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Minnesota Marine Art Museum names new executive director

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Scott Pollock

Scott Pollock is new executive director of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona has announced that Scott Pollock is its new executive director.

With more than 15 years of experience in the arts field across Minnesota and Ontario, Canada, Pollock has led a variety of artistic and cultural institutions, including working as the inaugural program director and communications coordinator for the North House Folk School (Grand Marais, MN) from 2000-2010.

He also played a significant role in transforming the American Swedish Institute (Minneapolis) into a vibrant arts and cultural center where he served as Director of Exhibitions, Collections and Programs from 2012-2018.

The community-centered and audience-focused work Pollock oversaw would be recognized as a “model of how a small institution can draw visitors with exciting programs” (Wall Street Journal), “a museum party done right” (Vita.mn), and a “sophisticated museum” committed to “educating the whole person” (New York Times).

“I’m excited to do much of the same for MMAM,” says Pollock.

Pollock was selected after an extensive four-month national search. “His entrepreneurial skills, his strong track record of success in museums, and his engaging personality made him the clear choice to take our museum to the next level,” says Bill Hoel, board chair of MMAM.

With over 25,000 visitors in 2021, Pollock is confident that MMAM will return to pre-pandemic engagement levels in the coming year, working purposefully, with caution, and a focus on expanding audiences.

“I’m excited to both honor and build on the legacy our collecting partners put into motion by thoughtfully drawing a red thread through ‘great art inspired by water,’” says Pollock of the groundwork laid by the museum’s collecting partners, Mary Burrichter and Robert Kierlin.

“I’m absolutely thrilled and indebted to the staff who have assembled an incredibly diverse lineup of artists and art experiences, everything from European and American masters, like Monet, O’Keeffe, Picasso and van Gogh, to contemporaries like Dudley Edmondson, Alec Soth, and Karen Savage-Blue. It’s a testament to the talented and professional staff at MMAM who have been committed to not only presenting what ‘marine art’ is, but have pushed the boundaries of what marine art can be,” he says.

“I’m excited to see MMAM build partnerships with major art museums nationally and internationally and continue threading the needle between art and water, bringing together some of today’s most ambitious artists, writers, curators and performers to Winona, while creating a highly site-specific visitor experience that is distinctly informed by this place. There is a generative pipeline of art by great artists, both historic and contemporary, sitting in museums around the world, waiting for regional museums like MMAM, with a tailored curatorial spin, to use their public galleries to connect with diverse audiences.”

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