Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stelzer Resigns Position with Art Center / Replaced by Interim Co-Directors

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Stelzer Resigns Position with Art Center / Replaced by Interim Co-Directors

Article excerpt

Mary Delle Stelzer, who had dreams of developing the Oklahoma Art Center into a leading regional museum, has resigned as executive director, it was reported Monday.

Stelzer, who has directed the art center since January 1986, has been replaced by Marion DeVore and Judy Markley as co-directors on an interim basis, while Douglas Cummings heads a search for a new executive director, said James C. Meade, chairman of the art center's board of trustees.

DeVore said she and Markley have volunteered their time to maintain the operation until a new executive director can be found.

Stelzer's resignation "buys time" for the art center to be reaccredited by the American Association of Musuems, Stelzer said. A review for reaccreditation was started by Tom Livesay, director of museums for New Mexico.

The review process will "go on hold" until a year after a new executive director is named, Meade said.

"We can not be reaccredited and reach our potential without increased resources," Stelzer said. "We need about $1 million for capital improvements if we stay in our current building (at the State Fairgrounds) and a budget of $750,000 to $1 million to be reaccredited by the American Association of Museums.

"Our current budget is down to about $500,000. In his review, Livesay said we need three staff persons and more money for programs and care of the art center's collections."

The art center received its accreditation in 1973. Meade said the effort to seek reaccreditation will "go forward," and a committee to work with Cummings in searching for a new executive director will be appointed soon.

"With our income down the last two years in a down economy," said Meade, "our plans have been slowed down. …

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