Monday, September 25, 2023

Anne Brennan retiring as CAM director after 29 years of service

Cameron Arter Museum Executive Director Anne Brennan. (Courtesy Cameron Art Museum)

WILMINGTON — A major player in the local arts community will retire next month after decades on the job.

Anne Brennan started her work with Cameron Art Museum as curator and registrar of collections in the 1990s; at the time the museum was known as St. John’s Museum of Art.

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The Wilmington native grew up visiting and volunteering for the institution. It also hosted her first solo exhibition.

Brennan was appointed assistant director in 2010 and executive director the following year.

Deputy Director Heather Wilson will step in as interim executive director while the board conducts a search for the museum’s next leader. Wilson has served the museum since 2006 and was promoted to deputy director in 2019.

The museum credits Brennan for expanding its collection to include diverse contemporary artists with North Carolina ties. She will retire March 31 after 29 years with the museum.

“Brennan’s vision for the museum is expansive and inclusive, and during her tenure she has raised CAM’s relevance to the entire community, reaching out through the work of the Board-led education committee to the Wilmington Housing Authority, New Hanover County Schools, the Resiliency Task Force, and Cape Fear Latinos, among other community organizations,” a release from the museum reads.

In November, the PNC USCT Park, the nation’s first park dedicated to the United States Colored Troops, was unveiled on the Battle of Forks Road historic site on CAM grounds.

An artist first and foremost, Brennan remained dedicated to employing local artists and teaching a variety of genres of art in the Museum School.

“These precious years in service to the community through Cameron Art Museum have been my greatest honor and joy,” Brennan said in a statement. “With all my heart, I thank you. And now, with the brilliant leadership and dedication of CAM’s Board of Trustees, and passion and professionalism of CAM’s staff, this next passage in the life of CAM will flourish as an even more extraordinary engagement with people, and engagement with dialogue. With your continuing support, let’s keep learning together from art, gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves in relation to one another.”

The museum invites community members to add their well wishes, gratitude and share a memory for Brennan on this message board.


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