October 21, 2023
Welcoming the New Director of Western Gallery
WAC is pleased to welcome Hafþór Yngvason as Director of the Western Gallery at Western Washington University. Yngvason’s background as both a gallery director and director of the public art program in Cambridge, MA make him an ideal fit for his new position at Western. Part of this role is joining our Board of Directors, something Yngvason is looking forward to. He says, “The Washington Art Consortium is a visionary organization, with a high quality collection. It is part of what interested me in coming to WWU”.
Most recently Yngvason was Director of the Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland, where he and his staff produced contemporary and modern art exhibits at the three locations that comprise the museum’s campus. Over 150,000 annual visitors contribute to a lively environment for enjoying artworks of many different styles and media, curated from the City’s collection and from artists both local and international.
These two areas of expertise combine to form his philosophy regarding Western Gallery. Yngvason states “The gallery program has not only to respond to the community, it has to engage the community.” The role of art in academia has a strong advocate in Yngvason as well; “I think art on campus has other benefits by promoting understanding, creativity and critical thinking. These are abilities that any educational institution is eager to develop in its students and art engages those abilities naturally.”
Yngvason has been published in several art journals, such as: Public Art Review, A Journal of Public Art and Design, The Getty Conservation Institute Newsletter, and Art New England. A few of his published books include: The New Public Art: As Opposed to What?; Perspectives At the Convergence of Art and Philosophy; and Conservation and Maintenance of Contemporary Public Art.