The Everson Museum of Art
in Syracuse, N.Y., is a blocky, minimalist masterpiece, the first museum designed by I.M. Pei. When it opened in 1968, the building was deemed a career launcher for the now world-renowned architect.
The Everson may not catapult DJ Hellerman as it did Pei, but taking a job there as curator of art and programs is a certain step up the career ladder for the BCA Center
chief curator and director of exhibitions.
Burlington City Arts
executive director Doreen Kraft revealed in a newsletter this week that Hellerman would be leaving in April. He's been with BCA since July 2012.
The news came on the heels of another announced departure, that of communication director Eric Ford, who is taking a position as senior manager of local programming at Vermont PBS
The two job changes are "total coincidence," says Ford, who will make the switch to his original love, broadcast media, after 10 years at BCA.
Hellerman notes that nothing provoked him to leave, other than a great opening elsewhere. "It was a really tough decision to make, and not one that happened because I am unhappy here," he says. "It is a really great opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up."
The Everson collection is "quirky, unique and interesting to me," Hellerman says. The institution is also significantly larger than BCA and represents "a good opportunity for me to grow," he says.
The curator adds that he can bring to Everson what he has learned in Burlington in terms of engaging community involvement. "The role of the museum in the middle of Syracuse is still being negotiated," he says. If that sounds like an odd characterization of a place that got its start in 1897, Hellerman explains that the museum also has a new director, and that political and economic changes continually impact cities and their institutions.
"When the world changes, institutions have to change and grow, too," he says.
Hellerman expects to leave Burlington shortly after installing the Cal Lane
exhibit at BCA Center. It opens on April 15.