ROCHESTER ART CENTER is pleased to welcome Mary Magee as the new Event and Visitor Services Manager.
In a newly expanded position, Mary Magee, in her role as the Event & Visitor Services Manager will oversee all of our unique facility rentals, organize Art Center events, and take a lead role in partnership with staff on special events and fundraisers. Magee will provide leadership in her oversight of our important Visitor Services program and staff, especially in ensuring that the Visitor Services program functions effectively and efficiently and maintains the highest level of visitor satisfaction. Magee joins RAC with a sound event coordinating background, years of customer services experience, and a fresh and welcoming enthusiasm.

Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, states: “I am delighted that Mary has joined us in this new client and visitor focused hospitality position. She brings strong communication skills, a focused energy, and a genuine interest in people. I look forward to working with her on achieving both our rental and visitor experience goals—as one of Rochester’s most unique spaces and one of Rochester’s most welcoming places for all! She is a terrific addition to our talented staff.”

Magee will meet and greet—event clients and museum goers alike—to make sure all have a good time, an informed and meaningful experience, and a visit that inspires many returns. She will work with our exceptional preferred caterers and vendors, and our great existing rental clients to help create memorable events throughout the museum while also cultivating new relationships. Additionally, our Visitor Service staff are part-time, come from a wide-range of backgrounds, education, interests, and experiences. Magee will work with this team on the vital person-to-person interactions that help us assist the broadest possible public audience and private guests.

Magee graduated from Winona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Recreation and Tourism. Prior to graduation, Mary accepted a yearlong internship working with an adventure travel study organization, Pacific Challenge. She worked with the company marketing, coordinating, and assisting a leading travel study program in New Zealand and Australia. Upon returning to the US, she continued on her career path by pursuing a position with Mayo Clinic as a Project Assistant for Events Production. While with Mayo Clinic, Magee took on various roles involved with organizing large-scale medical conferences such as Transform 2013 and Individualizing Medicine.

Mary is excited to welcome you at the front desk and book your next event; there are still opportunities for both before the end of the year! Please contact her at or 507.424.3116.



December 17, 2012

Rochester Art Center is pleased to announce the receipt of a major grant of $75,000 from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This grant provides two years of operating support of the Art Center’s exhibition program and contemporary artist lecture series K(NOW).

“This grant from the Warhol Foundation is a solid endorsement of the quality and forward-thinking nature of Rochester Art Center’s innovative programming, as the Foundation is known to employ rigorous standards in its funding of new, experimental, and often challenging art,” said Stephen Troutman, Rochester Art Center Board President.

The Warhol Foundation’s grants are made to support original, imaginative, and scholarly presentations of contemporary visual art. Other recent receipts of the Warhol Foundation grants include The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA; Institute of Contemporary Art / University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX; the Guggenheim, New York, NY; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.

“It is a great honor to be recognized for our exhibitions and programming alongside such prestigious institutions,” said Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director of Rochester Art Center. “This award and significant distinction will impact us in many meaningful ways as we achieve our future goals in offering visitors more enriching exhibitions and adult programming over the next two years.”

The Rochester Art Center’s exhibition program presents a series of artist centered exhibitions featuring newly commissioned works, large-scale, site-specific installations, artist surveys, and important publications. Solo exhibitions supported by the Warhol Foundation grant include new projects with Chiharu Shiota (Japan), Monica Sosnowska (Poland), Lamar Peterson (Minnesota), and David Rathman (Minnesota), among others. “We are very proud to have our upcoming exhibitions and K(NOW) lecture series acknowledged by The Warhol Foundation,” said Kris Douglas, Chief Curator, Rochester Art Center. “It is an exciting opportunity to advance our programming with the Foundation’s assistance.”


Funding from the Warhol Foundation will also support the inaugural presentation of K(NOW), a bold and innovative lecture program that presents artists as generators of new knowledge and pairs national and international contemporary artists with regional experts from across disciplines to explore timely topics regarding how we understand our world today. Upcoming K(NOW) artists include Lisa Anne Auerback (Los Angeles), Kendall Geers (Johannesburg, South Africa-Brussels), and Chiharu Shiota (Osaka, Japan-Berlin).


With a mission for advancement of the visual arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts was established in 1987 and is focused primarily on supporting work of a challenging and often experimental nature and encourages curatorial research leading to new scholarship in the field of contemporary art. The Foundations has an objective to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work. The Foundation values the contribution these organizations make to artists and audiences and to society as a whole by supporting, exhibiting and interpreting a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practice.

Download the full press release

Read about it in the Rochester Post-Bulletin


art:21 Inside the Artist's Studio with Shannon Fitzgerald

August 31, 2012

Art21's Georgia Kotretsos interviewed Rochester Art Center's new executive director in the latest edition of Inside the Artist's Studio. Read the article here.

