ECA Art News Briefs

Blair Murphy joins DC Arts Center staff as Managing Director

An experienced arts manager and curator, Ms. Murphy will oversee day to day operations at the nonprofit gallery and theater in Adams Morgan.

DC Arts Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Blair Murphy as Managing Director, a newly created position made possible by increased funding from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “We have been understaffed for years, and it was a stroke of fortune that both Blair and the funding came available at the same time,” says B. Stanley, Artistic/Executive Director of DCAC, “She is tremendously suited to benefit our organization and the DC arts community as a whole.”

Ms. Murphy comes to the role with a decade of experience in the arts and non-profit world. The appointment represents a return to DCAC for Ms. Murphy, who was Office Manager at the organization from 2007 until 2010 and a member of DCAC’s Sparkplug collective from 2008 through 2011. From 2010 to 2013, she acted as Program Director at Washington Project for the Arts, where she managed the organization’s major exhibitions, including two incarnations of WPA’s OPTIONS biennial.

In her role at DC Arts Center, Ms. Murphy will manage day to day operations for the organization, working closely with B. Stanley. She will also work with DCAC’s Visual Arts Committee to program the organization’s gallery.  “I’m so pleased to be back at DC Arts Center, the organization that gave me my first curatorial opportunities. DCAC played an integral role in my early career.” Ms. Murphy explains, “I know firsthand how important the organization is to emerging and underrepresented artists and curators in DC.”

Ms. Murphy recently returned to DC after several years in New York, where she was a 2014-2015 Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow of the Whitney Independent Study Program and a partner with Field Projects, an artist-run space in Chelsea. Her past curatorial projects include exhibitions at The Kitchen (New York, NY), Field Projects (New York, NY), Arlington Arts Center (Arlington, VA), Washington Project for the Arts (Washington, DC), and VisArts Rockville (Rockville, MD), in addition to DCAC. She has written for Hyperallergic, BmoreArt, and Daily Serving, among other outlets. She holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and an MA from Georgetown University.

Since its founding in 1989, DCAC’s gallery spaces and black box theater have been a hub of creativity in the visual and performing arts. The organization’s special programs, including Sparkplug and the Curatorial Initiative, provide crucial support to artists and curators in the DC area. This expansion of the DCAC staff ensures that the organization will continue to play an essential role in both the visual and performing arts in the greater DC area for many years to come.

(via DC Arts Center. Image: Blair Murphy, Photograph by Michael Matason)