The Orange County Museum of Art has named Todd DeShields Smith its new CEO and director. He replaces interim director Dan Cameron, who has served since director Dennis Szakacs left in December 2013. Smith will oversee the museum’s 2016 relocation to Costa Mesa.
Smith comes to the Newport Beach, Calif., institution from Florida’s Tampa Museum of Art, where he has served as executive director for six years. During his tenure there, he oversaw the final stages of building the museum’s new home alongside Tampa’s Riverwalk. He also helped grow the institution’s exhibition budget, expand its membership programming and cultivate new supporters. He initiated the Pay What You Will Friday night admission program, part of the institution’s efforts to increase its accessibility. “Degas: Form, Movement and the Antique” and “No Limits: Janet Biggs,” both 2011, and “My Generation: Young Chinese Artists,” in 2014, are among his notable exhibitions there.
Prior to his directorial post in Tampa, Smith served as director of the Gibbs Museum of Art in Charleston, S.C., and the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee, and was CEO of the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, N.D. He has held curatorial positions with the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C., Ohio’s Dayton Art Institute and the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Ind.
Smith will take up his new post in August. Founded in 1962 as the Balboa Pavilion Gallery, the museum relocated and changed names before settling into its current San Clemente Drive address in 1977. Officially named the Orange County Museum of Art in 1997, the institution focuses on modern and contemporary art and has a collection comprising 2,500 objects.