LARGO - The Board of Trustees of the Gulf Coast Museum of Art announced the appointment of Michelle A. Turman as executive director. She succeeds Ken Rollins in the position and will begin her duties on Feb. 1, 2006.
Turman is a 1995 Florida State University graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences. After receiving her bachelor's degree in humanities abroad in Florence, Italy, she was trained in museum practices at the Museum of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg. She received her master's degree in art history with an emphasis on Italian Renaissance Art at the University of South Florida.
Since 2003, she has been with the Mid Florida Chapter of the National MS Society and served as the vice president of donor development, covering 23 counties in the state. She assisted the Society in increasing revenue from $1.1 million to $2.1 million and oversaw the Tampa Bay operations.
Earlier in her career she was chief registrar for the Vero Beach Museum of Art and later was curator of exhibitions and collections at RMS Titanic Inc. She was part of the Titanic 2000 expedition that took place in July and August 2000.
On Aug. 8, 2000, Turman became the youngest female to dive the wreck in a Russian MIR submersible. Upon her return, Turman was inducted into the prestigious Explorers Club in 2001 for her significant contributions to scientific research and underwater artifact preservation.
She has collaborated as a curatorial consultant with such organizations as Memphis Wonders Series, Florida International Museum, Alexander International, and RMS Titanic Inc., the Hermitage Museum in Russia and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Turman also taught art history and humanities as an adjunct instructor for St. Petersburg College from 2000 until 2003. In 2001, Turman moved into the area of fundraising and development, assuming the position of community relations director at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art. While at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, she developed the Georgine Shillard-Smith Society to encourage planned gifts for the museum, assisted in board development and laid the groundwork for an endowment campaign.
Turman is a member of the American Association of Museums, the Florida Association of Museums, Phi Kappa Phi, Leadership Pinellas, Association of Fundraising Professionals and serves on the board of directors of the Tampa Bay Planned Giving Council and the Interbay - Glover YMCA.
In 2003, she served as the chair of Leave a Legacy Tampa Bay and National Philanthropy Day. Turman is a third generation Floridian and resides in South Tampa with her husband and son.
The Gulf Coast Museum of Art (GCMA), located in Pinewood Cultural Park, features permanent and changing exhibitions of contemporary art created by Florida artists from 1960 forward and fine contemporary craft media objects from the Southeastern U.S.
A non-profit organization, it is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is supported in part by GCMA members, the Fine Arts Society, and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs through the Florida Arts Council.
The GCMA's general hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; and closed Monday. The GCMA's admission prices are: $5 adults; $4 seniors (over age 62), $3 students with valid identification, and free for children (10 and under) and museum members. On Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, admission is free to the public.
For information on membership, call 518-6833, ext. 200.