Brain Drain: Some Really Smart People Are Leaving the Valley

Categories: Up On Sun

By Sarah Fenske and Amy Silverman

Just when it felt like the Valley's arts community was growing strong, it shrunk.

First it was Wellington "Duke" Reiter, dean of the college of design at Arizona State University, announcing that he was headed for greener pastures (namely, the Art Institute of Chicago).

Then Susan Krane, director of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). Krane announced she's leaving to run the San Jose Museum of Art in California.

Both positions, of course, are really nice promotions -- and nobody could blame Reiter or Krane for leaving town.

Frankly, the biggest bummer is that Reiter's taking Sherrie Medina with him. We can't fault Medina, either. But we'll miss her influences in the local arts community -- curating amazing shows like "You Still Draw Like a Girl" and co-coordinating Ghost Gallery.

And as if all that weren't bad enough, word's in that we're losing Liz Cohen. Cohen, the topic of a New Times cover story not so long ago, is the super-cool multi-media artist whose latest obsession has been rebuilding car bodies, along with her own. She's off to Cranbrook, an artsy-fartsy school near Detroit, to teach photography. She can pal up with Mark Newport, a former ASU prof with a thing for knitting superhero costumes.

Cohen insists she'll be back often, and Ghost Gallery will continue, under the tutelage of the amazing Erin Kane -- and Medina says who knows, maybe GG satellites will pop up elsewhere....


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