Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan and the Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of Chris Siefert as Deputy Director of the Museum to take effective on July 1, 2016. Siefert brings to the Parrish more than 20 years of professional museum experience spanning operations and administration, capital projects, public art, landscape architecture, and teaching with an emphasis on organizational systems, community engagement, and cultural programs.
Siefert replaces former Deputy Director Scott Howe, who assumed his new position as Executive Director of the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons in May 2016.
“As the Museum approaches a new benchmark with our five-year anniversary in 2017, having Chris’s level of experience and expertise will be key not only to our daily operations, but also to our strategic planning and vision for the future,” Director Terrie Sultan stated on the appointment. “Chris brings new ideas and fresh vision to the Parrish, and I am looking forward to working with him to ensure that the Museum grows and prospers.”
Siefert added, “This opportunity at the Parrish Art Museum is very exciting to me on several fronts. My experience in managing an ambitious expansion of an institution and contributing to its new vision offer unique parallels to my role as Deputy Director of the Parrish.
In addition, the Parrish is an institution I know from my childhood, frequently visiting the museum at its previous location in Southampton with my family. I remember it as an intimate and welcoming place that fed our imaginations and allowed us to freely explore. It’s clear that sense of cultural obligation has been enhanced with the Parrish’s relocation to its extraordinary facility in Water Mill.”
Prior to his appointment as the new Deputy Director at the Parrish Art Museum, Siefert served at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh as Deputy Director (2007-2016), Project Manager (2000-2005) and Director of Exhibits (1998–2000). Across these diverse roles, Siefert was responsible for museum administration, implementation of capital projects, and realization of numerous community initiatives.
He managed the $6M revitalization of Buhl Community Park which opened in 2012 and developed the Charm Bracelet Project, an initiative to inspire neighboring cultural institutions to collaborate on creative projects related to community life. Additionally, Siefert served as Project Manager for the $29M expansion of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (opened 2004), overseeing all aspects of the design and construction of the award-winning and Silver LEED rated project.
Siefert has received multiple awards for his leadership in community initiatives. This includes a fellowship from the Noyce Leadership Institute; an AIA Public Space Award, the Times Project Organization Public Artwork Grant, and grants from the Louisiana Division of The Arts amongst other grants, awards, and commissions.
From 1996 through 1998, Siefert taught sculpture at Louisiana State University and served as Chair of the Louisiana State Sculpture Park committee. In the early 1990s, he worked with interdisciplinary design teams at Cesar Pelli and Associates and Balmori Associates in New Haven, Connecticut, on several notable and award-winning design and landscape architectural projects.
Sefert has a BS in landscape architecture from Cornell University and earned his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University where he was awarded a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in Visual Arts. He attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education Program in 2008 and the Museum Management Institute (Getty Leadership Institute) in 2000.
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