Meet Jade Walker
Art Alliance Austin Names Former UT Visual Arts Center Head Jade Walker Interim Director
Art Alliance Austin Bids Esteemed Executive Director Asa Hursh Farewell
AUSTIN, TEXAS—(December 14, 2016). Art Alliance Austin today announced the appointment of Jade Walker as interim director, as the organization bids farewell to its esteemed executive director, Asa Hursh, who is relocating to Los Angeles. Walker will begin her new position in the second week of December.
“Art Alliance Austin is excited that Jade Walker has agreed to serve as our interim director,” said Art Alliance Austin board chair Joel Sumner. “She is a highly respected artist in her own right and has contributed immeasurably to the Austin arts community throughout her career.”
Walker served as director of The University of Texas Visual Arts Center (VAC) for 10 years before stepping down in October to pursue other projects. She is renowned for establishing signature programs that have made the VAC a place where art exhibition and education intersect, drawing together a uniquely diverse community of students, faculty, guest artists, and creative voices from around the world. Walker’s previous experience includes leadership roles with the former Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria and the AT&T Executive Center’s Courtyard Gallery. She was an instructor in the UT Department of Art and Art History and served as director of the department’s Creative Research Laboratory on Austin’s east side. Throughout her career, Walker has received numerous prestigious awards and fellowships. Currently, she serves as a panelist for the City of Austin Art in Public Places program. She is a graduate of both The University of Florida (bachelor of arts, 2000) and The University of Texas at Austin (master of fine arts, 2005).
“We are sad to bid farewell to Asa Hursh, who has played a stellar role in the evolution and success of the Art Alliance Austin over the past 2-1/2 years,” said Sumner. “His accomplishments include both high-profile and grassroots initiatives that span east and west of the I-35 corridor—initiatives focused on strengthening Austin’s contemporary art community and establishing Austin as a vibrant art marketplace.”
Among his accomplishments, Hursh:
- Expanded and elevated Art City Austin, Central Texas’ oldest and largest art marketplace, to its new permanent location at the Palmer Events Center.
- Increased gallery participation significantly by attracting prestigious art houses from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin.
- Founded “Austin Art Weekly,” a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to Austin’s art scene.
- Established “Austin Art Breaks,” a series of unique experiences crafted to educate art enthusiasts about visual arts methods and emerging artists.
- Founded “Art Bash,” Austin’s most anticipated art party/exhibition, held each fall and staged in creative, avant-garde, locations.
- Increased organization membership by 1,500 percent.
- Directed citywide public art projects with a wide range of partners, including The City of Austin’s “Art in Public Places”; Downtown Art Alliance; Austin Independent School District; South by Southwest Conference and Festivals; PAN Studio, London; Watershed, Bristol UK; and Seaholm Real Estate Development.
“We are thrilled that Jade Walker has agreed to come on board to continue Asa’s commitment to excellence while we take our time searching for a permanent director,” said Eric Hiduke, said Art Alliance Austin board vice chair Eric Hiduke. “We cannot thank Asa enough for his devotion, enthusiasm, passion and drive. All of Art Alliance Austin’s staff, board members, sponsors, and donors will miss Asa greatly, and we look forward to hearing about his success in Los Angeles.”