The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is losing its executive director.
Adam Price led UMOCA since 2009 — and even changed its name from the Salt Lake Art Center. He’s leaving before the end of the year, UMOCA announced today.
“It is not uncommon after periods of major activity to see the executive directors of nonprofits move on to other engagements, and I just felt that the time was right for me to go,” Price said in a statement.
Price praised UMOCA’s trustees and staff as “among the strongest I’ve ever seen. As a result, I’m able to look forward to a brief sabbatical before starting my next cultural engagement knowing that UMOCA will be in good hands.”
Under Price’s direction, UMOCA has seen its fund-raising go up nearly 50 percent, while its audience has grown by 500 percent to more than 100,000 annually. He also oversaw such community events as Luke Jerram’s “Play Me, I’m Yours” (which put pianos on the streets of downtown Salt Lake City) and the Art Truck (bringing art commissions free to area schools). Price is also credited with creating a new national prize for contemporary art, reducing the museum’s overhead costs and cost-per-visitor, launching an artist-in-residence program to give Utah artists a chance at a national career without moving away, and hiring two curators — from Los Angeles and Berlin — to bring internationally recognized artists’ work to Utah.
“Adam’s departure is a real loss for the museum,” Roy Jespersen, president of UMOCA’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “He guided the institution through a very turbulent period and we are grateful that he left the museum in much better condition than he found it.”