Dear VPAM Community,
I am both honored and humbled to join East Los Angeles College (ELAC) as the new Director of the Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM). I am filling some very big shoes left by my predecessor Pilar Tompkins Rivas, whose leadership and vision has elevated our museum to national prominence, and to whom I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude for her hard work and dedication to the museum and its community.
My first visit to VPAM was in 2011 following the museum’s move to its current 40,000 square foot building. Since then, I have been enamored with the level of exhibitions and programs produced that are guided by the museum’s mission to support artists who reflect the diverse communities we serve. I became and remain an avid supporter of VPAM and this mission. As the new VPAM Director, it is a great privilege to continue this work by serving and empowering our campus and surrounding communities through the arts that amplify the stories and realities of a truly diverse Los Angeles.
As a former community college student, I am excited to contribute to a college system that launched my career in the visual arts, and I look forward to working with the museum’s campus community. I am also excited to have the opportunity to connect with ELAC students on April 15th, 2021 as part of VPAM Meetups, a new monthly event series dedicated to introducing current and prospective ELAC students to VPAM staff and student peers enrolled in the Museum Studies Certificate Program (MSCP) at East Los Angeles College. I have already seen some of our students’ amazing work when in March I attended our Washington D.C. Internship Program Closing Reception that included intern presentations and a Q&A section. If you too would like to be inspired by our interns, I encourage you to watch the recorded video presentation now available online.
I am currently working with our multitalented staff to ensure that VPAM fulfills the needs of our campus, neighborhood, and arts communities. Moreover, we are planning the necessary steps to re-open the museum to the public while also prioritizing the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and museum community. As the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel gets bigger, I am heartened by the increasing rate of vaccinations in Los Angeles County, and the reopening effort that is currently taking place in our region.
I appreciate your continued support and look forward to meeting you— our campus community, supporters, partners, donors, and neighbors when we open our doors to you again.
Steven Y. Wong
Photo by Joe Pugliese for Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, 2019.