ATLANTA, March 5, 2013 – The High Museum of Art is pleased to announce that Virginia Shearer has been named the Eleanor McDonald Storza Director of Education, having been promoted from her previous position as Associate Director of Public Programs.
During her seven-year tenure with the High as an active member of the leadership team, Shearer has made important contributions to the envisioning and implementation of popular and creative programs that have attracted a growing and more diverse audience to the High.
As Director of Education, Shearer will supervise three departments, School Programs, Public Programs and Museum Interpretation, as well as participate in the development of institutional strategies.
The High engages audiences and attracts new visitors through a full and varied menu of public programs focused on art, music, cuisine, design and broader cultural topics. These programs include lectures; film series showcasing independent, foreign and classic cinema; hands-on family activities; school curricula; classroom visits; events created for teenagers and college students; and interactive connections through the Museum’s website and social media.
For the current exhibition “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting,” which celebrates the art of Mexican painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Shearer has also led her team to create the museum’s first-ever fully bilingual exhibition experience. The initiative includes Spanish and English versions of wall labels and audio tours, as well as bilingual tour guides on Sundays throughout the exhibition.
Prior to her work with the High, Shearer led the education departments of the Tampa Museum of Art, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla., and the Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, S.I. in Washington, D.C.
“We are very excited to expand Virginia’s role as a crucial member of the High’s senior staff,” said Chief Operating Officer Philip Verre. “Her visionary leadership and dedication to creating robust and entertaining programs at the High makes us very excited for the future of the Museum’s educational initiatives.”
Shearer said, “The High is a world class museum in one of the most diverse and rapidly growing cities in the country. The energy that makes Atlanta great permeates this institution, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue to offer the best audience-focused programming possible to our visitors.”
Shearer received a Master of Arts in Teaching in the field of Museum Education from The Georgia Washington University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from Florida State University.
About the High Museum of Art
Founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, the High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 13,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the first major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, visit www.High.org.
About The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center visit www.woodruffcenter.org.
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