The Plain Dealer | John Kappes  |  June 18, 2008

SPACES names OSU-educated artist, curator Christopher Lynn its next director

After its third search for a new director in 18 months, the nonprofit Spaces gallery in Cleveland has hired Christopher Lynn, director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.

Lynn, 33, a native of Orem, Utah, who earned a master of fine arts degree in painting from Ohio State University, will start work in late August.

"We're thrilled," said architect John Williams, president of Spaces' board. "I am really, really excited. [Lynn] is energetic and smart and extremely well-versed in contemporary art. He just gets it."

Lynn, reached by cell phone while installing a show in Colorado Springs, called his new job "terribly exciting."

"I was looking for a place that valued experimentation and new contemporary art," he said, "so I'm excited to be a part of that."
No stranger to the Midwest, Lynn served as a former assistant curator at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., before taking the job in Colorado two years ago.

Lynn, who draws and creates video-based art on occasion, is married to performance artist Maria Samuelson, whom he met in Ohio. They have a 6-month-old son, Moses.

Spaces started looking early in 2007 for a successor to former director Susan Channing, who led the institution for 21 years. The first search came up empty. After a second effort, the gallery hired Sheryl Hoffman, founding director of Art House, a nonprofit Cleveland art-education organization.

Hoffman, though, left Spaces last winter after three months on the job to take a fund-raising post at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Spaces chose Lynn from 40 candidates nationwide.

Williams said that Lynn will help create a new strategic plan for Spaces, which is examining how to improve the quality of its exhibitions.

"It's time for us to rethink things," Williams said. "It's time to rethink our position regionally and nationally."

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