Southampton Arts Center (SAC) announced Thursday that their search for a new leader is over —longtime Guild Hall director and curator Christina Mossaides Strassfield has been appointed as SAC’s new executive director.
SAC engaged Harris Rand Lusk, an executive search firm, to conduct a national search for their new executive director, but the best fit was clearly closer to home.
Strassfield replaces the last director to hold the post, Tom Dunn, who stepped down in August in order to helm Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at Long Island University. Dunn joined SAC as the organization’s first official “executive director” in 2018, though it was first led by director Michele Thompson in 2014.
After 29 years at Guild Hall, having served as museum director and chief curator for the past 20 years, the experienced Strassfield will now assume her position at SAC, leading and advancing the organization’s mission of community building through the arts.
“We are thrilled to have Christina step into the leadership position at Southampton Arts Center,” SAC founding co-chair Simone Levinson says in the announcement sent out on November 10. “Christina is well-known for the close
relationships she has forged with the artists who have shaped the New York and East End art world. Her extensive experience and passion for the arts, as well as her strong commitment to the East End, position her perfectly to drive Southampton Arts Center’s next phase of growth.”
As executive director, SAC says Strassfield will lead all aspects of the organization including “artistic vision and programming, leading development and fundraising initiatives, and cultivating and maintaining the many partnerships and relationships with key stakeholders, among other management functions.”
This is not Stassfield’s first time working with SAC. She curated the Figures Transformed exhibition in the summer of 2022, showcasing the works of Deborah Buck, Hal Buckner, and Strong-Cuevas, each making figurative imagery central to their work.
“I am delighted to join the Southampton Arts Center as executive director,” Strassfield says. “I look forward to working with the board and staff as the organization embarks on its 10th year — an opportunity to celebrate all that has been accomplished and the multitude of ways that it will continue to serve the East End community for years to come.”
Strassfield leading the arts hub of Southampton Village makes sense as she lives in town, where she has served on the school board among other community activities.
SAC Celebrates 10 Years
As she explained, SAC will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2023.
With a view toward strengthening what the organization has accomplished to date, the SAC announcement says they are looking forward to delivering “an extraordinary year of thought-provoking exhibitions and programming.”
At the same time, SAC will be launching an important capital campaign to continue its work restoring its historic building and grounds at 25 Jobs Lane, which were once home to the Parrish Art Museum and still have a wonderful collection of outdoor sculpture, including the famous rows of Roman busts, typical referred to as “the Caesars.”
Learn more about all Southampton Arts Center has to offer at southamptonartscenter.org or call 631-283-0967.