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Charles A. Shepard III Appointed Executive Director of The Fort Wayne Museum of Art

 

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is pleased to announce the appointment of Charles A. Shepard Ill as Executive Director effective July 1, 2003 following a national search. Shepard has most recently been director of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, which is managed by Connecticut College, New London, Conn.

The search process for the new director started nine months ago. Early in that process, the search committee created a profile of the ideal candidate that included academic credentials, management skills, personality characteristics, and a demonstrated passion for art. According to John Brandt, President of the Board of Trustees, "Charles clearly satisfied all of our criteria. Of all the candidates we considered, Charles is, by far, the best fit for our Museum. Although Charles and his family have roots in New England, they loved Fort Wayne, and they are anxious to move into our community. We are thrilled that he is coming to Fort Wayne and confident he will take the Museum of Art to the next level." (right: Charles A. Shepard Ill. Photo courtesy of Fort Wayne Museum of Art)

Shepard brings a sense of purpose and creative vision that will work well with the Museum's already established strategic plan and mission statement. His strong commitment to community and focus on educational. programming will be an asset as the Museum begins to target new endeavors such as bilingual text and labels in the galleries and an outreach program to work with under-served groups in the area.

According to Shepard, "I have truly enjoyed the rich experience of being a member of the Connecticut College family and bringing art to the New London community, but the lure of directing a dynamic, modern museum in the middle of such a vibrant city as Fort Wayne was irresistible. The Museum's collection,its dedication to education, and its philosophy are all so in sync with my interests and beliefs. The opening statement of the Museum's mission statement emphasizes that it seeks to use... the power of the visual arts ....as a catalyst to spark the imagination of the community. That sentiment is directly in line with everything I believe in and stand for."

Shepard was named Executive Director of the Lyman Allyn Museum in 1996 and has taken the Museum through many positive changes. Increasing annual giving, creating satellite museum spaces, increasing attendance, and creating a Children's Art Park on the grounds of the Museum are but a part of the legacy Shepard will leave behind. Shepard's greatest challenge was readying the Museum for the transition to community museum and out from under the watchful eye of Connecticut College.

In a statement by Dean of Faculty at Connecticut College, Helen Regan, "Connecticut College is grateful to Charles Shepard for his work over the last seven years. He has brought the Lyman Allyn Museum to a new and higher level in both exhibitions and community programming, and he has overseen a program of improvements in the Museum's physical space. His work reflects positively on the Museum as well as on the college, which currently serves as the Museum's trustee. He leaves the Lyman Allyn in an excellent position for its planned transition to a fully independent community museum."

Although a native of Bath, Maine, Shepard does have Midwestern ties. He began his career as director of the Michigan Guild of Artists and Artisans and then in 1993, Shepard was named director of the Kennedy Museum of American Art at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Between those appointments, Shepard was director of the University of Maine Museum of Art from 1987 to 1993. During his career Shepard established several art education programs for children including Gallery on Wheels, a fine art touring program presented to schools in Maine and Museum By Mail, traveling exhibitions in Ohio.

Shepard earned a B.A. in Art History from the University of Maine with highest distinction and an M.A. in Art History form Williams College in 1984.

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