Turmoil Continues At BMoCA: More Exhibited Art Pulled

Photo: BMoCA Mauro Giaconi Installation (Courtesy)
The Boulder of Museum of Contemporary took down the site-specific installation "falls to lead (from the depths of time)" two months early, as requested by the artist Mauro Giaconi.

The move comes two weeks after the removal of other art works on loan from a collector. Both shows were scheduled to end in September.

A gallery representative for Mauro Giaconi, creator of the second work to come down, said the artist had concerns about the security of his work.

“We felt that it was very strange to have a show without any surveillance,” Gustavo Arroniz says, “And nobody in the museum who was capable to explain the piece to the public.”

The removal comes two weeks after art collector JoAnn Gonzalez Hickey took down works by 29 international artists that she’d loaned to the museum.

Five full-time staff recently left because of what they call poor work morale and mismanagement.

In March, these employees sent a letter to the museum's board that accuses the executive director of things like improper financial practices and abusive behavior.

Museum board member Ron McMahan says an independent investigator and an auditor looked into the claims and found no basis for them, but never the less the board tried to address the concerns with the staff.

"They were not looking for any improvement of conditions, they were simply demanding the resignation of the executive director,” he said.

But the board unanimously voted to retain the executive director. Nora Lupi, who managed operations and membership for the Museum, told CPR News the work environment was unstable.

"A lot of it was emotional abuse, belittling, undermining, disrespecting staff, just a general sense of not trusting the staff," she says.

In addition to five full-time staff, Lupi says more than 10 part-time and contract employees also left.

Arroniz says artist Mauro Giaconi reached out to BMoCA Executive Director David Dadone about removing his installation “cae a plomo (desde el fondo del tiempo) / falls to lead (from the depths of time)” earlier this week.

“He was never reluctant to help, and the only issue was that we needed to agree with the fact that it was going to be him that would remove and pack the work,” Arroniz says.

Arroniz said the gallery works closely with Hickey and credits the art collector with connecting Giaconi with BMoCA for the exhibition.

“She’s a very quiet collector,” he says. “This year was the first time she opened the collection for the public in an institution.”

More of Hickey’s collection is on display at the Denver Art Museum through August 6.

The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art has replaced Giaconi’s installation with a video piece by artist William Lamson.

“The work comes from a series of sculptures designed to be activated by the powerful winds in the Mojave Desert,” according to a statement.