The Walker Art Center, the 76-year-old contemporary art institution in Minneapolis, Minnesota, announced this morning that its artistic director, Fionn Meade, has resigned. He has been at the institution for three years, and the museum had created two new posts for him.
Meade had served since March 2015 as the Walker’s artistic director, a newly created role at the museum. Prior to that, he had served for ten months as the Walker’s senior curator of cross-disciplinary platforms, another newly created role. He effectively took over as chief curator after Darsie Alexander left the institution to become director of New York’s Katonah Art Museum.
As artistic director—what the Walker characterized at the time as a “recasting” of the chief curator role—Meade was charged with overseeing the visual arts, performing arts, moving image, design, and education and public programs departments at the Walker, as well as those departments’ interaction. He was responsible for the first U.S. solo exhibition of German artist Andrea Büttner, which appeared at the Walker in fall 2015, as well as “Merce Cunningham: Common Time” at the Walker this year. “Question the Wall Itself,” a group show he curated with Jordan Carter, is on view at the museum until May.
Last spring, Meade oversaw the hiring of two new curators at the Walker, Adrienne Edwards and Vincenzo de Bellis. In a statement, the museum indicated that, going forward, Meade’s senior curatorial staff will report to the Walker’s executive director, Olga Viso.
In his first year at the Walker, as curator, Meade staged the well-received exhibition “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art,” and oversaw the launch of a series of moving-image commissions.
Prior to the Walker, he had been a curator, writer, and faculty member at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and Columbia University. Before that, he’d held positions at SculptureCenter in New York and at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle.
The Walker is currently in the midst of a $75 million renovation project that includes an overhaul of its original building’s facade, a refurbished entrance pavilion, which recently opened, and changes to the gardens.