The Wex's director reflects on a quarter-century at the helm.

After 25 years of hosting cutting-edge exhibits, film programs and guest performers, Wexner Center for the Arts director Sherri Geldin has decided she needs a change of scenery. In February, Geldin will leave her longtime post to make way for her successor, Johanna Burton. The outgoing arts leader looks back as she prepares for her exit.

What was your motivation to move on?
I genuinely believe that all of us in the arts are creatures of our era and our own experiences, and that [25 years] running a single arts institution that focuses on the contemporary … is probably about as extended a run as one should have.

How has the Wexner Center shaped the arts scene in Columbus?
[It] really paved the way in the 30 years since for other cultural institutions in the city to recognize that not only is there an appetite for contemporary art and expression, but that it’s actually a benefit and a force in terms of shaping a city’s view of itself.

Has there been an event that stands out for you?
It’s an impossible, impossible selection to make. There have been so many moments. ... It’s fair to say that one of the real points of pride is how often we have been able to introduce creatives to one another.

What are your plans going forward?
I am looking forward to spending a little time after Feb. 8 really exploring what might be next. I think it could be any number of directions, and I’m hoping that it will end up being one that even surprises me.


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