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OMCA Announces New Leadership of Curatorial Division

(Oakland, CA)—The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) today announces new leadership of the Museum’s curatorial division with Kelly McKinley taking the post as Director of the OMCA Lab. In addition, Christina Linden joins the Lab staff as the new Associate Curator of Painting & Sculpture.

As Director of the OMCA Lab, McKinley will provide leadership in the development and implementation of OMCA’s visitor-centered curatorial content, ensuring that the Museum’s multidisciplinary collections, exhibitions, and public programs balance the highest quality of scholarship and innovation while meeting the interests of Oakland’s diverse audiences.

McKinley comes to OMCA from the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) where she served as the Executive Director, Education and Public Programming. Her many achievements at the AGO include developing new audiences through their First Thursdays program, revitalizing the institution’s relationships with teachers, creating meaningful programs with mental health organizations, and increasing accessibility to the AGO through the AGO’s Free after Three program.  She also recently oversaw the design, development and launch of AGO’s new Weston Family Learning Centre, a $20 million 35,000 square foot community hub for community engagement and educational programming.  Prior to the Art Gallery of Ontario, she was Curator of Education at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, an instructor for the Museum Studies Program at the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto, and a Project Manager for Bruce Mau Design in Toronto. She holds a certificate for Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations from the Harvard Business School Executive Program, a Master of Museum Studies, from the University of Toronto, Canada, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and French from Queen’s University, Canada.

OMCA Director and CEO Lori Fogarty stated, “We are thrilled to have someone of Kelly’s experience joining OMCA at this critical time as we complete our strategic planning process and look forward to the next stages of the Museum’s development.  Kelly was one of the chief visionaries and leaders of the re-invention of the AGO when it opened its Frank Gehry building in 2008, where she conceived a new visitor-centered approach to interpretation, collection presentation, and exhibition development.  Her philosophy and approach to community engagement completely align with OMCA’s mission and vision, which will also allow her to broaden her transformational work to include multiple disciplines and multiple platforms for curatorial activity.”

As Associate Curator of Painting & Sculpture, Christina Linden will help direct and manage the acquisition, documentation, research, and development of OMCA painting and sculpture collections and content across diverse platforms, including exhibitions, public programs, publications, and online activities.  The position serves as facilitator in engaging multiple communities in dynamic interactions and explorations of content, and engages in the highest quality research, reflecting the diversity and complexities of the California experience.

Linden comes to OMCA as independent curator and writer based in Oakland and visiting graduate faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute. She most recently co-curated San Francisco Museum of Modern Art projects “Prospectus: Ben Kinmont” and Desirée Holman’s “The Indigo & the Ecstatic: A Motion to the Future,” and curated “Living As Form (The Nomadic Version)” at Kadist Art Foundation and commissions and acquisitions for collections at the Stanford Hospitals & Clinics and the UCSF Mission Bay Campus. Linden’s expertise is focused in social practice, public space, the environment, and art in the Bay Area. She has also commissioned new work and curated exhibitions and events in commercial galleries, small non-profit art spaces, educational institutions, large museums, and public spaces in Germany, Thailand, San Francisco, and the greater New York area, with additional experience at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC. She holds a Master of Arts in Curatorial Studies from Bard College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from New York University.

Senior Curator of Art, René de Guzman, said, “Christina will bring a fresh perspective to our outstanding art collection at OMCA.  We sought a curator with a deep passion and interest in California art, from the 19th century to today, as well as related subject areas such as craft and design.  She will take a 21st century approach to our wide-ranging collections and develop compelling contemporary exhibitions that will enable new audiences and long-time art enthusiasts to engage with and enjoy our Museum in innovative ways.  As an Oakland resident with broad international experience, Christina has a unique ability to operate with an expansive, global perspective coupled a respect and grounding in community and place.”