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Pacific Art League hires new executive director

Lisa Coscino will take over as head of longtime local art center in November

Pacific Art League (PAL), downtown Palo Alto's venerable community art center and gallery, will get a new executive director in November. Curator/executive Lisa Coscino will take over for departing executive director Jon Graves, who's relocating to New York to be closer to family, the organization announced. Graves has been with PAL since 2017.

"Jon has made tremendous contributions to the organization across all aspects of our operations and set us on a path which has enabled us to attract a high caliber art professional; we are sorry to see Jon go," Theo Keet, president of the PAL board of directors, said in a press statement. "With an impressive background within the west coast art community, Lisa brings an exceptional level of expertise and a proven track record, which we can harness as we celebrate PAL's centennial in 2021 and build on the foundation that Jon and his team have created."

Coscino previously headed the rebranding and relaunching of New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU) and served as the executive director of Museum of Monterey. She has considerable experience in arts education programs and in nonprofit fundraising, according to the press release from PAL.

"The Pacific Art League is one of the most important community art centers in the Bay Area given the organization's commitment to arts education,ā€¯ Coscino said. "We are well positioned to continue expanding and producing exhibitions and programs that are models for other arts organizations."

Under Graves' leadership, PAL has expanded its educational offerings and launched corporate art programs attracting team-building groups from Facebook, Google, IDEO and Houzz. It's launched its "PAL Talks Art" series, which brings art experts to present lectures to the PAL community, and curated exhibitions in partnership with environmental nonprofits. PAL also offers art programs for underserved local youth, including its DREAMS (Design, Reading, Engineering, Art, Math and Science) program in the Ravenswood School District.

Next up for PAL will be its 98th anniversary exhibition, opening Nov. 1, and a Nov. 15 talk by art history professor Bruce Elliott on "Revolutions in Art: The Romantic Challenge."

PAL is located at 668 Ramona St.

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