Published October 10, 2019
Robert Scalise has been named director and Liz Park has been named curator of the UB Art Galleries.
Scalise has led the UB Art Galleries — which include the UB Art Gallery in the Center for the Arts and the UB Anderson Gallery — as acting director since the retirement of Sandra Olsen in 2016. During that time, he expanded the galleries’ permanent collection and secured significant acquisitions valued at more than $5 million.
He also helped establish the Connect Gallery in the Conventus building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus as a community art space.
A staff member in the UB Art Galleries for more than two decades, Scalise has curated more than 30 exhibitions and executed key collections-driven projects. Most recently, he organized “Take Five,” “WOMEN in ABSTRACTION,” “Sam Richardson: Intimate Landscape,” “Claire Falkenstein: Time Elements” and “The Language of Objects.”
In his previous position as assistant director for exhibitions and collections, he played a key role in establishing UB Art Galleries’ policies and procedures as a university gallery and art museum. He also is credited with leading the effort to build the Cravens World open-storage collection.
Active in the Western New York arts community, Scalise has served on boards and committees with Roswell Park’s Alliance Art Committee, Western New York Book Arts Center and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. A recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, he regularly lectures on exhibition planning and design, as well as collections care and management.
“I’m looking forward to increasing our impact and expanding our reach by offering experiential learning opportunities for our students at UB, collaborating with faculty and engaging our diverse communities of Western New York,” he says.
As curator of exhibitions, Park will conceptualize and implement the UB Art Galleries’ program of contemporary art, with a commitment to promoting a range of artistic practices and diverse perspectives that speak to urgent questions that concern working artists today.
“We are thrilled and extremely fortunate to have Liz Park join our team,” Scalise says. “She comes to us with significant contemporary art experience and an understanding of what it means to be in an academic museum environment.”
Park joins UB after completing a three-year term as associate curator of the 2018 Carnegie International at Carnegie Museum of Art. Park was responsible for all aspects of organizing the international, including programs and educational initiatives, and worked closely with such artists as Park McArthur, IM Heung-soon and Han Kang, Saba Innab, Postcommodity and Tavares Strachan.
“I am inspired by the university’s robust intellectual legacy and the galleries’ impressive record of ambitious exhibitions,” Park says. “I look forward to working across disciplines with new colleagues, both on and off campus, with openness and sensitivity to the collective needs of Buffalo’s many overlapping communities.”
Park joins UB at a time of renewed commitment to creative activities and campuswide collaboration.
“It’s an exciting time to be in Buffalo and at UB,” Scalise says. “With the recently established UB Arts Collaboratory under Bronwyn Keenan, UB Art Galleries looks to be a key partner in explaining the arts at the university. We will work to make UB an arts destination.”