Front view of the Burchfield Penney with Rockwell Hall in the background

Propeack Appointed Executive Director of the Burchfield Penney


The Burchfield Penney Art Center Board of Trustees and Buffalo State University are pleased to announce the appointment of Scott Propeack as the center’s executive director. 

Head shot of Scott Propeack

Propeack has been a key member of the Burchfield Penney team for over 25 years, most recently serving as acting director. He has provided visionary leadership to guide the Burchfield Penney’s continued evolution within the local arts and cultural sector while raising its national profile as a top-tier multifaceted arts center. As executive director, Propeack will continue fostering collaboration with the Western New York community, Buffalo State University, and countless arts and educational organizations. He holds overall responsibility for the Burchfield Penney’s achievement of its mission in service to the public, determining the arts and cultural vision and providing oversight of all Burchfield Penney administrative, curatorial, programmatic, and educational initiatives. He oversees a budget of approximately $3.6 million and about 30 staff members.

“It is an honor to serve Buffalo State University, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, and the artists of Buffalo and the region,” Propeack said. “Our organization is unique in the region and the nation. We lift up and amplify the arts while providing opportunities for everyone to share their stories. From this perspective, we are all stronger and grow together.”

Propeack started with the Burchfield Penney as the museum registrar in August 1997 and has held various roles of increasing responsibility in the years since, including collections and exhibitions manager, associate curator, chief curator, and deputy director. His passion for the Burchfield Penney’s mission and his dedication to promoting the art and artists of Buffalo and the region have grown along with his career at the museum. He is a tireless advocate for the arts whose expertise, leadership, and collaborative spirit have been recognized throughout the community and in the media. Mark Sommer’s 2021 Buffalo News article “Scott Propeack: Burchfield Penney Art Center’s Unsung Hero,” details his unconventional path to leadership in the arts, calling him “indispensable.” A 2022 piece by John Darby in Traffic East magazine, “Arts in Revolution,” touts Propeack as “among the leaders of this revolution” and describes his “no-holds-barred revisioning of the Burchfield Penney’s mission, redefining preconceptions and historical norms of what art means, how it is seen, and how we are to interact with it.” In a show of community support, Propeack was also voted Best Arts Administrator in Buffalo Spree magazine’s Best of Western New York 2022. 

“I’m delighted that Scott Propeack has been chosen to take the helm of the Burchfield Penney,” said Buffalo State University President Katherine Conway-Turner. “The art center is a gem on the Buffalo State campus, and I know it will be in good hands under Scott’s leadership. He has clearly demonstrated his passion and commitment to the center in his previous roles. Going forward, I know his experience, institutional knowledge, and connections in the art world will be invaluable.”

Janet Wetter, chair of the Burchfield Penney Art Center Board of Trustees, commented: “Few people have the breadth and depth of knowledge as Scott does for this position. He brings a wealth of experience, a passion for the arts, and an understanding of our mission, as well as being so actively engaged in the art world, both locally and nationally!”

About the Burchfield Penney Art Center
Established in 1966 on the campus of SUNY Buffalo State, the Burchfield Penney Art Center is dedicated to the art and vision of renowned American watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893–1967) and the distinguished artists of Buffalo and the region. 

The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. In 2008, the Burchfield Penney expanded from its location in Rockwell Hall to a new $36 million freestanding facility in the heart of Buffalo’s Museum District. Designed by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects, the museum includes more than 84,000 square feet dedicated primarily to galleries, as well as education and program space and an outdoor year-round space for three-screen video and sound.

The center is home to the world’s largest collection of artwork, documentary archives, and ephemera by Burchfield and a collection of more than 8,000 works by more than 1,000 artists. Its lead collections include photographers Milton Rogovin, Marion Faller, Clara Sipprell, and David Moog; sculptor Charles Carey Rumsey; film artists Paul Sharits and Hollis Frampton; intermedia work and archives by Robert Longo; and archives and objects about Artpark, the Roycroft movement, and the Rehn Gallery in New York City. 

The Burchfield Penney was the first LEED-certified art museum in New York State and was featured by travel editors of the New York Times as one of the “44 Places to Go in 2009.”

Media Contact:
Julia Norris, Social and Digital Content Specialist
Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State
(716) 878-3457

Top photo by Buffalo State Creative Services, Marketing and Communications Office.

Inset photo (Propeack) by KC Kratt.