Lisa DeGrace will be leaving her position as Executive Director of Blue Sky Gallery. After only 3 1/2 years, she can say something that no other exiting director has been able to say, “I have made a difference.”
Blue Sky Gallery is an organization so stuck in the past they’ve had the same Board President since the Ford Administration. Their curatorial team, or Exhibition Committee, is a group of mostly elderly, mostly white, mostly men who may or may not have any background in photography. And yes, it is a photography gallery. They routinely alienate newcomers who might bring a difference of opinion to the committee, and can become befuddled by such common practice as photographers not printing to standard sized sheets of paper.
Lisa was able to wrest a tiny bit of power away from this Exhibition Committee to form a Diversity Committee which, among other things, sought out professional curators, and presented people of color as artists, rather than merely the subject of travel photography. She treated the organization like a serious gallery with an educational mission rather than a clubhouse. To accomplish something within this petrified forest, I imagine every day of those 3 1/2 years looked something like this:
Thank you, Lisa. You tried so much harder. Your contributions were noticed, meaningful and appreciated.