2008 AiPP Juror a "Well-Known Art-World Figure"
Paul Ha is the juror for the 2008 Art in Public Places competition.
Paul Ha is the Director of the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (the Contemporary). Under his leadership, the Contemporary has become a vibrant center for contemporary art and a prominent national venue.
"Ha is committed to energizing the spirit of the art scene in St. Louis, and he will bring that energy to the heart of Bristol," Snodgrass added.
Art in America has described Ha as a "well-known art-world figure." According to The Architectural Review, Ha "made his reputation at White Columns, New York's most adventurous alternative art space." In an article about the opening of the Contemporary (Jan. 2004), Ha told Architectural Digest, "It changes one's perception of art to see it in a different setting, and artists welcome the challenge of responding to the energy of place."
According to St. Louis Commerce Magazine (Sept. 2004), under Ha's direction, "the Contemporary is getting a solid reputation as a discoverer of great contemporary artists (and) is an increasingly popular subject among artists, critics, curators and collectors across the nation — and the world." When the museum celebrated its one-year anniversary, more than 25,000 people had already visited the 27,200-square-foot facility.
"We didn't know what to expect when we opened and went from a small, not-for-profit alternative space to a full-fledged museum," continued Ha, a native of New York. "I feel like we're at the beginning of the next level, where we get the nod from our colleagues and peers saying, 'They're doing great things in St. Louis.'"
Snodgrass said, "One day we'd like to hear people say the same thing about Bristol — that we're doing great things here, too."
Exhibitions conceived during Ha's tenure at the Contemporary include "I Remember Heaven: Jim Hodges and Andy Warhol," "Laylah Ali: Painting and Drawings," "Alexander Ross: Survey," "Michael Lin," "Yun-Fei Ji: The Empty City," "eRacism: electronica," "Cindy Sherman: Working Girl," "Polly Apfelbaum: Crazy Love and Love Crazy" and "Slater Bradley: Contemporary Project Series."
Prior to the Contemporary, Ha was the Deputy Director of Programs and External Affairs at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut. Before that, he was the Executive Director (1996-2001) and Associate Director (1993-1996) of White Columns, New York's oldest not-for-profit visual art space where he curated more than 50 solo and group exhibitions, and where he exhibited artists such as Sarah Sze, Anna Gaskell, Christoph Buchel, Aida Ruilova, and Jessica Craig-Martin early in their careers, often presenting the artist's first solo exhibition. Ha began his career in the arts more than 20 years ago at the Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, DC.
Ha has lectured extensively on contemporary art, artists, the emerging art scene, and the importance of not-for profits. He has served extensively on panels, as a juror for numerous grant-giving organizations, and has been a visiting critic and lecturer for many institutions, universities and art schools. Some of these include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the Visual Arts Jury for the American Academy in Rome's Rome Prize, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Yale University, Cranbrook Art Academy, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Ha served as a Visiting Lecturer at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and the Museum Studies program at the University of Missouri where he taught courses on Curatorial Studies and History of Alternative Spaces.