Atlanta Contemporary director Veronica Kessenich to step down in September

Veronica Kessenich is stepping down as executive director of Atlanta Contemporary. Her last day with the organization will be September 30.

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve done,” Kessenich told ArtsATL. “I’m from Atlanta and care deeply for this community. I accomplished the goals I set for myself at the Atlanta Contemporary.”

Kessenich, 44, joined the Atlanta Contemporary in 2013 as development director and was named executive director two years later, replacing Julie Delliquanti. Tim Schrager, the board chair at the time, described Kessenich as the museum’s best fundraiser.

Since then, Kessenich has supported the museum through the 2013 Capital Campaign, initiated the transition to free admission, brought about a new, independent curatorial model and led the organization through the Covid-19 pandemic. Atlanta Contemporary is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with exhibits by Sam Gilliam (curated by Kessenich) and emerging artist Hasani Sahlehe (curated by Y. Malik Jalal.) Both will open on August 24.

“This is a historically exceptional organization, and it’s nice to leave when things are good,” Kessenich said. “One of the things we’ve done is to ensure best practices for the organization from a business perspective. We’ve built good stable ground for someone new to come in and build on the work of the last 50 years. It’s time for a new vision.”

Katina Asbell, chair of the board of directors, stated in a press release: “We are incredibly grateful for her creative leadership and thoughtful management over the last 10 years. Veronica has ensured that Atlanta Contemporary remains the nexus for artist-driven and art-centered programming in Atlanta.”

The Atlanta Contemporary’s board has appointed a search committee and brought on a consultant to conduct a search for the next executive director. Kessenich said she is working with the organization to ensure a smooth transition but declined to say what her next move will be, except that she plans to stay in Atlanta.

Source link