Art Base director Genna Moe steps down

Genna Moe
Courtesy photo

Art Base executive director Genna Moe will step down from her post next month, the Basalt art center announced Friday.

She has accepted a role as a regional director of the Aspen Institute’s Society of Fellows program.

Skye Skinner — the director of the Art Base’s capital fundraising campaign and former director of Compass, the nonprofit that operates the Aspen Community School — will take over the role April 10.

Moe said Tuesday that the possibility of her taking the Institute job had long been on the table and was unrelated to societal disruptions caused by novel coronavirus, which has shut down the Art Base and public life throughout the Roaring Fork Valley in the past two weeks.

“Obviously, I had no idea this was going to happen in the middle of a pandemic,” Moe said. “The good new is that we couldn’t have a better choice of a leader in Skye Skinner. … The work we have done has made it so that we can survive this period of uncertainty.”

Skinner has been involved with the Art Base since its founding in 1996 as a project of Compass on the Community School campus in Woody Creek.

“The effort the Art Base team shared this last four-and-a-half years has set the organization up to prevail this time of unprecedented challenge and achieve long-term success,” Skinner said in the announcement. “The dynamic all-ages arts programming will continue to span communities and demographics and we are proudly adapting to more digital content. I am honored to lead the Art Base and am grateful for Genna’s many accomplishments during her tenure.”

Moe had led the midvalley institution since 2015, through its transition from the Wyly Community Art Center into its current form and spearheading efforts to fund and create a new building for the Art Base, while its current Lions Park home became a platform for regional and locally based artists and the midvalley hub for art education.

She previously held posts at the Wheeler Opera House and Aspen Art Museum.

Art Base board president John Black praised Moe’s transformative leadership of the organization and expressed the board’s support of her new position in Aspen.

“In four-and-a-half years, under Genna’s leadership, the Wyly Art Center reinvented itself as the Art Base, came through a comprehensive rebranding, reversed a deficit with an increased budget, and exponentially grew the membership base and programming,” he said in Friday’s announcement.

Skinner, who also served as interim director during Moe’s 2018 maternity leave, has committed to the director role through 2020 while continuing to lead fundraising efforts for the Art Base’s recently approved campus at Basalt River Park. She has worked closely with Moe and the Art Base board for the past two years as the institution’s strategy and development consultant.

Moe pledged to join the Art Base Council and to remain on the design committee for the new Art Base building. She also will assist with the search for a full-time director.

In January, the Art Base hired Aspen Institute Lissa Ballinger as curator, a newly created role Ballinger fills concurrently with her post as the Aspen Institute’s curator. Ballinger in 2019 spearheaded the community-wide, year-long Bauhaus centennial celebration.

“Lissa brings new prestige to the Art Base exhibition program and knowledge of art theory and history,” Art Base board vice president Barbara Glass said in the announcement. “As curator we are already impressed with her ability to elevate the viewer and artist experience in inspiring new ways. We are thankful for her future leadership in activating what will be our new museum-quality gallery in Basalt.”