Former Director of Bellevue Arts Museum to lead Capitol Hill arts institution

Photo by Chad Coleman

Photo by Chad Coleman

SEATTLE, WA – August 1, 2016 – Gage Academy of Art is proud to announce the appointment of Stefano Catalani to the position of Executive Director. Since 2010, Catalani has served in a leadership role at Bellevue Arts Museum, as Director of Art, Craft & Design (the museum’s chief curatorial position also responsible for Educational programming). Catalani begins his stewardship of the 26 year old preeminent Northwest art school, Gage Academy, on September 1, 2016.

“I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees, the Artistic Director Gary Faigin, the staff and the instructors to consolidate and advance Gage’s leadership in the region, as well as strengthen the Academy’s crucial role in educating and engaging the community in the visual arts,” says Catalani. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue to grow Gage through exceptional programming and meaningful partnerships.”


Under Catalani’s curatorial leadership, Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) has continued to reestablish its credibility and artistic identity both regionally and nationally, and has expanded its role as a leading destination in the field of art, craft, and design. This has occurred through his multidisciplinary curatorial approach, scholarship, strategic partnerships, in-depth community engagement, extensive publications and the creative empowerment of the curatorial and education staff. The museum’s attendance has steadily increased by approximately 5 to 10 percent per year, peaking at 81,100 visitors in 2014, while the success of his curatorial programming has resulted in unprecedented media coverage in regional and national press.

During his role as head of Education at BAM, Catalani created a growth in staff, and established partnerships to promote diversity, accessibility and inclusion with the goal of diversifying the museum’s audience and strengthening community building opportunities. Catalani fostered a multidisciplinary approach to education by cross-pollinating art, craft and design with poetry, music, performance and architecture with the goal of expanding the visibility and impact of the institution on the community and generating growth in return.

Catalani established BAM as a partner for the city of Bellevue in shaping the cultural landscape of its community. His conception and launch of the BAM Biennial in 2010, is now one of BAM’s most significant programs dedicated to the Pacific NW. Some of his most notable exhibitions include George Nelson: Architect, Designer, Writer, Teacher; Beth Levine: First Lady of Shoes; Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture; Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture; A World of Paper, A World of Fashion: Isabelle de Borchgrave Meets Mariano Fortuny, Read My Lips: The Madeleine Albright Collection, and Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of the Ebony Fashion Fair, among others. These exhibitions shaped BAM as a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest for Fashion and Design. Through all these accomplishments and more, Catalani joins Gage with an immense understanding and passion of how the role of a cultural institution can inspire change, enrich lives, and create a healthy community through art.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Stefano Catalani as our next Executive Director,” says Gage Co-Founder and Artistic Director Gary Faigin. “I’ve known him professionally through his great work at BAM, and I have found him both visionary and inspirational – someone who ‘gets’ what artists are about, and is devoted to supporting them in every way possible.  Now he will be able to work with the ‘supply’ end of the art spectrum, helping to produce the sort of artists who will end up being shown at BAM, and SAM, and galleries in-between.”


Celebrating over 25 years as a national center for classical training in the foundation principles of drawing, painting, and sculpture, Gage Academy of Art, a 501-C3 non-profit, features fine-art programs year-round that engage and inspire emerging and established artists of all ages and abilities through rigorous study and practice in the Realist tradition. For more information, connect with Gage on Facebook and Twitter, or visit


Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists.