by Callie Enlow
Steven Evans and former Blue Star Contemporary board chair Ed Valdespino earlier this year
It's been a bumpy year for Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. First, the institution, like many other establishments in and around the Blue Star Arts Complex, dealt with a chaotic level of construction both inside and out that made simply entering the museum a chore (and the Alamo/Probandt intersection is STILL not finished!). Then, Bill FitzGibbons, the longtime executive director of the arts organization, stepped down in May. Though the decision appeared amicable, many followers of Blue Star and FitzGibbons couldn't help but notice that FitzGibbons, a practicing artist himself, had many fabulous-sounding residencies lined up well before his announced departure, and used his PR time to tout the Lone Star Arts District in which he owns property and, sources say, envisioned a multi-use, arts-focused development not unlike ... Blue Star. FitzGibbons is still listed as Director of Special Projects.
Then came an apparent bright spot. Steven Evans, who moved to San Antonio for an unexpectedly short stint at the Linda Pace Foundation, did not pack his bags and go back to New York, where he had previously been managing director at Dia:Beacon. Instead he filled in for FitzGibbons as a consulting manager beginning this summer. Evans dealt with the massive installation of the Texas Biennial show, which included more than 50 artists and was the first time the Austin-based Biennial deigned to focus on San Antonio as a major player in the state's art scene. Evans outstayed his initial four-month contract, but not by much, despite enthusiasm from both parties at the onset of Evans/Blue Star working relationship. "His strong background and experience as an art administrator and curator makes him a perfect fit for our organization," said then-board chair Ed Valdespino of Evans upon his hiring.
Today, Blue Star has announced the search in earnest for a permanent executive director. Evans, contacted by email, has confirmed he'll be relocating in the new year, but declined to get into specifics. Instead he said he'd be assisting Blue Star in their search for a new director. "Blue Star is a fantastic organization that is a tremendously important part of the of the culture and the cultural history of San Antonio," Evans wrote. "I can't say enough good things about it, and about its Board of Directors and staff." Francie Mannix, the current chair of Blue Star's board, acknowledged that "Consulting Manager Steven Evans has helped position our organization to take advantage of an exciting and dynamic future."
If you're the type of "exciting and dynamic" arts administrator you think Blue Star is looking for, e-mail your art star quals to directorsearch (at) bluestarart.org.