Far away in the east, Brian Wallace left the top curatorial post at the Bellevue Art Museum, much to the despair of artists in Seattle. Wallace may very well have been the smartest guy on the local art circuit--he read more, heard more, and saw more art in person than anyone else, but he deployed this knowledge without the usual crass pomposity. If you happened to (for example) drunkenly shoot off your mouth about Susan Sontag and the embedded contradictions in her essay On Photography, he could gently suggest a more nuanced version without making you feel like a horse's ass (and without correctly suggesting that you might not have finished the book). He also had that great haircut, which, when growing out, had more than a little Flock of Seagulls thing going on... but he's not dead, for God's sake, and for all I know he's not even leaving the region. Brian, listen up: Call me so I can stop eulogizing.
Wallace has been replaced (already! efficiently!) by many-g'd Ginger Gregg Duggan as curator and director of programming. Like many of the previous years' cultural surprises, Duggan comes to us from Florida (specifically the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale). I would fain suggest that we in the art world are waiting with bated breath to see what Duggan does first, but in fact, we probably are. Things are a little slow these days.
On the right side of the lake, along with the usual cycle-of-life of galleries closing (Nico, Cut Kulture, Houston), opening (FeCuSi, Solomon), and re-opening (SOIL--hooray!), we have the endless series of announcements that precede bigger events, such as the Museum of Glass' impending opening this July: There are the "sneak peeks" at the Arthur Erickson-designed building ("destined to become a landmark") and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, and there's the big glossy newsletter introducing us to museum staff and updating us on ongoing fundraising.
I was reduced, therefore, to a laughing, snorting pile of pulp by an article sent to me by my future mother-in-law, about the "glass disease" which has infected more than 300 works at the Toledo Museum of Art. The only known cure is for the museum to close for a couple of years. Remember your Greek tragedians, Museum of Glass. Hubris precedes a long fall.