BY LENNIE BENNETT
Times Art Critic
Ann Larsen has been appointed acting director of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs. Former director Victoria Cooke's contract wasn't renewed, said Mike O'Keefe, a spokesperson for St. Petersburg College, which owns the museum. Cooke's tenure was a little more than one year.
College officials didn't return a phone call seeking comment on the turnover.
Larsen has been a volunteer at the museum since it opened in 2002, and has served on its board and as board chairman. In the community, Larsen has been executive director of the Pasco Arts Council and of the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay. Before moving to Florida, she worked with other arts organizations and art galleries in Iowa and Minnesota. She holds a bachelor degree in art history from the University of Iowa.
The museum's core permanent collection is a large group of works by early and mid-20th-century artist Abraham Rattner that was given to St. Petersburg College by his stepson, Allen Leepa, a professor, writer and artist. It is on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College.
Larsen's appointment is for one year and she said applying for the permanent job is "something I wouldn't rule out. Give me a few months."
Lennie Bennett can be reached at (727) 893-8293 or [email protected]