Suzette McAvoy ’80 is featured in The Mainers, a website that highlights “people working creatively and living thoughtfully in Maine.” As the executive director and chief curator of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA), McAvoy recently oversaw the fundraising and construction of the building’s new location in downtown Rockland—a $5 million, 11,630-square foot space designed by internationally acclaimed architect Toshiko Mori.
“One could argue (and we would) that Suzette has been a driving force behind the transformation of Rockland, Maine from a quiet town to a thriving nexus of the arts in the midcoast over the last 20 years,” writes The Mainer. “Suzette brings an impeccable eye, eloquence, and unflappable determination to her role at the CMCA.”
The interview, which includes portraits of McAvoy at the CMCA, highlights her more than 30-year career in the art history field, her personal art collection, and what she likes best about her job, which she says are studio visits.
“To go into a studio with an artist and see the tools of their work, to see work in progress, for them to share the intimate conversation they’re having with their work, to get close to that moment of creation, it’s really wonderful,” McAvoy says. “Sometimes I’m really interested in work that they didn’t intend to show me, whether it’s work in progress or a direction they’re heading. There can be a sense of discovery for both of us.”
McAvoy joined the CMCA as director in 2010, having served as chief curator of the Farnsworth Art Museum, also in Rockland. She has lectured and written extensively on the art and artists of Maine and has organized national traveling exhibitions of the work of Louise Nevelson, Alex Katz, Kenneth Noland, Lois Dodd, Karl Schrag and Alan Magee.
The above photograph was taken by Erin Little.