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Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 - Canvassed | Art & culture

Ginger Shulick Porcella new executive director at SDAI

The Balboa Park institution hires a seasoned arts administrator and curator

By Kinsee Morlan
Ginger Shulick Porcella Ginger Shulick Porcella

On Jan. 1, the San Diego Art Institute (SDAI) named Ginger Shulick Porcella as its new executive director.  

The organization's longtime executive director, Timothy Field, departed the post last summer, and SDAI has yet to provide an explanation for the sudden change. CityBeat is still curious about Field and his current whereabouts, so anyone with information is invited to email

Here's more information about Porcella, from SDAI's press release:

Porcella comes to SDAI with wide-ranging experience in arts administration and exhibit curation.  She previously served as the Executive Director of Art Connects New York, where she facilitated twenty-two contemporary art exhibitions annually and was responsible for the administration and fiscal management of the organization, leading successful fundraising efforts that increased the organizational budget each fiscal year. 

In addition, Porcella is the Founder and Director of Big Deal Arts, an organization that provides comprehensive services to artists and arts organizations with a specialization in strategic planning, artist marketing and branding, portfolio development, curatorial consulting, and grantwriting. Since 2010, Big Deal Arts has fulfilled a crucial role for artists across the United States and abroad and has maintained an international curatorial presence. The company was recently profiled on The Willis Report, USA Today, and Modern Painters Magazine. 

Porcella is also a Curator with Artist Pension Trust (APT Global), focusing largely on projects that expand the dialogue around the intersection of art, architecture, and anthropology. 

Some of her most successful exhibitions include: "LUMEN," an international video and performance art festival (Founder and Head Curator 2010 and 2011); "Ivory Tower," a video exhibition concurrent with Art Basel Miami Beach 2011; “Boys to Men,” a traveling photography exhibition; “The Typhoon Continues and So Do You” at Flux Factory; and most recently, "The Sixth Sense and Other Myths,” a site-specific sound, light, and scent installation at NYC Industries for the Blind. 

Porcella is the co-curator of the forthcoming Mediations Biennial and is the recipient of curatorial grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Danish Agency for Culture. She frequently lectures at universities across the U.S. on a variety of topics related to contemporary curatorial and arts administration practices, and recently received a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts for top arts leaders in NYC. Porcella holds a B.A. in Art History from DePaul University and a M.A. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University.

Says Porcella: “I am thrilled to begin working with the staff and members of SDAI. I’m looking forward to fostering a creative community and providing expanded opportunities to the artists of San Diego.”

Porcella will begin as Executive Director on March 3, 2013.