Gena Brodie Robbins, mixed media artist and former gallery director and studio owner, has joined Brenau University as the new director of galleries.
“I am honored and delighted to join the Brenau community, and I cannot wait to begin developing contemporary, engaging, and accessible local, national, and international exhibitions,” Robbins said.
Robbins will oversee Brenau’s five exhibition spaces and the university’s world-class collection of more than 3,500 works from internationally and nationally renowned artists and local talent. The galleries serve as both an educational and cultural resource for Northeast Georgia by providing free public programming and shows.
Robbins also has worked as an educator in higher education and public school systems, and plans to put that expertise to work in providing programming along with exhibitions.
“I believe it is essential to provide a variety of educational opportunities for every type of learner at Brenau University and for the wider community of Gainesville and the Southeast,” Robbins said. “In addition to artist talks planned to accompany many of the upcoming exhibits, I hope to provide educator and student workshops that will reinforce a deeper understanding and appreciation of each exhibition and the wide range of styles and movements of art found throughout Brenau’s extensive permanent collection.”
Robbins was born in Macon, Georgia, and raised in Tifton, Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art education from Valdosta State University and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the Savannah College of Art & Design. While attaining her master’s degree, she won the New York Studio Space Scholarship at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and internships at the Triangle Artist Workshop and Exit Art Gallery.
“I hope to provide educator and student workshops that will reinforce a deeper understanding and appreciation of each exhibition and the wide range of styles and movements of art found throughout Brenau’s extensive permanent collection.”Gena Brodie Robbins, gallery director
After graduation, Robbins co-founded and directed Hollingsworth Gallery in Palm Coast, Florida, curating international and national shows of world-renowned artists such as Ilker Yardimski, Patrick McGrath Muniz, Matthew Litteken, and Greg Fugua. She won the Florida Artist’s Group’s Richard Dean Andruk Award, curated by Sam Gilliam.
Brodie’s mixed media works investigate the idea of persona and the ephemeral states of existence through the application of bold, aggressive strokes of color, spray paint, and the washing out and bringing back of essential imagery. Brodie has exhibited in China, France, and the United States, including the Quinlan Arts Gallery in Gainesville, Georgia.
“We are excited to welcome Gena to Brenau,” Matt Thomas, vice president for University Advancement, said. “She will play an instrumental role in providing educational opportunities for the local and campus communities by leveraging the university’s extensive permanent collection and the world-class shows we bring to Gainesville on an annual basis.”
Brenau’s first permanent art collection was installed in 1986 through the efforts of then-President John S. Burd. Today, there are three gallery spaces on Brenau’s historic Gainesville campus: the Presidents Gallery; Sellars Gallery in the Simmons Visual Arts Center; and Leo Castelli Gallery in the John S. Burd Center for Performing Arts. Two galleries are located on the Downtown Campus: the Manhattan Gallery in the Brenau Downtown Center and the gallery on the Gainesville Renaissance first floor.
The galleries host numerous exhibits open to the public each year, including more than 60 print works created by Pablo Picasso displayed at the Sellars Gallery during October and November.