GAMBIER, Ohio — Kenyon College’s Gund Gallery announced today that Daisy Desrosiers, an interdisciplinary art historian and curator, will join its community as director and chief curator, effective June 1, 2021.
Desrosiers currently serves as director of artist programs at the Lunder Institute for American Art, an incubator of research and artistic practice within the Colby College Museum of Art. In that role, she oversees the institute’s collaborations with artists and, with others at the institute and the museum, generates structure for its community initiatives, publications, exhibitions and public programming. She also leads outreach efforts among local and global audiences and creates opportunities for engagement with diverse communities.
“Daisy’s experience positions her well to lead the Gallery as it continues its work of engaging in critical, timely topics through the lens of contemporary art,” President Sean Decatur said. “Her work to advance artistic voices from marginalized communities and to increase public engagement with art all are in harmony with Kenyon’s mission of fostering a transformative liberal arts education that encourages curiosity and innovation. That she engages in this work with clear-eyed optimism and a generous spirit makes me even more delighted to welcome her to our Kenyon community.”
As director and chief curator, Desrosiers will lead the Gund Gallery’s growth as it enters its second decade. Desrosiers will collaborate with faculty, students, and Gallery staff and interns on an array of initiatives for Kenyon students and the broader public, including exhibitions and programs that further Kenyon’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. She also will manage care for a collection that includes over 200 pieces of contemporary art, including works by Ragnar Kjartansson, Roy Lichtenstein, Julie Mehretu, Louise Nevelson and Faith Ringgold. The Gallery’s collection of public art installations will grow this summer with the addition of a major sculpture by Richard Serra, a gift from 1963 Kenyon graduate Graham Gund and his wife, Ann.
“I am incredibly excited and am looking forward to working with Daisy on programs and exhibitions that I can’t even imagine right now,” said selection committee chair David Horvitz, Class of 1974 and a member of the Gund Gallery Board of Directors. “I just know her creativity and thoughtful approach to her work will light up Gund Gallery and the entire Kenyon community in ways that enhance student experience, community engagement, Gund Gallery’s profile nationally — and Kenyon’s too.”
Desrosiers will lead a Gund Gallery staff of eight as well as the Gund Gallery Associates program, which annually engages nearly 60 Kenyon students in programming and curatorial work. Through the associates program, students have the opportunity to complement their education with meaningful career experiences by working with museum professionals on all aspects of the museum’s work, including behind-the-scenes operations, curatorial research and planning, collection maintenance, and educational outreach. Desrosiers also will support the Gallery’s faculty collaborations, using exhibitions and pieces from the collection to bolster learning opportunities.
“What an exciting time to be at Kenyon College and more so, to reimagine together the ways in which art and culture contribute to its future! To be named director and chief curator of the Gund Gallery provides an opportunity to amplify not only the museum's stellar collection and its development, but also to demonstrate the Gallery’s commitment to programs and exhibitions that uplift those left out of the canon,” Desrosiers said. “For me, museums and galleries are extraordinary spaces to foster curiosity towards new ideas, people and experiences, to generate the production of knowledge as well as to redefine notions of hospitality. I’m inspired and look forward to the creative and collaborative work ahead of us.”
Prior to her time at Colby, Desrosiers worked as an advisor for private collectors and public collectors. In May 2020 she was the guest critic for the Brooklyn Rail, where she invited an array of artists, collaborators and thinkers to reflect on translation and mistranslation as a creative process. In 2018, she was the inaugural Nicholas Fox Weber Curatorial Fellow with the Glucksman Museum in Cork, Ireland, and also completed a curatorial residency that year at Art in General in New York City. From 2012 to 2017, she served as director of Battat Contemporary gallery in Montreal, where she was responsible for the gallery’s artistic and administrative direction.
Desrosiers earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from the Université de Montréal and a master’s degree in art history from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her current research focuses on the cultural, post-colonial and material implications of the use of sugar in contemporary art.
In addition to Horvitz, the selection committee included Decatur; Provost Jeff Bowman; Charles Clark, Class of 2013; Associate Professor of Italian Simone Dubrovic; Vice President for Advancement Colleen Garland; Professor of Art Marcella Hackbardt; Assistant Professor of Art History Brad Hostetler; and representatives from the Gund Gallery Board of Directors: Lisa Betson Resnik, Class of 1989; Pamela Hoehn-Saric, Class of 1980; Ron Pizzuti; and Mark Rosenthal, Class of 1973 and chair of the Gallery’s board. The executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates helped conduct the national search.
See the article on Kenyon's website.