San José Museum of Art Appoints Kristin Bertrand as Director of Development and Rich Karson as Director of Design and Operations

SAN JOSÉ, California (March 19, 2018) — The San José Museum of Art has appointed Kristin Bertrand as director of development and Rich Karson as director of design and operations. Bertrand, previously the associate director of development at SJMA, will lead the Museum’s development, membership, and facility rental programs. Karson, previously chief of installation and design, will now also oversee the Museum’s facilities and operations in the newly created position. Both have assumed their new roles on the Museum’s senior team.

“Rich is a valued long-term employee who has elevated the exhibition design and production at SJMA to high levels, known locally and beyond. We are so pleased that Rich is taking on these new challenges,” said S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director at SJMA. “In her two years at SJMA, Kristin has been a valued member of SJMA’s development team and is very much up to the challenges of leading our fundraising efforts as we get ready for our 50th anniversary.”

Bertrand has worked at SJMA for over two years in roles of increasing responsibility, from major gifts officer to associate development director. Before her tenure at SJMA, Bertrand served at Ballet San Jose as acting director of development, annual giving manager, development officer, and school administrative director. Bertrand is also a founding board member of the Rawson Project Contemporary Ballet and holds a BA in English from Rollins College.

Karson has been at SJMA since 1990. He was exhibition preparator from 1990 to 1995 and chief of design and installation from 1995 – 2017. Throughout his tenure at SJMA, Karson has collaborated with a wide range of nationally and internationally recognized artists and museums on exhibition design and presentation. He has overseen the design and production of over 250 exhibitions for SJMA and is a recognized industry leader on award-winning exhibition design, exhibition graphic design and branding, lighting design, and the presentation of digital media projects. He has also held posts at the Palo Alto Art Center, the de Saisset Museum, and the Louis B. Mayer theater. Karson holds a BA in Art History from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California.



The San José Museum of Art celebrates new ideas, stimulates creativity, and inspires connection with every visit. Welcoming and thought-provoking, the Museum rejects stuffiness and delights visitors with its surprising and playful perspective on the art and artists of our time. SJMA is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San José, California. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM to 5 PM and until 8 PM or later on the third Thursday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students, and $5 for youth ages 7 – 18. Members and children ages 6 and under are admitted free. For more information, call 408-271-6840 or visit

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