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Monique Davis takes helm of Center for Art & Public Exchange

The Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) is has announced Monique Davis as the incoming Managing Director of the Museum’s Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE). Davis succeeds founding CAPE director Julian Rankin, who will begin his tenure as Director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art (WAMA) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi on October 15. Davis and Rankin are collaborating during the transition to continue the momentum of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-supported CAPE initiative, the purpose of which is to use original artworks, exhibitions, programs, and engagements with artists to increase understanding and inspire new narratives in contemporary Mississippi.

“The Museum is thrilled that we have the perfect colleague to assume the leadership of CAPE,” said Betsy Bradley, Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art. “Monique lives the values—of equity, transparency, and truth—that define this important initiative, and she has decades of experience facilitating conversations that dive into important questions about our shared humanity. She will build CAPE from its very solid, yet dynamic foundation built by Julian Rankin. I cannot overstate the value which Julian has contributed to the Museum during his eight years with us. His intellect, communication, and keen perception have created in him a hunger for learning and an impatience to make a difference. He has become a leader I deeply respect and a colleague I trust completely. The Walter Anderson Museum of Art made a wise decision in hiring him, and I look forward to collaborating with Julian and WAMA as a colleague. We are pleased to be part of his career and are confident of its continued brilliant success.”

Monique Davis joined MMA in 2016 to spearhead membership and community engagement efforts. Davis was part of the first cohort of the Liberation Leadership School, a program of the Highlander Institute. As part of her wider equity and service work, Davis holds positions as Board Chair of AlternateROOTS and on the Board of the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Jackson). Davis received her Bachelors of Business and Public Administration from Howard University.
“Julian’s leadership ensured that CAPE was grounded in CAPE’s three values: Equity, Transparency and Truth. I am grateful for his commitment and humbled by the opportunity to continue the work of CAPE,” said Monique Davis. “Art has the ability to help us recognize our shared humanity and inspire us to create a new Mississippi where all stories are heard and valued. Let’s get to work!”

Julian Rankin has served at MMA since 2010 in communications, community engagement, and leadership capacities. His departure from MMA for WAMA comes at the conclusion of a dynamic year for CAPE, which included newly engineered museum programs; a statewide listening tour in Mississippi communities; the inauguration of The Lab, a gallery space for co-creation between curators and visitors anchored by contemporary art acquisitions; and the first CAPE national artist residency, with New York-based artist Jeffrey Gibson. Rankin returns to MMA on Saturday, November 3 to participate in “WonderLust: Materiality and Movement in Mississippi,” a half-day program exploring a new video artwork created by Jeffrey Gibson as part of that 2018 artist residency in Jackson.


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