Kathleen Gilrain joined Smack Mellon Studios as Executive Director in October 2000. As the Executive Director she oversee all aspects of Smack Mellon programming including:

  • Organize the Exhibition Program – Curate and work with guest curators to mount five to six exhibitions of contemporary art each year. At times these exhibitions include site-specific projects by artists who create new work in the gallery for the exhibition. Review proposals for exhibitions from curators and artists.
  • Manage the Artists Studio Program – organize a panel to review applicants and select artists for the studio program each year. Manage the artists in residence throughout their one-year residency. Arrange for guest studio visits from curators and critics. Organize and promote open studio events twice annually.
  • Promote exhibitions and studio program to the press and the public.
  • Direct the Development staff to raise funds for all programs from government agencies, foundations and individuals. Organize fundraising and benefit events.
  • Supervise a staff of seven including exhibition preparators, media technicians, shop technician, development and administrative staff.

Kathleen was the Director of Socrates Sculpture Park in LIC, Queens, NY from 1995 to 2000. As Director she:

  • Organized two exhibitions annually of large-scale contemporary works of art, the majority of which are created on site with technical assistance from the Socrates staff.
  • Managed the Outdoor Studio and Emerging Artist’s Fellowship Program where artists build new work for exhibition at the park.
  • Worked with the Education Director to create innovative programs for students both at the park and in NYC schools.
  • Organized an Outdoor Summer Cinema program for six evenings each summer.
  • Promoted Exhibitions, Education Programs, Outdoor Summer Cinema and Special Events to the press and the public.
  • Development - Wrote grants to foundations and government agencies to raise funds for all programs. All programs are free and open to the public.


Ms. Gilrain has curated exhibitions for galleries, institutions and organizations including Smack Mellon, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus outdoor public art program.

Ms. Gilrain is an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn College where she has taught in the sculpture department since 1998. She has been a visiting lecturer at The Cooper Union in NYC, The Metropolitan State College in Denver and The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Ms. Gilrain has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Marymount College, NYC.

Ms. Gilrain has served on professional selection committees to review applications from both artists and art organizations for: The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Organization Program, Creative Capital Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, Queens Art Council, Socrates Sculpture Park and Smack Mellon Studios.

Ms. Gilrain has been a speaker on professional panels at: Hunter College, The City University of New York, for a forum on New York City galleries; Triangle Artists Residency Program, a professional panel about artist’s residency programs; the Dumbo Art Center, a panel of non-profit art organizations in NYC. In 1996 Ms. Gilrain was a Juror for an exhibition at The Cooper Union titled A Large Show of Small Works.

Kathleen Gilrain is an artist who has had several one-person exhibitions and has been included in many group exhibitions. She has created site-specific public sculptures for: Savannah, GA; the City of Ulsan, South Korea; the South Carolina Botanical Garden, SC; the City of Chicago, IL; The Fields Sculpture Park in Ghent, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City; the City of Providence, RI; the Connemara Conservancy in Dallas, TX; Klenova Castle in Klenova, Czech Republic; and Cergy Pontoise, France.

Ms. Gilrain holds a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA from The University Massachusetts, Amherst. She holds a NY State certificate in Art Education, to teach in the NY State public school system. She also studied at New York University’s Graduate Program in Venice, Italy in 1989, and participated in an exchange program in 1982 at Bath Academy of Art in Bath, England.