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Art Bar

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It’s difficult to get a decent arts job. Museums never have money to hire. Galleries hire frequently, only because employees are underpaid and overworked. Professors teach a lifetime before getting tenure. Arts writers are usually freelancers with full-time jobs. It’s rare, but there’s been reshuffling in the field locally, leaving a few vacancies and filling prominent positions.

Recently Joe Cunningham, hot-shot curator of contemporary art at Detroit Institute of Arts, stepped down only a couple months after he stepped up to the job. (Rumor has it Cunningham left New York prematurely; maybe he didn’t get that this city actually is gritty.) The museum hired Ken Meyers as curator of American Art and Pedro Carvalho as curator of Islamic and Middle Eastern art. Meyers was associate curator of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery, and Carvalho, who starts in May, has served as deputy curator of the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art in London.

Detroit Free Press arts writer Frank Provenzano resigned, and Joanne Wilkie, executive director at the Art Center of Mount Clemens, announced retirement after working at the center for 20 years.

After three years, Aaron Timlin is leaving Detroit Artists Market. Board Chairman Ryan Husaynu says the change is a result of restructuring business operations, with an emphasis on fund-raising (usually that’s nonprofit speak for canning someone). However, Timlin states, “My enthusiasm for Detroit’s art community and for its potential to build a contemporary art center remains steadfast.” Imagine a relationship between a local museum and a new contemporary art center, much like New York’s MoMA and P.S. 1. If anyone is bold enough to ask, it’s Timlin.

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