Susannah Bielak, a practicing artist who recently served as associate director of public and interpretive programs at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, has been appointed by Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art as the first associate director of engagement and curator of public practice, beginning in October 2013.
“As head of public programs at the Walker, Susy created programming that blended the intellectual rigor of the scholar with the speculative poetics of the artist,” states Sarah Schultz, director of education and curator of public practice at the Walker. “Her enthusiasm and inventiveness in making art relevant and alive will find a perfect home at the Block Museum.”
Bielakwill develop interdisciplinary programming that connects the Block’s art exhibitions, permanent collection and online endeavors to the world beyond the museum. Bielak will also lead initiatives engaging the Block as a teaching museum and host for cross-disciplinary and civic dialogue—furthering the Block’s mission to use art as a springboard for exploring issues and ideas.
“The Block brings together arts, pedagogy and interdisciplinarity—passions that drive my work,” notes Bielak. “Similarly, Northwestern’s strategic goals of integrating learning and experience and connecting with community speak to my own background and interests.”
Drawing upon her experience as a university educator and arts administrator, Bielak will promote collaborations both within and outside Northwestern. In addition, she will oversee the Block’s communication strategies and enhance its use of social media to encourage audience participation.
“Susy brings a breadth of experience in engaging diverse audiences,” adds Lisa Graziose Corrin, the Block Museum’s Ellen Philips Katz Director. “Her appointment reflects the Block Museum’s commitment to bringing artists, the Northwestern community and the public together in a meaningful dialogue.”
For more information about the Block Museum, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.