Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Announces Ruth Estévez as New Co-Director

Visual Arts


New York, NY/Madison, ME, March 4, 2024  –  Following an international search, the Boards of Governor’s and Trustees at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture are pleased to announce the appointment of Ruth Estévez as it’s new Co-Director.

Estévez comes to Skowhegan after serving as Artistic Director at Amant in Brooklyn where she oversaw exhibitions, programs and artist residencies. Throughout her career, Estévez has worked with artists to develop her internationally engaged practice based on research, interdisciplinary initiatives, and exploration. In her new role, she will direct Skowhegan’s renowned residency in Maine, engaging all aspects of the School’s program, operations and community building for the participants and faculty artists, as well as programs with alumni and partners throughout the year. Prior to her time at Amant, she served as Senior Curator-at-large at the Rose Art Museum in Waltham (2018-2020), and Director and Curator of the Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles (2012-2018), among other roles at museums, art residencies, universities and non-profit organizations. Beginning March 11th, she will assume her position at Skowhegan, working alongside Katie Sonnenborn, who has been Co-Director since 2012.

Marlene McCarty, Co-Chair, Board of Governors and Chair of the Search Committee said, “It is a joy to welcome Ruth Estévez into the Skowhegan community as our new Co-Director. Ruth brings a great breadth of experience and skills, and the Governors look forward to working with her to guide the School into the future.”

Since the beginning of her career, Estévez has organized exhibitions, public programs, and symposiums, including the 34th São Paolo Biennial (2021) and Idiorrhythmic (2018-2021), the annual performance program at MACBA in Barcelona. Before moving to the US, she served as the Chief Curator at the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City (2006-2012), where she also founded LIGA, Space for Architecture, a non-profit platform that encourages experimentation in architecture and spatial art from Latin America.

Eleanor Acquavella, Chair, Board of Trustees said, “All of us on the search committee were immediately impressed by Ruth’s accomplishments as a curator and educator in the US, Mexico and beyond, and her deep relationships with artists working around the world. We are thrilled to have her join as Co-Director.”

Estévez is interested in pushing the boundaries of timing and materiality as well as the methodologies of production and presentation. As part of The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, she organized the research project The Words of Others, Leon Ferrari and Rhetorics in Times of War, which explored how collective memory is rehearsed and performed. The exhibition traveled to PAMM in Miami, and then in a performative shape to MNCARS in Madrid and Jumex Museum (2018).

“I am delighted to join one of the oldest and most prestigious artist-founded institutions in the United States,” said Ruth Estévez. “I have dedicated my career to creating platforms of inclusion and experimentation within the arts, and there is no better place than Skowhegan for me to continue and expand my interest in learning and exchanging ideas collectively.”

Estévez has taught at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, and the School of Visual Arts in New York. She holds a master’s degree in Art History from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, UNAM, and is currently completing a PhD in Art, Education, and Research at UCLM, Cuenca, focusing on the aesthetic, social, and political shifts of collective creation in performance. Estévez was born in Bilbao, Spain.

About Skowhegan

Skowhegan is one of the country’s foremost educational experiences for artists. Located on a 350-acre campus in Maine, the nine-week summer program provides 65 emerging artists and 11 faculty artists with a collaborative and rigorous environment that is shaped by risk-taking, mentorship, and peer-to-peer exchange. Skowhegan does not consider financial ability or circumstances in its admissions process and, instead, focuses on an individual’s commitment to artmaking and inquiry. Founded in 1946 by artists, for artists, the program provides an atmosphere in which participants are encouraged to work in contrast to market or academic expectations.


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