The Montclair Art Museum is reorganizing its education and art school programs, bringing them all under the umbrella of the newly named Vance Wall Art Education Center. The center—made possible by a generous donation by the Vance Wall Foundation—will enable a strategic and ambitious expansion of MAM’s educational profile in the region. Leah Fox has been appointed MAM’s first director of the Vance Wall Art Education Center.
A nationally recognized leader in her field, Fox brings 17 years of experience working in art museums, helping to advance education programs and engage new audiences. Most recently, as the director of interpretation and audience engagement at the Currier Museum of Art, in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she worked for 10 years, Fox led the educational staff and 80 docents, overseeing all programs, tours, gallery interpretation, and visitor engagement initiatives. She has published widely, led workshops, and lectured extensively on a range of topics, including best practices for making museums accessible and engaging to diverse audiences. She has also led programs on forming museum/school collaborations and on bringing art and culture to children and adults with sight loss.
“We’re extremely pleased that the Vance Wall Foundation has given us this opportunity to reimagine how a midsize museum can operate in the future to assure a relevant and meaningful educational role in its communities,” said Lora Urbanelli, director of the Montclair Art Museum. “We have a strong tradition on which to build. Our award-winning art school has been a part of the Museum since 1924, and our education programs have earned widespread respect. But MAM is committed to innovation, and we hope to establish new approaches in teaching and learning that will serve as a model for educational efforts at other similar institutions across the nation. The Museum is already well known for its high quality, groundbreaking exhibitions. We are equally serious about our education programs. Leah’s experience, passion, and leadership role in the educational world of museums will help us attain these ambitions.”
Fox and her family will relocate to Montclair over the summer and officially join the MAM staff in August.
“I am excited to collaborate with the diverse communities in Montclair and throughout North Jersey to develop a vision for the Vance Wall Art Education Center that will build upon existing strengths of the Museum and respond to the needs of the community.” Said Fox, and added, “With an established school tour program, highly regarded studio art courses and education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, and an outstanding collection, the Museum is deeply committed to supporting art education. I also look forward to working with area schools to ensure that the Museum fosters the skills in students that are essential now and for the future.”