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Sean P. Means
Sean is the movie critic and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket.

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UMFA picks new curator of modern/contemporary art

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts has a new curator for its modern and contemporary art collections.

Whitney Tassie has been hired as UMFA's Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, the museum announced today.

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Tassie comes most recently from Chicago, where she was director of the Monique Meloche Gallery for seven years. She also co-founded Gallery Weekend Chicago, an annual event to promote Chicago's contemporary art scene to collectors and curators. Before working at the Meloche Gallery, Tassie worked as an exhibitions and curatorial assistant at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, N.Y.

She holds a master's degree in modern art history, theory and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a bachelor's degree in art history and archaeology from Cornell.

In her new job at UMFA, Tassie will oversee growth, management and interpretation of the museum's modern and contemporary art. She will organize exhibitions of 20th and 21st Century art, including UMFA's ongoing "salt" series of projects from emerging international artists. She'll also work with University of Utah faculty, and the UMFA's Young Benefactors (a donor-affinity group that supports the museum's modern/contemporary collection).

"We are confident that [Tassie's] fresh energy, great eye, scholarship and creative curatorial ideas will bring incredible value to students and the broader community," Gretchen Dietrich, UMFA executive director, said in a statement. "She made a tangible difference in the art scene of Chicago, and we look forward to the extraordinary art experiences she will bring to Salt Lake City, the University of Utah, and the region."

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