The Fabric Workshop and Museum Announces Christina Vassallo as Executive Director

Visual Arts

The Board of Directors of The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Christina Vassallo as its next Executive Director. She will replace Susan Talbott, who announced her retirement earlier this year. Vassallo joins FWM after nearly six years at SPACES Cleveland, where she currently serves as Executive and Artistic Director.

“Christina Vassallo’s set of experiences brings an outlook which is vibrant, relevant, and forward thinking, and that will complement the leadership and vision of her predecessors,” says FWM Board President Maja Paumgarten Parker. “Her arrival marks a moment of growth and change, and a new chapter at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, which was founded by Kippy Stroud. Kippy’s vision, passion, and ability to draw in and support artists and their projects is recognized far and wide, and was championed by her successor, Susan Talbott. FWM stands to continue its support of artists and their work under Christina’s leadership.”

Attendance, visibility, and financial support for SPACES increased substantially during Vassallo’s tenure. Vassallo launched a $3 million capital campaign, spearheaded a renovation and relocation project, expanded outreach initiatives, developed two regrant opportunities for Cleveland-based artists, and curated critically-acclaimed issue-oriented group exhibitions. In 2016 she led a team to acquire and design the new home of SPACES that opened in 2017. Concurrent with the relocation she defined the artistic vision of SPACES by championing artwork that is politically, culturally, and socially responsive.

“Having spent a decade strengthening nonprofits that are committed to placing contemporary art at the center of dialogue about the most significant issues of the day, I am honored to have been selected as the next Executive Director of The Fabric Workshop and Museum,” said Vassallo. “I am especially thrilled by the opportunity to bolster the sustainability and creative community of FWM to meet the needs of our ever-changing world.”

Vassallo is a 2019-2020 cohort member of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a Spring 2020 Marshall Memorial Fellow, and was named one of Crain’s Cleveland’s 40 Under 40 in 2017. She was an ex officio board member of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Contemporary Art Society and a contributor to the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s Support for Artists Planning Team.

Previously, Vassallo was based in New York City, working as Executive Director of Flux Factory, where she set the course for a thriving institution comprised of an international artist residency program, acclaimed exhibitions program, and innovative educational initiatives. Additionally, she has curated exhibitions for the Everson Museum of Art, Jersey City Museum, NURTUREart, Lafayette College, and New Haven University. Christina also served as Programming Associate of Culture Push, Associate Director of Kinz, Tillou + Feigen Gallery, and as Assistant Curator at the American Federation of Arts. She holds a B.A. in art history and an M.A. in nonprofit visual arts management from NYU.

About The Fabric Workshop and Museum

Founded in 1977, FWM both makes and presents, encouraging artists to experiment with new materials and new media in a veritable living laboratory. Through its renowned Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program, FWM collaborates with artists to expand their practices, while documenting the course of artistic production from inspiration to realization. FWM presents large scale exhibitions, installations, and performative works, utilizing innovative fiber and other media. Today, FWM is the only US institution devoted to creating work in textile and new media in collaboration with some of the most significant artists of our time.

Major support of FWM is provided by the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation. FWM receives state art funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support is provided by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Agnes Gund, and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.

Contact: David Simantov