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TMCNet:  Karp leaving as director of Santa Fe Art Institute

[February 12, 2013]

Karp leaving as director of Santa Fe Art Institute

Feb 12, 2013 (Albuquerque Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Diana Karp, executive director of the Santa Fe Art Institute since 2001, is stepping down from the post effective June 30, the institute's Board of Directors announced Monday.

"It's been an amazing 12 years, and we have every hope of another great 12 years," Karp said in a telephone interview.

"The institute has flourished, the community has grown and we've really created a very special place for the arts locally, in the state, regionally, nationally and internationally," she said.

But Karp acknowledged that it wasn't her own decision to leave the institute.

"That's what boards are for," she said.

"I don't think the board is angry with me," Karp added.

And she said the institute is well-positioned, both with programming and financing, for a new leader to take SFAI "to a whole new realm." "And I'll be here rooting on the new director," she said.

She said she "just got my Medicare card" and her grandchildren are important to her. "I want time," Karp said. "I have worked very hard and loved every minute of it. Now it's time for somebody else to take the reins." In a news release, SFAI board chairman Richard Martinez said, "The SFAI Board of Trustees is deeply indebted to Dr. Karp for her knowledge, passion and dedication which has brought the Institute to the preeminence that it enjoys today." Board member Joyce Idema, reached by phone, said Karp has been an "extraordinary" director for SFAI and credited her with building the institute. She said she couldn't comment on Karp's departure except to say, "times change." The institute's news release said that under Karp's leadership, "SFAI has become a dynamic presence in Santa Fe as well as a national and internationally acclaimed center for innovative work and collaboration." The release noted that when Karp took the job shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, "she quickly launched SFAI's Emergency Relief Residency program to offer New York artists and writers living near Ground Zero, space to live and work at the SFAI.

"Later, she repeated the invitation for artists and writers impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other natural disasters." The release notes as a highlight of Karp's tenure "Flash Flood for a Living River," a 2010 communitywide art project.

Intended to bring awareness to climate change, it was documented by satellite as Santa Feans held up blue placards in the Santa Fe River's bed to represent water and was seen around the world.

The released adds, "During Dr. Karp's tenure SFAI has presented ground-breaking programs of artists' lectures, workshops, and exhibitions, and has established important collaborations with organizations in the region, the nation, and abroad.

Jenny Holzer, Adrian Piper, Laurie Anderson, Bill McKibben and many other important and innovative thinkers and practitioners have come to Santa Fe as SFAI Visiting Artists." Karp said the institute has moved away "from collectors and commodities and built the institute with the deep concept of the institute as a place where ideas matter and the artist becomes the voice for deep issues and higher concerns of society." "And that has been a gas," she added. "It really has." Karp said the institute on the campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design is "fabulously stable," fully programmed for two years and with funding in place. "This is a perfect time for a new director to come in and be able to know it's not a panic mode." ___ (c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) Visit the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) at www.abqjournal.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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