Anne-Marie Russell describes herself as more of a builder than a maintainer and she is ready to move on this week after six years as founding executive director and chief curator of Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College.

Russell shepherded the museum in the old Sarasota High School building through numerous twists and turns in the final stages of restoration toward a glittery opening in December 2019. It attracted big crowds to colorful and varied contemporary exhibits until the pandemic forced the museum to shut down for more than five months.

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Ringling College announced her departure in November, when President Larry Thompson said in a statement, “When we were able to secure the talents of this world-class star of the art world five years ago, we knew that there would come a time when Anne-Marie would move on to new opportunities.”

Russell said an announcement of her next job is expected within a couple of weeks, but she will remain as a curatorial consultant for the museum for at least three months as the college conducts a search for her successor. And she has planned out exhibitions and related programs through 2022.

Janaina Tschäpe’s 2018 installation “Melantropics,” red fabric filled with balls, is on display at the Sarasota Art Museum.

As she departs, the museum is filled with two floors of large-scale paintings, photographs and sculptures, including a floor-to-ceiling maze of twisted red fabric-covered balls by the artist Janaina Tschäpe in a show that Russell curated herself.

The museum is considered a “kunsthalle,” a German term for museums or other facilities without permanent collections that host temporary and traveling exhibitions, compared to a venue like The Ringling Museum, which has its own collection and hosts traveling exhibits.