OMA Award Spotlight - Allison Smith Hernandez

Recognizing excellence in Ohio museums during Arts and Humanities Month

To help celebrate October as Arts and Humanities Month, and to kick-off the call for nominations for this year's OMA awards, we'll be highlighting our 2022 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. We are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights during Arts and Humanities Month to help champion the amazing projects, programs and professionals that make Ohio's museum community strong.

The Awards of Achievement are presented to reflect the outstanding quality and caliber of work by Ohio museums and their professionals in two categories: Institutional Achievement Awards and Individual Achievement Awards.

Nominations for these awards are incredibly detailed. This in-depth process helps to illustrate how these institutions and individuals have gone “above and beyond” the normal call of duty to support their institution, serve their public and advance the cause of the museum community.

Each year, the review panel is overwhelmed by the outstanding projects, innovative programming and dedication to our field as exhibited in each of the institutional and individual nominations. Congratulations again to each of our 2022 award winners! 

Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2022 award for Emerging Museum Professional of the Year.

Allison Smith Hernadez - FRONT Exhibition Co.


In her short career working with museums, Allison Smith Hernandez has made an impact. A double alumnus of Kent State University–with both a B.F.A. and graduating in 2018 with an M.F.A. in studio art with a concentration in textiles–Smith has worked at the Kent State School of Art Collection and the Massillon Museum. 

She currently serves as the Digital Media and Special Projects Manager at FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, and simultaneously holds the role of Gallery Manager at Transformer Station, a Cleveland-based contemporary art museum, where she coordinates exhibitions and manages the collection.

Smith Hernandez is a multi-talented arts professional, whose humility belies the scope of work that she has accomplished to date. In her current role at the Transformer Station, she has coordinated countless exhibitions, managed the collection, served as an artist liaison, and developed content for the organization’s website and social media.

At FRONT, Allison worked closely with Deputy Director Sarah Spinner Liska to manage operations and programs across the region, while single-handedly managing FRONT’s robust social media channels with near daily creative content over the three-month exhibition period. Simultaneously, Allison also managed FRONT’s inaugural internship program, overseeing the experience of four college interns with the triennial team last summer.

Allison’s creativity and flexibility serve not only her organizations, but the greater museum community in her region. We agree with the Director of Kent State’s School of Art Collection & Galleries, H. Anderson Turner who said, “I am excited to see where this professional, thoughtful, and intelligent person’s career will take her.”

Do you know a dynamic emerging professional, helping to lead the way for the future of museums? Be sure to nominate them for the 2023 award for Emerging Professional of the Year! Learn more here.

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