The Soap Factory is pleased to announce Ellina Kevorkian has been hired as the Director of Artistic Programs. Kevorkian brings an interdisciplinary interest in the scholarship and exhibition of both visual and performance arts; sincere advocacy for the artist process; and a commitment to the Soap Factory as a socially responsive hub for the Twin Cities and beyond. Kevorkian has more than 18 years of artistic leadership experience and in her new position, will be responsible for
the development and implementation of relevant programming and overall vision at the Soap Factory.
“Ellina Kevorkian brings tremendous creativity, experience, and insight to her new role with us,” said Rosemary Williams, Soap Factory Board Member who led the search for the Director of Artistic Programming. “It was our goal to ensure the search process was highly inclusive. We worked with artists and arts professionals from a range of organizations in the Twin Cities to help us make this important decision. Input from a wide and diverse array of voices who could speak to the hopes of the community for the Soap was a vital part of the process.” Williams continued, “In the end, we were extremely impressed with Ellina’s dedication to artists and their work. She impressed us greatly and will be an exceptional fit in our ongoing commitment to help artists realize their most ambitious visions. We look forward to her collaborative spirit, intelligence, and energy in as we define this next exciting stage of the Soap Factory’s development.”
As former Artistic director for residency programs at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE. Kevorkian built innovative artistic programs including residencies and exhibitions that gave Bemis a leading voice among international artist communities and regional art centers. Kevorkian worked actively to diversify the program, bring professionals from around the world, as well as introduce important discourse that challenged the definitions of contemporary art, artist residency need, and community. At Bemis, Kevorkian reimagined the residency experience as a curatorial platform spotlighting dialogue across disciplines; she is also responsible for initiating a “Curator-in-Residence” role; the first of its kind in the region. Kevorkian holds an MFA from Claremont Graduate University and an MA in curatorial studies, performance, from Wesleyan University.
“I am thrilled to join the Twin Cities’ vibrant art community and to take the Soap Factory's support of experimental art and organizational partnerships to its next level—it's an ideal organization for building further critical discourse and space around art and social response."
“The Board is elated to have Ellina Kevorkian join the Soap Factory as its new Director of Artistic Programs,” said Soap Factory Board Chair Roy M. Close. “Kudos to Rosemary Williams and the task force for working effectively and for keeping the process moving forward in a timely fashion and recommending a candidate whose experience and skill set look to be a terrific match for the organization."
Kevorkian will join the current staff including; Bill Mague, Executive Director; Kate Arford, Gallery and Residency Director; Joni Van Bockel, Community Outreach Coordinator; and Colin Marx, Building Manager. Kevorkian will officially begin her position on June 1st.