UCI Institute and Museum for California Art Names Kim Kanatani as Director


University of California, Irvine, has announced the joining of previous deputy director and director of education at the Guggenheim Museum in New York as the first museum director of the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art (IMCA). Kanatani will join the office in August 2019.

“UCI has been a leader in the arts since the day our students and faculty first walked onto campus, and with the establishment of UCI IMCA we are positioned for an extraordinary new level of achievement,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Our goal is to make the arts an essential element of being at UCI. We welcome Kim Kanatani with enthusiasm and look forward to great things to come.”

Earlier Kanatani was serving as deputy director and the Gail Engelberg Director of Education. In her role as deputy director and the Gail Engelberg Director of Education, she has overseen all education programs at the Guggenheim, including public programs for adults, youth and families. She has coordinated with the international museums of the Guggenheim Foundation and has been actively involved in the planning and development of the foundation’s future museum in Abu Dhabi. Her work has encompassed numerous cross-cultural and museological exchange projects with other venues worldwide.

Previously, Kanatani was the director of education at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles before joining the Guggenheim in 2001.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to develop a world-class art museum that will showcase and celebrate the most significant collections and exhibitions of California art and give this work the recognition it deserves,” Kanatani said. “Shaping the cultural and interdisciplinary discourse around the ever-changing perspectives of artists who create work in response to the unique culture of California and its global contexts will be key. I envision the museum serving as a state-of-the-art teaching and learning institution, which will offer unparalleled arts and cross-curricular experiences for the campus and the wider community.”

UCI Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Enrique Lavernia added, “With her inspiring energy, talent for creative collaboration, scholarly rigor and deep commitment to civic engagement, Kim Kanatani is the ideal leader for UCI IMCA. She brings an outstanding national reputation that will help UCI make a positive impact through programs and exhibitions that forge meaningful connections at all levels across campus, with our neighbors and supporters, and with our many visitors from around the country and the world. I expect that her leadership and guidance will be invaluable as we move forward with constructing a permanent home for the UCI IMCA on campus.”

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