MADISON — A Spanish artist with years of international experience as a curator and artistic director has been named the new co-director of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Ruth Estévez

Ruth Estévez will take over direction of the school’s artist residency program at its Madison campus and other school initiatives beginning next week, the school announced Monday in a news release.

Founded in 1946 by several artists, the Skowhegan school brings 65 emerging artists and 11 faculty artists to its 350-acre campus near Lake Wesserunsett for a nine-week program each summer, according to its website. The school also has an office and space used year-round in the New York City borough of Manhattan.

“I am delighted to join one of the oldest and most prestigious artist-founded institutions in the United States,” Estévez said in a statement. “I have dedicated my career to creating platforms of inclusion and experimentation within the arts, and there is no better place than Skowhegan for me to continue and expand my interest in learning and exchanging ideas collectively.”

Born in Bilbao, Spain’s Basque region, Estévez served previously as artistic director at the arts nonprofit Amant in Brooklyn, New York; senior curator-at-large at the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts; director and curator of the gallery at the REDCAT art center in Los Angeles; and chief curator at the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City.

Estévez has also organized exhibitions and programs in Brazil, Spain and the United States and has taught at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.


“Estévez is interested in pushing the boundaries of timing and materiality as well as the methodologies of production and presentation,” the Skowhegan school said in its news release.

She holds a master’s degree in art history from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and is currently completing a Ph.D. in art, education, and research at the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha in Cuenca, Spain.

The chairs of the school’s board of trustees and board of governors praised Estévez’s experience and accomplishments in announcing her hiring.

The school launched an international search to replace former co-director Sarah Workneh, who stepped down in December after 14 years leading the school. The other co-director is Katie Sonnenborn, who joined the school’s staff in 2012.

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