Colleen Sheehy. Star Tribune file photo by Jim Gehrz.

Colleen J. Sheehy will become President and Executive Director of Public Art Saint Paul starting July 1. She succeeds Christine Podas-Larson who previously announced plans to retire from the post June 30 after 28 years.

Since 2008 Sheehy has been director and CEO of the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, N.D. During her tenure she completed a capital campaign and commissioned a major mural from Pop artist James Rosenquist, a North Dakota native. A populist who earned a 1991 doctorate in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Sheehy has a special fondness for American rock music.

She organized a show of Bruce Springsteen's music and images in 2006 at the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, and presented  "Bob Dylan's American Journey: 1956-1966" at the Weisman in 2007. Sheehy was the Weisman's Director of Education from 1993 to 2008, and was the museum's assistant director of touring exhibition programs prior to that.

Public Art Saint Paul is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 that collaborates with the City of St. Paul to advocate, preserve and place public art throughout the capital city. In conjunction with the city, it runs an artist-in-residence program that presently employs two artists, Amanda Lovelee and Marcus Young, to advise city agencies on the incorporation of art into city neighborhoods and building programs. It also produces and supports art programs at the Western Sculpture Park, an exhibition site on Marion Ave between Highway I-94 and University Ave west of the Minnesota State Capitol.