The Board of Directors of The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) announced the appointment of Jaynelle Hazard as the center’s Executive Director & Curator. She will start on April 13. The appointment comes at an important time in the center’s nearly five decades, as it carves an identity as a compelling cultural destination along Metro’s Silver Line and grows its voice in the DC metropolitan region’s cultural conversation and beyond.
“I intend to expand GRACE’s already critically engaged practice by introducing new methods to advance scholarship; extend its reach in interdisciplinary experimentation of contemporary art and ideas; and engage audiences of all backgrounds and identities,” Hazard said. “With a curatorial foundation and leadership style rooted in care, I am excited to lead GRACE as a catalyst and generator by being the bridge between the public and the most innovative art of our time.”
Hazard received her BA in Fashion Design & Merchandising from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York (she is currently DC Chapter Co-Chair for Sotheby’s Institute of Art Alumni). For the last two years she has been the Director of Exhibitions for the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia, where she oversaw five main gallery spaces, six artist-run galleries, outdoor installations and community-related projects (including a highly regarded outdoor mural project and festival), produced 75+ exhibitions, provided opportunities for 200+ artists, bolstered a new base of over 700 visitors, and grew social media presence by more than 2,000 followers. Before that she lived in New York working as Art Collection Administrator for the important UBS art collection (supporting an inventory of 30,000 modern and contemporary art works). She also spent four years in Cape Town, South Africa, a time that included serving on the team at Blank Projects Art Gallery. She is the Chair of the Faith Flanagan Fellowship and Co-Chair of the State of Art 5/DC conference for the DC Chapter of ArtTable, Inc. (the foremost professional organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts).
”Jaynelle differentiated herself from a strong list of candidates with her inspiring contemporary curatorial vision and aesthetic since, first and foremost, we are a content organization dedicated to delivering the very best contemporary cultural experience,” said Robert Goudie, GRACE Board Chair. “And at a time when we are growing the strength of our voice in the regional and national cultural conversation, Jaynelle also brings strong connections to art networks in the DC region and New York. There are a lot of very talented people in our region, but Jaynelle, I think, is someone who can really establish for herself and GRACE pretty special and distinguished territory.”
“It is an especially compelling opportunity to help shape and lead GRACE through a rebranding and repositioning in the market, about which we’ll have more to say in the very near future,” added Hazard. “I’ve been impressed with the passionate engagement of the Board of Directors in the hiring process, and I’ve already met with and have respect for what is an experienced and talented staff. I can’t wait to start working with the team and advance towards our next level of achievement in moving the arts and culture dialogue forward.”
The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) serves 80,000 people annually, providing Virginia, Maryland, and DC’s diverse communities with abundant opportunities to experience and explore contemporary art through exhibitions, education programming, and the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. Greater Reston Arts Center strives to increase understanding of different cultures through art, brings diverse audiences together around a common interest, and ensures access and opportunity for engagement in the arts to all residents, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or income. Admission to the GRACE gallery is always FREE, as are most programs.
(Photo credit: Prathibha Polapragada. Press release from GRACE.)