Michael Monroe to retire at Bellevue Arts Museum

Michael Monroe, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Bellevue Arts Museum, will retire from BAM in February 2010. Upon his retirement, Monroe will become Director Emeritus.

Monroe joined BAM in 2004 as Executive Director/Chief Curator and oversaw all artistic programs as well as administrative operations. In October 2008, he moved into the role of Director of Curatorial Affairs to focus on the curatorial and artistic leadership of the Museum.

“Michael has created an exceptional Museum,” said Susan Edelheit, President of the Board of Trustees. “Through his passion, dedication and expertise, he has elevated the regional, national and international stature of the Museum and has given exposure to many remarkable artists, including numerous Northwest artists working in craft media. We are most grateful for the artistic vitality he has brought to this community.”

A vibrant and influential figure in contemporary American craft, Monroe has established Bellevue Arts Museum as a leader in the national conversation on art, craft and design, Edelheit added.

The museum annually draws more than 50,000 visitors each year.

“The Museum is in an excellent position to make this transition,” Monroe said. “It has continuously garnered critical acclaim for its superb exhibitions, publications and programs while building a track record of financial stability. In my 40 plus years as director, curator and advocate for the arts, I have never worked with a more talented staff, board and volunteers.”

The museum’s board has planned for succession, and in October 2008, hired Mark W. Crawford as Interim Executive Director. The board has appointed a committee to plan for the museum’s future leadership requirements and expects to present its findings no later than August.