Today, the Art Students League announces its new Artistic & Executive Director Michael Hall. Hall brings his years of management and art world leadership, most recently with Art Basel and The Armory Show, to the 146-year-old institution. In his appointment to this role, Hall succeeds Michael Rips, who departed the League in June 2020.
Hall has been with Art Basel as the Global Head of Operations & Logistics since 2015, managing the fair’s production in Basel, Miami, and Hong Kong. A practicing artist himself who frequently collaborates with artists on independent projects, Hall brings the combined experience of organizational leadership, art world knowledge, and artistic practice to the position.
“Being able to join the League at this unprecedented time in our history fills me with so much energy,“ Hall says of his appointment. “The opportunity to continue to grow the League and engage our global community further, providing accessible and meaningful artistic instruction, is both inspiring and deeply necessary. For a nation that is hurting and asking for change, art is not only a salve for turbulent times but a force for social transformation. Now that the League has successfully taken the leap into digital, the possibilities are limitless.”
A graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts, Hall has also held leadership positions with The Armory Show (as Managing Director) and Hauser & Wirth New York. His collaborations with artists and friends include several projects at the Venice Biennale: Tavares Strachan for the inaugural pavilion for The Bahamas in 2013, and Patricia Cronin’s 2017 collateral event Shrine for Girls.
Hall also has experience as a Director for North America for Eyestorm Inc. and Artnet.comand has worked with art museums (Princeton University Art Museum, Zimmerli Art Museum). This depth of experience makes Michael Hall a perfect fit for the Art Students League.
“On behalf of The Art Students League of New York, we are thrilled to welcome Michael Hall as our new Artistic Executive Director,” Art Students League Board President Robin Frank said. “His vast knowledge of the international art world combined with The League’s historical place in the American art scene will be a perfect counterpart. As we move toward our 150th anniversary with digitizing our class offerings and vast art collection — along with many other projects in the works — Mr. Hall is extremely well-suited to be the newest leading member of The League community.”
Hall joins The Art Students League at a time of change. In March the League closed for health and safety precautions due to COVID-19 and was able to deftly pivot to online instruction, allowing its teachers to reach its current audience in their homes and studios as well as engage a wider audience both nationally and internationally. The League’s new demographic goes beyond its landmark home in NYC and now includes students from 34 countries and 48 states, in addition to, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Per month, the League's online instruction has seen an average of 2,000 enrolled students and 6,200 in total since September 2020.
ABOUT THE ART STUDENTS LEAGUE OF NEW YORK:
The League was founded in 1875 by students breaking away from the National Academy of Design. That independent spirit remains at The League today, where students pursue their work unconstrained by dogma, politics, or burdensome tuition. We educate students in the language and process of making art in an environment where anyone who wishes to pursue arts education can realize his or her full potential. The League fulfills this mission by offering affordable, high-quality education and instruction in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and assemblage. Artists who have studied at the League include
Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Romare Bearden, Norman Rockwell, Adrian Piper, Charles Alston, Norman Lewis, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, James Rosenquist and Ai-Weiwei, among others.