In The Arts

Art museum gets new director

The Laguna Art Museum's Board of Trustees announced this week that Malcolm Warner, deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas, will become the Laguna institution's new executive director on Jan. 3.

Warner's appointment comes nearly six months after Bolton Colburn resigned as the museum's executive director after a 24-year career there.

"I am so pleased to have an executive director who is an internationally recognized scholar, arts leader, and an individual who is beloved by the local community he currently serves," Board President Robert Hayden III said in a prepared statement.

"Malcolm Warner is the ideal executive director to lead Laguna Art Museum due to his historical art background coupled with his desire to engage contemporary art and artists," Hayden continued. "He will continue the museum's dedication to quality programming with a focused examination of California art while also broadening and deepening access and engaging the local community."

According to a news release from the museum, Warner was born in Aldershot, England. He did both his undergraduate and graduate studies at London's Courtauld Institute of Art, where he earned his doctorate in 1985. Before moving to the Kimbell Art Museum as a senior curator in 2001, he curated European art at the San Diego Museum of Art. He had also served as senior curator of paintings and sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art, the release said.

He has been Kimbell's deputy director since 2007, including an 18-month stint as its acting director.

"Laguna Art Museum is a gem — a small institution with a great history, a youthful attitude, and the clear mission of showcasing the best of California art, past and present," Warner said in a statement.

"I've been interested in California's rich art culture since working as a curator at the San Diego Museum of Art," he added. "There's still a lot for me to learn, but that's part if the attraction for the job. It's the kind of adventure, professionally and intellectually, that I've been hoping my next step would be…."


SCR veteran returning to help alma mater

Erika Whalen, a veteran of South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa and a Laguna Beach High School graduate, will choreograph the Park Avenue Player production of "Aladdin," which opens Friday and continues through Nov. 13.

According to a news release, Whalen will again work for her longtime teacher and mentor, Mark Dressler, the production's director. She will also choreograph a musical at Thurston Middle School in February.

Whalen earned a bachelor's degree in theater, film and TV from UCLA. She will play Lucille in "Junie B.: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells," playing at SCR from Friday till Nov. 20, and Belle in SCR's 32 annual production of "A Christmas Carol," which will run from Nov. 26 till Dec. 24, the release said.


—Imran Vittachi


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