Star Tribune staff photo of Dean Otto by Jim Gehrz
Walker Art Center's veteran associate film curator Dean Otto has been appointed Curator of Film at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY. Popular and widely admired within the Twin Cities film community, Otto, 49, will begin his new job later this fall.
He was at the Walker for more than 24 years, rising from program manager to associate curator of the department of Film and Video which was recently retitled Moving Image as part of the Walker's "pivot" to new nomenclature. In 2013 Otto took a demotion during a round of cost cutting at the Art Center.
His departure follows that of widely respected design curator Andrew Blauvelt, associate curator Eric Crosby, assistant curator Bart Ryan, and chief curator Darsie Alexander as well as department heads in education, new media and marketing, all of whom have left within the past 20 months.
In Louisville Otto will be the founding curator of a new film department at the Speed, an independent museum located on the campus of the University of Louisville. The Speed has been closed since October 2012 while undergoing a $50 million renovation and expansion that includes two new wings, a 142-seat cinema, an art park and a public plaza. Kentucky's largest art museum, the Speed has a wide-ranging collection encompasing 6,000 years of art and culture.
At the Walker, Otto programmed a 19-part Rainer Werner Fassbinder film retrospective, co-curated the exhibition "The Parade" featuring the work of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg which toured to the New Museum in New York City and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, managed the 17 site international tour of the series "Magnetic North," and coordinated the residencies of Arthur Dong, Christian Marclay and Craig Baldwin. In addition to hosting artists such as Spike Lee, Miranda July, Debra Granik, Jem Cohen, Rahmin Bahrani and Guy Maddin, he organized the popular Summer Music & Movies series that paired local bands with outdoor film screenings.
"I'm looking forward to launching an engaging and diverse program of weekend runs that include art house films, future partnerships with area film festivals and universities, films for children, outdoor screenings, experimental cinema and more," Otto said in a statement released by the Speed.
Citing Otto's experience and success in Minnesota, Ghislain d'Humieres, CEO of the Speed, said, "I'm so pleased to welcome Dean to the Speed and to Louisville,We have found the perfect person to become the Museum's first Curator of Film."