OCEANSIDE — Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) is a young museum, still fine-tuning its role in the region, as it hires its fifth executive director Maria Mingalone.
Mingalone joins OMA after working 14 years at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass. Her roles there included director of curatorial affairs and collections, interim executive director, and director of interpretation.
While working at Berkshire, Mingalone oversaw the museum’s exhibition, educational and public programs. She was also involved in strategic planning, leading fundraising initiatives, and secured grants to support programming and collections.
OMA holds a number of distinctions from the Berkshire Museum.
Berkshire has a much longer history and focuses on collections. It was founded in 1903, to bring together international art, history and natural science.
OMA is just turning 20 years old, and features exhibitions of regional contemporary art.
Berkshire also differs in that it is a collection museum. It owns a large collection of art and artifacts, and is a repository for objects from well know figures in American history. Its 21st century acquisitions focus on national and international artists.
OMA was founded by a group of local residents as an exhibit museum for Southern California art.
Another distinction of OMA is its responsiveness to the community. Efforts include its Artist Alliance, which provides artists feedback on their work and offers them opportunities to show in juried exhibitions.
Mingalone said she recognizes the museum’s benefits and the sense of place it brings to the region.
“Oceanside Museum of Art is clearly an organization that has deep roots in the community and provides value and meaning for the residents of San Diego County,” Mingalone said. “I look forward to becoming part of that dynamic.”
Both museums completed expansion in 2008.
At Berkshire, Mingalone managed a department budget of approximately $800,000 and oversaw the management of 45,000 plus objects in the museum’s collection.
She will be responsible for a museum budget of about $900,000 at OMA.
Marilyn Agredano, OMA Board of Trustees president, credits Mingalone for her wealth of experience and leadership.
“Maria’s background includes not only expertise in curating and museum education, but also 25 years of progressive museum and nonprofit management expertise,” Agredano said. “Her diverse background will be invaluable in advancing OMA as we enter our 20th year.”
Mingalone was hire by the Board of Trustees’ for a three-year contract.
The museum’s previous executive director, James Peck, parted ways with the museum after five months.
Daniel Foster served as executive director prior to that from 2012 to 2015. During his tenure Foster resigned, had a change of heart two weeks later, and continued as executive director for an additional year.
Ed Fosmire was the museum’s second executive director for 25 months.
Skip Pahl was the first executive director of the museum. He stayed at the helm for 12 years and saw the museum through expansion.
Mingalone will have a public meet and greet with OMA members and patrons at the museum’s opening reception for Space, Structure, Light: The Art of Russell Forester and Irving J. Gill: A Comfortable Fit. The reception will be held Aug. 27 at 5 p.m. and include featured artists.