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Searchers Find a Crop of Potential Museum Directors

A newly formed search committee to find a director for the Newport Harbor Art Museum has already located several potential candidates, so the museum board has postponed action to hire a professional search firm, according to spokeswoman Maxine Gaiber.

Meanwhile, the board has decided against appointing an interim director.

Margie Shackelford, the museum’s director of development, said various departments--administration, curatorial, development and operations--will continue to report to their designated committees on the board. The search committee, named Thursday, consists of five museum trustees: Harry Bubb, committee chairman; Donald Bren and Jack Shea, both major collectors of contemporary art; Joan Beall, and Rogue Hemley.

Kevin Consey, the museum’s current director, will leave Oct. 3 to become director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

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The board reaffirmed that the director’s duties and responsibilities would remain unchanged.

NEW DEAN IN TOWN: The Art Institute of Laguna Beach has named Russ E. Lewis academic dean and vice president for academic affairs, replacing Richard Carp, who resigned in June to become academic dean of the Kansas City Art Institute.

Lewis, 41, who began his new job this week, comes from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he was vice president for academic affairs.

He holds master’s degrees in anthropology from Michigan State University and in East Asian anthropology and sociology (from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.); a Ph.D. in resource development from Michigan State, and a doctor of laws degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.

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