Anyone who has been to Segerstrom Center for the Arts recently (and yes, live performances have returned) has no doubt noticed the new Orange County Museum of Art building taking shape adjacent to Segerstrom Concert Hall and the Argyros Plaza.
The new museum, which completes Henry Segerstrom’s vision for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts campus, will have 25,000 feet of exhibition space. That’s about 50 percent more than the old Newport Center museum facility, which closed permanently in June 2018 in anticipation of moving to Costa Mesa.
Groundbreaking on the new museum occurred in the fall of 2019. It was scheduled to open in 2021, but the pandemic altered that timeline. It’s now scheduled to open this October. Temporary exhibitions and programs have been presented at a gallery space in South Coast Plaza Village.
Now that the Orange County Museum of Art has an opening date, the museum has announced the appointment of Courtenay Finn as Chief Curator and Meagan Burger as Director of Learning and Engagement.
According to information from OCMA officials, Burger and Finn will help oversee and manage the museum’s public-facing offerings including engaged learning, public programs, and exhibitions.
Burger assumed her role last October, and Finn will join the team in March.
“Courtenay and Meagan are wonderful additions to OCMA’s leadership whose work and impact will reflect our vision for a dynamic, engaged and diverse museum of the 21st Century,” says CEO and Director Heidi Zuckerman. “Both of these women worked at the Aspen Art Museum during my tenure, and I’ve watched their careers develop with great admiration. As we create OCMA’s next chapter, they already have countless ideas of how to collaborate and serve Southern California’s many communities, cultures and interests.”
As Chief Curator, Finn will build upon OCMA’s unique vision by overseeing the curatorial department and the mix of exhibitions and permanent collection installations in its new building. She will join the museum from the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa) where she serves as Chief Curator. She was previously a Senior Curator at the Aspen Art Museum (AAM).
Burger oversees the development, alignment and integration of learning, public programs, and community partnerships at OCMA. She is committed to creating a welcoming community hub that invites accessible, engaging, and relevant contemporary art experiences. She joined the museum from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago where she served as the Manager of Adult Learning.
In other OCMA news, the museum announced that general admission will be free when the institution’s new building opens, made possible for 10 years thanks to a $2.5 million gift from Newport Beach-based Lugano Diamonds.
Last October, OCMA hosted its first Art Sense Gala, which took place in person at the construction site of the museum’s forthcoming building. The event netted $1 million for the museum and its operations.
When the museum opens, California Biennial 2022 (CB22) will be the inaugural special exhibition in OCMA’s new home, as a celebratory nod to the museum’s rich history.
Begun in 1984 and now being resumed after a hiatus, CB22 will be guest co-curated by Elizabeth Armstrong, Essence Harden, and Gilbert Vicario and continues the museum’s six-decade history of presenting new developments in contemporary art and identifying emerging artists on the verge of national and international recognition.
Heidi Zuckerman will curate 13 Women, drawing from the museum’s collection and honoring the women who originally founded the museum.
For more information visit www.ocma.art.