrations and more. “2010 is bound to be a fantastic year for BAM,” Catalani says. “We look forward to sharing our passion for art, craft and design and invite everyone to join us on our journey.”

Bellevue Arts Museum 510 Bellevue Way NE | Bellevue, WA 98004 | 425.519.0770