Boris Oicherman named Cleveland Foundation program director for arts & culture

Curator, artist and engineer joins the foundation team today

Boris Oicherman

Photo courtesy of Katya Oicherman

Release Date: 9.19.2022

CLEVELAND – Following a national search, the Cleveland Foundation is pleased to announce that Boris Oicherman, Ph.D. will join the foundation as program director for arts & culture, effective today (Sept. 19). Oicherman comes to Cleveland from the Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where he was the inaugural Cindy and Jay Ihlenfeld Curator for Creative Collaboration.

“Boris brings a truly unique set of skills to the Cleveland Foundation’s program team,” said India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation senior vice president for program. “As an artist, museum curator and engineer, his distinctive perspective will have a tremendous impact on the Northeast Ohio arts community.”

In his role at the Weisman, Oicherman established and led a new program that supports collaborative practices in the arts. He pioneered innovative curatorial practices that prioritize inclusion, access and the long-term transformative potential of art. Over the course of his five-year tenure, Oicherman spearheaded a strategic direction in support of culturally diverse initiatives that transcend disciplines, media and sectors while combining visual arts, academic research, crafts, activism, Indigenous knowledge, music, creative writing and performance. Combined with an intentional, focused outreach to artists working in and with communities underserved by the museum, and investment in long-term relationship building, his strategy resulted in uniquely inclusive, sustainable and community-engaged museum programming.

Prior to his time in Minneapolis, Oicherman was an artist specializing in site-specific installation and performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, public art and social sculpture. ( He has created more than 50 site-specific works, participated in international artist residencies in Israel, South Korea, Poland, Spain, Croatia, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom, and received multiple production and research grants for his work.

Oicherman is also a color scientist. He conducted research for the Hewlett Packard Laboratories, Indigo Electronic Printing Systems and other corporations, registering twelve U.S. and international patents in his field. Oicherman’s educational background includes an M.S. in digital color imaging from the University of the Arts London, a Ph.D. in color science from the Leeds University and an M.F.A. in arts practice from Stanford University.

Oicherman will be joined in Cleveland by his partner, Katya, a curator, artist and researcher of textiles; and their son, Michael.

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