Sculpture Space in Utica Welcomes New Director
Sculpture Space is pleased to announce the appointment of non-profit leader and former CEO, Tom Montan, as the organization’s new Executive Director. The hire followed a six-month national search led by the Sculpture Space Board of Directors. Montan, who is moving from California, joined Sculpture Space in early August 2016.
“What an honor and joy to have the opportunity to lead Sculpture Space as it celebrates its fortieth year and continues to be an international force for shaping what a ‘next generation’ arts organization can be,” Montan said. “I am energized by this group’s commitment to public engagement and their determination to support contemporary sculptors through this vibrant residency program. This is a magical place infused with the rugged industrial spirit of upstate New York where unexpected things can happen in the pursuit of big ideas.”
Montan brings with him substantial experience in marketing, event development and fiscal leadership both in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. From 2002-2011, Montan served as Chief Executive Officer for regional bookstore chain Copperfield’s Books in Northern California, where he oversaw a huge expansion of revenue and profits for this company. After retiring from the for-profit sector, he spent a year and a half developing his personal art career. Montan later re-engaged in the non-profit sector, working first for a community center in Sonoma, California, and most recently as Director of Operations and Marketing at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country.
No stranger to art and sculpture, Tom was one of the founding members of a unique community sculpture program in Sebastopol, California called Sculpture Jam, and was one of the four artists that created Sebastopol's very first piece of public art, "The Door." That sculpture created an awareness of the value of public art in Sebastopol, and sits prominently to this day in the center of town. More recently Tom has focused his personal creativity in the realm of figurative painting.
“We feel extremely fortunate to have attracted an executive of Tom’s stature and we are looking forward to big things in our future,” Sculpture Space Board President Helen Madden said. “Tom’s exceptional understanding of best business practices and his entrepreneurial approach make him an ideal fit for Sculpture Space at this moment in our history.” Montan joins Sculpture Space during an exciting time in the program’s development, including increased fund development and programming, and recent strategic planning designed to guide Sculpture Space’s evolution as a world-class art institution and a vital cultural community resource in the Mohawk Valley. “Public engagement and community impact are our new watchwords, and Tom articulates a vision that aligns perfectly with Sculpture Space’s potential,” Madden said.
When asked why he chose to move from California to New York with its harsher winters and challenging economy, Montan reflected “I am intuitively attracted to central NY and to Utica in particular because of the multi-cultural, higher academic, and artistic influences. I have a nose for sniffing out areas and opportunities with serious potential and Utica struck me as a town that is poised for a significant upward swing. And with an organization like Sculpture Space as a touch point in town, it really doesn’t get any better than this.”