DePaul University announced Wednesday its selection of Julie Rodrigues Widholm as the next director of the DePaul Art Museum. Widholm, a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, has been with the MCA since 1999, starting as a research assistant and rising through the ranks. She holds a master’s degree in art history, theory and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, Widholm curates three to seven exhibitions a year, amassing a portfolio of more than fifty exhibitions at the MCA. She starts at DePaul August 31.
“Julie brings exceptional experience to this role and will help expand the DePaul Art Museum’s commitment to Chicago artists and its fine reputation in Chicago and beyond,” said the Rev. Edward Udovic, C.M., DePaul’s vice president for teaching and learning resources, in a news release from the university.
Throughout her time at the MCA, Widholm said she developed strong relationships with artists in the Chicago community, something she hopes to incorporate into her role at DePaul.
“I’m looking forward to building [the museum’s] collection with a focus on Chicago-based artists,” Widholm told Newcity. “I don’t think there is a museum in Chicago that is doing that as deeply and consistently as I would like the DePaul Art Museum to do that.”
Widholm also said she hopes the DePaul Art Museum will, under her leadership, foster discussion about how art relates to all aspects of life. “I’m interested in how knowledge from different spheres goes into making a work or can interpret the work,” Widholm said. “I really aspire for this to be a very dynamic, high-profile place for thinkers and makers to have dialogue and participate. I’m just excited to continue the trajectory that it’s already been on for years and enhance it.”
Emphasizing the beauty of the DePaul Art Museum’s facility, located on the school’s Lincoln Park campus, Widholm said she was excited to bring her skills and knowledge of Chicago contemporary art to the museum.
“I can really take their program to the next level, and personally I was really ready for this next step in my professional growth,” Widholm added. “It just felt like a natural next step.” (Marissa Page)