The Laguna Art Museum announced the addition of three new members to its governing board, evidence that a $375,000 Irvine Foundation grant stipulating greater board diversity is having an affect.
“The present board has been tasked with identifying and helping recruit people who might be a good fit for the museum,” said board president Robert Hayden III, a collector and expert in California Art made between the 1920s and ’70. “We are looking for board members with a passion for and knowledge of art, who are willing to collaborate with the arts community as well as the city.”
Since May, Hayden has also served as LAM’s executive director during a search to replace Bolton Colburn. “I am comfortable running the museum’s administration. I have learned so much and also had fun in the process. It’s been a better solution than hiring an interim director,” he said.
The museum received more than 70 applicants for the post. This week, a final handful of candidates face final interviews with the search committee, Hayden said. “We are excited at the high caliber range of people who have shown interest in having the job.”
The newest board members are Laguna residents Janice Johnson and Liz Kramer and Beverly Hills businessman Michael Brickman.
Johnson, a former music teacher, previously chaired the Pacific Symphony’s board and Guilds of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and served on boards of the National Symphony Orchestra, the White House Endowment Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has also been involved with South Coast Repertory, the Pacific Chorale, the AIDS Services Foundation and the UC Irvine Town Hall committee.
“I believe that the museum is the heart and soul of Laguna. We are known as the city of artists and the city should be centered on the museum,” Johnson said.
The daughter of a commercial artist, she is not an art expert but brings ample fundraising and budget balancing skills to the museum. “I have lived in Laguna since 1983 and just love this city.”
Kramer, a Laguna native, graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 1982. She has been involved in arts for 20 years and operated an art gallery in Washington, D.C in 1991. She earned a undergraduate degrees in philosophy and fine arts, as well as a master’s in fine from Cal State Fullerton. She has also been on LAM’s exhibition preparatory crew before devoting herself to raising three children. “I have never been on a board before but I’m willing to listen, learn and pay attention,” she said. “I would like to help the board guide the museum in staying progressive while also maintaining its sense of history,” she said.
Brickman manages Stor-Mor Self Storage and is an avid collector of early California art. “Michael brings experience as an entrepreneur, collector of historical California art and former board member of the Pasadena Museum of California Art,” said Hayden. Brickman was unavailable for comment.