Owens appointed director of the Castellani Art Museum | web supplement

Artist, educator and arts administrator Ellen Owens has been named director of the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University. In her new role, which begins on Monday November 1, she will provide dynamic leadership to the museum, which has a permanent collection that includes more than 5,000 pieces of mostly modern and contemporary art.

“Ellen Owens is a talented, innovative and collaborative leader with a deep passion for the arts and an unwavering commitment to the educational mission of museums,” said the Reverend James J. Maher, CM, president of Niagara University. “These qualities will stand her in good stead as she develops programs and initiatives to strengthen the presence and impact of the Castellani Art Museum as a vibrant resource for the visual arts on campus, as well as for the entire region of Italy. western New York.”

Throughout his career, in positions such as Director of Education, Executive Director, Curator and Board Member, Owens has created meaningful experiences for visitors, students and staff. For the past seven years, she has provided strategic advice on the leadership team of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, the largest anthropology museum in the United States. This team recently completed an $80 million institutional transformation project to reimagine 10,000 square feet of galleries and public spaces, rebrand through a massive marketing campaign, and unveil new programming. During his tenure, Owens helped raise over $4.5 million for his department through grants, sponsorships, and other fundraising initiatives, new collaborations and partnerships were established, and participation to the programs has increased considerably. Owens and his team launched Unpacking the Past, a multi-stage education program that serves more than 6,000 public middle school students each year. She also led the groundbreaking Global Guides program, which hires local immigrants and refugees to lead gallery tours that connect personal stories with the history of their home countries.

Owens has served as coordinator and lecturer in the Master of Museum Education program at the University of the Arts, and has held several positions at art, history, and science institutions in and around the Philadelphia area, in Pennsylvania, including executive director of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a popular art gallery and museum; and director of education at the American Philosophical Society Museum, with galleries focusing on history, art, and science. She began her career at Creative Oasis Arts Studio as the gallery’s assistant director and coordinator and instructor of its art camps.

An energetic advocate and volunteer for the arts, Owens has held numerous nonprofit directorships with the Print Center, the Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia, the Arts and Business Council of Philadelphia, Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania, and others. She is a graduate of notable leadership programs such as the Getty Leadership Institute and the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College.

“The Castellani family and I welcome Ellen to the museum team and the NU family,” said Carla Castellani, daughter of museum founders Armand and Eleanor Castellani. “His keen sense of museums and his experience in the field of education will be a tremendous asset. She is dedicated to building on the past, supporting the museum’s mission, and developing a stronger future in service to the community and region.

“As I became familiar with the Castellani Art Museum, I was drawn to its origin story of Armand Castellani’s successful business ventures and his passion for modern and contemporary art”, says Owens. “Castellani’s commitment to diverse audiences through its folk arts and education programs, as well as its integration of learning projects for Niagara students, aligns directly with my own values ​​and professional experiences. . I’m excited to take the helm, as I think the museum is an incredible resource for the region.

A frequent speaker at professional conferences and a published author, Owens holds a Master of Arts in Museum Education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; and a Bachelor of Science in Art Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania.

Mildred D. Field