MOCA Detroit Director Luis Croquer Plans Exit

mocad MOCA Detroit Director Luis Croquer Plans Exit

The exterior of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, with an untitled 2006 mural by artist Barry McGee. (Photo: Corine Vermeulen / MOCAD)

Luis Croquer, the director and chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) has announced that he will leave the five-year-old institution when his contract expires at the end of October, according to The Detroit Free Press. Mr. Croque, who has been at the museum for almost three years, was its first permanent director.

“I’ve given this job 200 percent of my life in trying to juggle the managerial and the more creative, curatorial part of my job,” Mr. Croque told the paper. “And what I’m most partial to is working with artists and producing shows. I’m happiest as a curator.” He added, “As MOCAD continues to grow, I realized I would have to spend more time as a manager and less time as a curator.”

Mr. Croquer told The Detroit Metro Times, “It is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make.” After he leaves, deputy director Rebecca Mazzei will manage the institution, which has a budget of roughly $800,000 and attracts about 35,000 visitors a year.

MOCAD, which is housed in a 22,000-square-foot former automobile dealership, has hosted work by a wide range of international artists during Mr. Croque’s tenure, including Mike Kelley, who was born in the Detroit and staged an elaborate architectural installation there last year.

As Detroit attempts to rebuild itself after the collapse of its local auto industry, MOCAD—which New York Times critic Holland Cotter dubbed “modest but adventurous” shortly after its opening—has been viewed by some as an integral part of the embattled city’s local art scene. In 2010, T Magazine declared, “The ambitious programming at MOCAD is helping spur Detroit’s revival.”