CMCA appoints new executive director and chief curator

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) recently announced the appointment of Timothy Peterson as the museum’s next executive director and chief curator, effective Jan. 18, 2021. Peterson will succeed Suzette McAvoy, who will retire at the end of December after more than 10 years at the helm of CMCA.

“We are confident that Tim will not only elevate our mission of advancing Maine contemporary art but also ensure that CMCA evolves its vision, exhibitions and programs to continue to be vital and relevant in changing times,” stated Martha Jones, chair of the board of trustees. “With deep roots in contemporary art, Tim possesses the right combination of operational and curatorial expertise necessary to build upon Suzette’s exceptional legacy.”

Chosen after a national search, Peterson currently serves as the executive director of the Northfield Arts Guild, a multidiscipline arts organization in Northfield, Minnesota, which presents exhibitions, performances and education programs. He will bring to CMCA extensive organizational experience in which he has provided opportunities for artists, developed partnerships and programs, increased audience engagement, and delivered financial and administrative stability and growth.

“I am impressed by all Suzette McAvoy, the staff, and the board of trustees have accomplished, especially since opening CMCA’s stunning building in Rockland. Their vision and achievements pave the way for an exciting future,” Peterson said. “I am honored to join CMCA and to lead the institution forward as an exceptional and integral part of Maine’s cultural community. I am thrilled to work with the staff and board to expand the impact of Maine contemporary art on a local to international scale and to get to know CMCA’s community.”

Peterson’s prior positions include chief curator at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, and founding executive director and curator of Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis. Earlier in his career, Peterson was an assistant curator and program officer at the Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles, and served as an assistant in the curatorial department at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. He has been a guest curator at the Provincetown International Film Festival as well as an Adjunct Instructor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Tim earned an MA degree in the history of art from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and a BA in studio art and art criticism from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. Throughout his career, he has curated over 130 exhibitions by contemporary artists including Nari Ward, Uta Barth, Kehinde Wiley, Alec Soth, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Shinique Smith, to name a few.

McAvoy stated, “I could not be more pleased with Tim’s selection as the next leader of CMCA. His extensive curatorial and leadership experience, knowledge of contemporary art, and passion for working with living artists are exactly right for CMCA. I am excited to introduce him to the Maine art community and to be handing the reins of CMCA over to someone as qualified as Tim.”

Combined with his expertise in contemporary art, Peterson has a strong interest in community engagement and diversity. He is enthusiastic about building upon and expanding his relationships with Maine artists and experiencing the Midcoast region and way of life.

For more information, go to https://cmcanow.org.

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