Joseph Palermo


February 2001



As many are aware, I will be retiring from my position at the Las Vegas Art Museum at the end of February. My replacement will be Marianne Lorenz, who is currently Director of the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. As I look back on my four years of service at LVAM, I am gratified that the Museum has made such giant strides toward regional esteem, and even some national attention. The spectacular building in which the Museum has made such progress has been a powerful drawing card for exhibitions from New York, California, Santa Fe, elsewhere in the U.S. coast to coast, and even Israel.

In the past three years, twenty-one LVAM exhibition catalogues have been published, all with essays by LVAM's Curator, an astounding record. The very newsletter you're reading now has become a powerful representation of this Museum's intellectual strength, artistic discrimination, and breadth of exhibitions. LVAM memberships have quadrupled, the volunteer forces grows in size and sophistication, the docent program has grown by leaps and bounds, press coverage has noticeably increased, admissions for 2000 were way up, the paid staff has tripled, the operating budget tripled in four years, and so on.

Moving on, I am confident that the new LVAM Director will carry it to greater prosperity, distinction, and community service. Looking back, I wish to pay tribute now to all those whose assistance and contributions have made my tenure effective, as well as the numerous Las Vegans who kept the Museum running, by any means possible, for the nearly five decades before it moved into its present luxurious quarters. Las Vegas is the world's most unconventional city, and it deserves to have an art museum that pays full homage to the city's amazing nature with equally amazing efforts in the exhibitions and artistic experience it presents to the community it serves, and to which it owes its identity.