March 24, 2011

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Richard Rinehart, digital media director and adjunct curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California at Berkeley, has been named director of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University. He will begin his duties on May 1.

"We are delighted to welcome Richard Rinehart as director of the Samek," Bucknell Provost Mick Smyer said. "He brings a new perspective on digital and non-traditional art to the University, along with his teaching and archival experience, all of which will help him to continue the Samek's rich tradition of innovative exhibitions and programming."

Rinehart also serves as associate director for public programs at the Berkeley Center for New Media at the University of California, Berkeley.

As director of the Samek Art Gallery, he will be responsible for all of the gallery's operations, including curating or organizing several exhibits each year, the production of associated publications, organizing contacts and exchanges with other galleries and overseeing the annual student art exhibition. The director also is responsible for long-range planning, including collection organization, maintenance, cataloging and acquisitions as well as stewardship of the Samek Permanent Collection.

In addition, Rinehart will develop and teach, in consultation with the dean of Arts and Sciences, gallery-related or curatorial courses, and assist in facilities planning.

Internet art portal launched
During his 16-year tenure at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Rinehart has curated exhibitions and launched the museum's Internet art portal, one of the few in the world alongside those at the Tate and Whitney Museum.

He has 11 years of experience teaching courses on art, museums and new media as a visiting faculty member at UC Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University and JFK University. He has also guest lectured at New York University, the University of Maine and elsewhere.

Rinehart has participated in international projects to develop metadata standards and management systems for cataloging and providing access to museum collections. At the Berkeley Art Museum, he created the first open-source museum collection of Internet art.

Rinehart is the author of chapters in several books and monographs, including Museum Informatics (Marcel Dekker Inc., 2005) and The Variable Media Approach: Permanence Through Change (Guggenheim Museum and Langlois Foundation, 2005). He is co-author of the forthcoming book, New Media and Social Memory, with John Ippolito.

He has written numerous articles for publications including Perspectives: Journal of the American Society of Information Scientists; LEONARDO: Journal of Arts, Sciences and Technology; and Art Libraries Journal. 

 His most recent article, "For Digital Artists, Apps Provide New Palette," was published in The New York Times in August 2010.

Rinehart received his bachelor of fine arts degree in art practice from the University of Oregon. He is pursuing a master of arts degree in art history from San Francisco State University.

He is the recipient of several grants and research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Dan Mills, former director of the Samek, left Bucknell in September to accept a position at Bates College as the director of the Bates College Museum of Art.

The Samek director search committee included Jim Rice (chair), associate provost and dean of graduate studies; Janice Mann, associate professor of art; Tulu Bayar, associate professor of art; Sheila Lintott, assistant professor of philosophy; and Kathy Graham, associate vice president for development and alumni relations.

Contact: Division of Communications