GUND GALLERY at Kenyon College named Daisy Desrosiers director and chief curator.

Located in Gambier, Ohio, the gallery serves Kenyon students and the broader public. Desrosiers will develop exhibitions and public programming and manage the institution’s contemporary art collection.

Desrosiers is currently director of artist programs at the Lunder Institute for American Art at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine.

Her Gund Gallery appointment was announced April 12. She officially starts June 1.

“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,” Kenyon College President Sean Decatur said in a statement.

“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.”

An interdisciplinary art historian and curator, Desrosiers will lead a staff of eight at Gund Gallery. A key aspect of her work will involve collaborations with faculty, students, and interns. Through the Gund Associate Program, about 60 Kenyon students annually are able to enhance their academic studies with practical and meaningful educational and career experiences at the gallery working with museum professionals in a variety of departments.

“I am incredibly excited and am looking forward to working with Daisy on programs and exhibitions that I can’t even imagine right now,” selection committee chair David Horvitz said in a statement. A Kenyon alum (’74), Horvitz is a member of the Gund Gallery board of directors.

He continued: “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.”

“I just know [Daisy’s] 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.”
— Selection Committee Chair David Horvitz

IN 2018, DESROSIERS JOINED Colby College’s Lunder Institute for American Art, an incubator of research and artistic practice. As the inaugural director of artist programs, she manages artist collaborations and guides exhibitions, publications, public programming, and initiatives with diverse communities.

During Desrosiers’s tenure at the Lunder Institute, Torkwase Dyson was a fall 2018 visiting artist and Theaster Gates was named inaugural distinguished visiting artist and director of artist initiatives (2018-21). Desrosiers served as associate curator of “Theaster Gates: Black Image Corporation,” the international traveling exhibition conceived by the artist.

In previous roles, Desrosiers advised private collectors and public collections. She was the inaugural Nicholas Fox Weber Curatorial Fellow at the Glucksman Museum in Cork, Ireland, and also completed a curatorial residency at Art in General in New York, both in 2018. From 2012 to 2017, she served as director of Battat Contemporary, a commercial art gallery in Montreal.

Desrosiers received a bachelor’s degree in art history from the Université de Montréal and holds a master’s degree in art history from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her research practice is currently focused the use of sugar in contemporary art, exploring its cultural, post-colonial and material implications.

Gund Gallery is named for Graham Gund, an architect, art collector, and philanthropist. A 1963 alum of Kenyon, he is a brother of Agnes Gund, the philanthropist, arts patron, Museum of Modern Art trustee, and founder of the Art for Justice Fund.

The 31,000 square foot gallery was designed by Graham Gund, who donated $11.5 million to the project. The award-winning, LEED-certified building houses 6,100 square feet of exhibition space and a growing collection of more than 200 artworks, including gifts from Horvitz and Francie Bishop Good by Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Faith Ringgold. A gift of 80 modern and contemporary works from Gund and his wife, Ann Gund, seeded the permanent collection. In 2020, the Gunds donated a large, 12-panel aquatint by Julie Mehretu.

Gund Gallery was established in 2011. Desrosiers begins her tenure as the gallery enters its second decade.

“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 in a statement.

“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.” CT

 

IMAGE: Daisy Desrosiers. | Photo by Gabe Souza

 

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