Heather Urban, M.A. Visual Arts Administration, '03
Brian Ferriso, M.A. Visual Arts Administration, ‘94
Brian Ferriso is the Marilyn H. and Dr. Robert Pamplin Jr. Director at the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon. As Director and CEO, Ferriso oversees all aspects of the museum. He has successfully accomplished the development of a major two year exhibition and publication program; and secured the acquisition of major works by such artists as Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Robert Rauschenberg. Ferriso previously served as the Executive Director, President and CEO of the Phillbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK for three years. He brings with him a legacy of fundraising ability, a skilled managerial approach, and an ability to set and meet long-term institutional goals.
Prior to his appointment at the Phillbrook, he served at the Milwaukee Art Museum in a variety of positions (Acting Director, 2002; Deputy Director 2003; Senior Director of Curatorial Affairs 2000-2003,) as the Assistant Director of the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago (1997-2000,) and the Special Assistant to the Director and the Associate Director of Development of the Newark Museum (1994-1997.)
Ferriso is a 1994 graduate of the Visual Arts Administration program. He also holds a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin College, and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago. Before embarking upon his museum career, he was a high school art teacher at the Delbarton School, Morristown, NJ (1989-1992.) Ferriso is also a practicing artist; he trained with Frank Mason at the Art Students League, New York, NY.
Brian Ferriso is an active member of the Association of the Art Museum Directors (AAMD,) and the AAMD's committee on Art Issues; American Association of Museums (AAM,) Young President's Organizations (YPO,) and was a Commissioner for the Tulsa Arts Commission. He has also recently served as a 2005 Juror for the National Endowment of the Arts, and a 2005 Juror for the American Institute of Architects National Honor Awards.
(Photo Credit: Randy L. Rasmussen)
Pepi Marchetti Franchi, M.A. Visual Arts Administration, ’98
Pepi Marchetti Franchi is the director of the Gagosian Gallery in Rome, Italy that opened in 2007. She oversaw planning and start-up aspects and is currently responsible for gallery operations including implementing exhibitions and developing new business opportunities. Previously, since 2001, Marchetti Franchi was the Executive Associate to Thomas Krens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York where she developed and implemented national and international strategic projects including the launch of new museums, international exhibition tours and programs. Marchetti Franchi also served as a liaison between the international Board of Trustees, artists, architects, corporate executives, government officials, museum directors and curators. She cultivated relationships with major donors and Fortune 500 companies and raised significant funds for the museum.
After graduating from NYU, Marchetti Franchi became a freelance curator for Berry-Hill Galleries where she curated a retrospective of works by the American artist, J. Carroll Beckwith, also co-authoring the exhibition catalogue Intimate Revelations: The Art of Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917). In 1999, Marchetti Franchi became the Assistant to the Director of External Affairs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, where she assisted in an international multimillion dollar capital campaign and also worked in corporate relations. The same year, she became the External Affairs Coordinator at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. Her many responsibilities included working with corporate sponsors and donors managing membership programs.
Prior to NYU, Pepi graduated with a degree in Art History from the University of Rome, Italy. She was awarded two fellowships: University of Rome Research Fellowship, an eight month fellowship in Paris and New York to research 19th Century American painters in Paris, and the Museum of Fine Arts Barbara Fish Lee Fellowship in Boston, a three month fellowship where she was a project research assistant to the curator of American paintings.
Seth Thompson, MA Visual Arts Administration,‘94
Seth Thompson is currently an Assistant Professor at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and Director/Producer of Wigged Productions, http://www.wiggedproductions.com. He is a media artist, writer and educator whose work has been exhibited internationally and shown on PBS. In addition, he has written on the digital media arts for Dialogue Magazine and Afterimage. Thompson's documentaries, Evolving Traditions: Artists Working in New Media and Outside the Box: New Cinematic Experiences have aired on television stations in Northeast Ohio, Oakland, California, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in Auckland, New Zealand.
Thompson founded Wigged Productions in 2000, to make new and innovative art more accessible through broadcast and online presentations. His goal is to make Wigged a significant database containing interviews with contemporary artists, designers and cultural producers and to showcase video, photography and web-based interactive works via online exhibitions.
After receiving his master’s degree from NYU, Thompson got an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College. He began his career at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts in New York City where he was the Business Manager and Education Director. In addition to teaching at The University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College, he was a Contractual Artist/Lecturer with The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Associate Educator at the Akron Art Museum.
Peter Trippi, MA Visual Arts Administration,‘92
Peter Trippi is Editor of Fine Art Connoisseur, the bimonthly magazine that serves informed collectors of 18th, 19th, and 20th century painting, sculpture, drawings, and prints. Trippi is responsible for each issue’s development and implementation as well as management of the magazine’s growing team of contributing editors and writers, regional editors, assistants, and interns. He also writes a column surveying trends in the field; guides the magazine’s coverage of individual collectors, curators, dealers, auctioneers, fair organizers, appraisers, and experts; and develops joint programs with kindred institutions and businesses worldwide. Additionally, Trippi operates his own firm, Projects in 19th-Century Art, through which he curates exhibitions, writes articles, essays, and catalogues, and presents lectures. He is now co-organizing a retrospective of the British painter J. W. Waterhouse R.A. (1849-1917) for presentation in the Netherlands and United Kingdom in 2008-2009.
After NYU, Trippi received his MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He wrote a 250-page biography of J. W. Waterhouse, published in 2002 by Phaidon Press (London), which has sold 33,000 copies. Trippi contributed two chapters to the catalogue accompanying the exhibition A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (1997, organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art and published by Abrams). In 2002, Trippi co-founded the innovative, peer-reviewed journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide (www.19thc-artworldwide.org), and he has served on the boards of the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art, Historians of British Art, and American Friends of the Attingham Summer School.
Previous to arriving at Fine Art Connoisseur, Peter Trippi was Director of the Dahesh Museum of Art for three years and also held positions at the Brooklyn Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Association of Art Museum Directors (where he wrote a history of that organization from 1916 to 1991), Cooper-Hewitt Museum, National Arts Education Research Center at New York University, and American Arts Alliance in Washington DC.
Blair Winn, MA Visual Arts Administration,‘98
Blair Winn was appointed Director of Development of The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in May 2008. Winn comes to SFMOMA with more than 20 years of arts management and fundraising experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Since 2007, he has served as SFMOMA's deputy director of development. Prior to joining SFMOMA, he was the associate director at Headlands Center for the Arts, an international artist residency program in the Marin Headlands. He also has held positions in New York City, as director of planning and development for the New Museum of Contemporary Art and chief development officer for The Drawing Center. Winn has a master's degree in nonprofit visual arts administration from New York University and a bachelor's degree in art history from San Francisco State University. He is a frequent guest speaker on topics relating to nonprofit management and fundraising.
As director of development, Winn administers a comprehensive program of fundraising for the museum. In addition to developing and executing fundraising plans to support the SFMOMA's operations, exhibitions, endowment, and other special projects, he manages the museum's development staff of 32, responsible for raising the contributed portion of the museum's $33 million annual operating budget. He coordinates the work of the fundraising staff with other departments within the museum and oversees the activities of the museum's interest groups and volunteer fundraising auxiliaries. In this capacity, Winn works closely with the institution's Board of Trustees and senior staff. He is also a member of the director's cabinet.