John Connelly has been selected as the director of the Atkinson Gallery at Santa Barbara City College. Atkinson Gallery is the Art Department’s showcase for the visual arts, which hosts exhibits of contemporary art each academic year featuring international, national, regional and student artists working in a range of styles and media.

Connelly is an independent curator and consultant based in Santa Barbara since 2014. He previously was director of the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation in New York City, where he led educational and archival efforts in support of the foundation’s mission to foster appreciation and study of the works of Gonzalez-Torres among scholars and the public.

Connelly ran the art gallery John Connelly Presents in New York City for 10 years and was the director at Andrea Rosen Gallery from 1994 through 2002. He co-founded the New Art Dealer’s Alliance (NADA) to support and encourage collaboration among his fellow arts professionals.

He is also a co-founder of High Desert Test Sites, the experimental exhibition platform based in Joshua Tree, CA.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining the SBCC community in a role that celebrates the unique vision of artists in an academic setting,” Connelly said. “I look forward to fostering a diverse and dynamic schedule of exhibitions and programs that will equally inspire our local, regional and international audiences.

“The Atkinson is a beautiful exhibition space and an essential venue in the arts landscape of the Central Coast and for Southern California. I am thrilled to be able to contribute to its continued impact.”

Connelly holds a B.A. in art history from the State University of New York at Purchase and did his master’s studies at the City University of New York, Hunter College. He has taught in the Art Market Studies program at the State University of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology.

— Luz Reyes-Martin for SBCC.