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Philadelphia’s Vox Populi Names James Merle Thomas Executive Director

James Merle Thomas. ELIZABETH WEINBERG

James Merle Thomas.

ELIZABETH WEINBERG

The Philadelphia-based collective and alternative contemporary art space Vox Populi announced today that James Merle Thomas will be the nonprofit’s next executive director. He succeeds Bree Pickering, who left in October to become director of the Murray Art Museum Albury in Australia.

“For nearly three decades, Vox Populi has served as a foundation for some of Philadelphia’s most innovative artistic production,” Thomas said in a statement. “At a time when principled commitment to supporting non-commercial and experimental arts is more crucial than ever, I am excited by Vox’s rich institutional history and its dedication to visual art, performance, and curatorial practice.”

An art historian and curator, Thomas most recently organized an exhibition—titled “Loose in Some Real Tropics” and presented at Stanford University’s Cantor Center for the Arts—that looked at Robert Rauschenberg’s NASA-commissioned “Moon Stone” project begun in 1969.

Thomas is also a professor of global contemporary art at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. His writings have appeared in Artforum, Bomb magazine, and Triple Canopy. He is also one half of the multimedia music group Quindar with Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen.

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