Hockaday Begins Search for New Director

By Beacon Staff

After seven years at the helm of Kalispell’s Hockaday Museum of Art, Director Linda Engh-Grady is stepping down. Her successor, she says, will need to be a do-it-all type of person.

“I’ll hang off ladders, mop floors and ask someone for a million dollars all in the same day,” she said, while helping artists set up for last weekend’s annual Art in the Park festival. “You have to have a lot of energy for this job.”

Engh-Grady notified the museum’s board of directors in May that she would not renew her contract this October. The resignation, she said, was strictly a personal decision. “I have two little girls and live in Whitefish,” she said. “I started this job when they were still in diapers, but now I’m running them around everywhere to recitals and soccer camps and I need to be closer to home.”

In an e-mail, board member Jana Goodman described Engh-Grady’s seven years at the Hockaday as dynamic, saying that under her leadership the museum has grown in membership, collection value and recognition.

When Engh-Grady started as director in 2001, the museum had 169 members and hers was the only full-time spot. Today, the museum boasts 950 members and four full-time positions with benefits. Engh-Grady estimates that the museum’s collection has probably tripled in value.

“We’ve seen a lot of growth and success in recent years,” she said. “I hope that will help make this an attractive job for a well-qualified person.”

Bob Nystuen, president of Glacier Bank, will chair the search committee to fill Engh-Grady’s position. Other committee members include Tamara Williams, Sue Ricklefs and Hockaday board members Janet Bierrum, Noel Drury, Margene Berry and Goodman.

The position announcement and details have been posted on several museum job sites and the Hockaday Web site.