October 11, 2018

MacKenzie Stevens named Director of the Visual Arts Center

The University of Texas at Austin

MacKenzie Stevens. Courtesy Visual Arts Center (VAC) at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) at The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the appointment of MacKenzie Stevens as its new Director. Stevens joins the VAC from the Hammer Museum at the University of California in Los Angeles where she was part of the curatorial team for four years. As the director of an experiential, public-facing curatorial laboratory at UT Austin, Stevens will be responsible for providing vision and programmatic leadership in her new role at the Visual Arts Center. Stevens began her new role on October 1, 2018.

“We are thrilled to have MacKenzie Stevens shape the next iteration of the Visual Arts Center,” writes chair of the Department of Art and Art History, Jack Risley. “For eight years, the VAC has served a crucial role at the university and central Texas as a non-collecting, university gallery committed to staging distinct and defining projects. Stevens joins us at a time that is ripe for transformative ideas and programming.”

In her role at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Stevens organized exhibitions, performances and public programs. She contributed to a number of exhibitions with artists such as Petrit Halilaj, Molly Lowe, Judith Hopf, Kevin Beasley, Marwa Arsanios, Avery Singer, Joseph Holtzman, Maria Hassabi, and Pedro Reyes, as well as the first North American retrospective of Jimmie Durham, which toured from the Hammer to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Remai Modern in Saskatoon, Canada. She was part of the curatorial team for Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only and Made in L.A. 2018—the Hammer’s biannual museum-wide exhibition that celebrates the work of artists living and working in the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to her tenure at the Hammer, Stevens held editorial, research, and archival positions in Los Angeles and New York City at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art, and Pace Gallery. Stevens received her BA in art history from the University of California, Berkeley and her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Texas to serve as the Director of the Visual Arts Center at UT Austin at such an exciting moment in the city’s rich history,” said Stevens. “I hope to build upon the VAC’s legacy as a space for artistic experimentation, innovative programming, and a site for insightful and stimulating conversations about contemporary art to transpire. I look forward to working closely with the VAC’s advisory council, staff, and faculty to advance the VAC’s programming and to including a wide range of voices and perspectives from audiences across the campus and greater Austin."

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