Rochester Art Center receives funding from Minnesota State Arts Board

August 6, 2012

Rochester Art Center has been awarded more than $57,000 by the Minnesota State Arts Board to support its general operations and arts education programming. The award combines resources from the state’s Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment and additional funds that recognize the meritorious nature of the Art Center’s exhibition presentations and diversity outreach in the community.

Of the award, the largest RAC has received from MSAB, the Art Center’s new executive director, Shannon Fitzgerald said, “We are honored to be one of the recipients of the Minnesota State Arts Board grants. This significant award recognizes and confirms the value and impact that our exhibitions and educational programs have in our community.” The Art Center’s Board President Stephen Troutman also noted, “We are delighted with the MSAB grant. It is very gratifying to be recognized by the Arts Board, especially with the merit grant, which is the maximum available. We are grateful for these funds and the recognition from the State of Minnesota.”

Recent Art Center exhibitions have included local artists in its RAC2 – Rochester Art Center / Rochester Artists Collaborative, Minnesota-only artists in its 3rd Floor Emerging Artists Series, regional artists like Tony Tasset from Chicago, and international artists such as Rachel Khedoori (Australia) and Miguel Calderón (Mexico City.)

Working for the past two years with the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, Alliance for Chicanos Hispano Latino Americans (ACHLA), and Olmsted County’s Hispanic Education Advocacy Program, the Art Center has developed projects that encourage and explore creativity, sustain individual and community identity, and promote inclusivity.



Rochester Art Center appoints Shannon Fitzgerald as Executive Director

June 19, 2012

The Rochester Art Center Board of Directors is delighted to announce the appointment of Shannon Fitzgerald as the Art Center’s new Executive Director. “Shannon has deep roots in the contemporary art world and a passion for community. We feel confident that under her leadership, we will sustain the Art Center’s reputation for world class art exhibitions and programming.” said Stephen Troutman, Board President and Chair of the Search Committee. “And Shannon will lead us to new levels of engagement within the Rochester communities, a key part of our mission,” continued Troutman. Following an extensive national search, several finalist were identified and interviewed including candidates from Rochester. She will begin her tenure on July 9, 2012.

“I am thrilled to be joining Rochester Art Center and delighted for the opportunity to work with such a dynamic and loyal Board of Directors and talented staff. I look forward to building upon the many accomplishments of the Center in fulfilling and advancing its mission to achieve an even higher level of excellence and impact” said Fitzgerald. She continues “Rochester Art Center is truly a vital part of the community and boasts a robust and innovative exhibition and education program. I am honored to begin my work on deepening the Art Center’s commitment to Rochester and the region, while also broadening its reach, visibility, and participation in the international arts community.”

Shannon Fitzgerald is a distinguished contemporary art curator, museum professional, writer, and educator whose highly acclaimed work focuses on international emerging and mid-career artists and thinkers. She has produced original exhibitions, projects, and essays with a prestigious roster of artists including Polly Apfelbaum, Radcliffe Bailey, Michael Paul Britto, Jill Downen, Dzine, Yun-Fei Ji, Larry Krone, Michael Lin, Julie Moos, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Karyn Olivier, Ruby Osorio, Keith Piper, William Pope.L, Liz Rodda, Allison Schulnik, Mary Ann Strandell, Catharina van Eetvelde, and Marina Zurkow, among others.

She was formerly Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) where she oversaw the exhibition and publication programs. At CAM, she conceptualized and co-curated the inaugural and traveling exhibition A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad (with Tumelo Mosaka) which launched the museum’s program in its new building. The exhibition included new commissioned projects by artists Siemon Allen, Fatma Charfi, GodfriedDonkor, Mary Evans, Meschac Gaba, Kendell Geers, Moshekwa Langa, Ingrid Mwangi, Odili Donald Odita, Owusu-Ankomah, and Zenib Sedira. During her tenure, Fitzgerald also developed education and community outreach initiatives, planned public lectures and symposia, oversaw a national visiting curator & critic series, and created an international and national artist-in-residence program.

Before joining CAM in St. Louis, Fitzgerald held a curatorial appointment at the Institute of Visual Arts (Inova), at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she participated in its ambitious and groundbreaking international Kunsthalle-style programming that featured many of the most significant artists in the field. She has taught art history at Webster University (St. Louis, MO), the University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond, OK), and Columbus State University (Columbus, GA) as the 2010 Visiting Scholar-in-Residence. She earned her master’s degree in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee) and her Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston).

Fitzgerald has generated new scholarship, commissioned critical essays from leading scholars, and edited numerous museum publications. She has published many essays on the work of contemporary artists and has contributed to the art journals ART PAPERS, Bootprint, Review Magazine, and Art21:Blog. She is the Lead Mentor for the Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship, a program she co-developed for the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Oklahoma City, that works to advance critical art writing and contemporary curatorial practice in the region.