Art in America kicked off Art Miami Week on Tuesday at El Espacio 23, a new experimental art space from philanthropist and collector, Jorge M. Pérez. A private tour of the inaugural exhibition and a panel were hosted in partnership with the Lowe Art Museum. Art in America Editor William S. Smith moderated a panel that explored the increasingly important role played by college and university art museums on campuses and throughout communities across the US.
The panel featured Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, director of Spelman College Museum of Fine Art; John Wetenhall, director of the George Washington University Museum; Ian Berry, Dayton director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College; John Stomberg, Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College; and Dr. Jill Deupi, Beaux Arts director and chief curator of Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. The conversation was presented in partnership with VFGI, Truly, LOQI, Winston Art Group, and Diptyque.
An overriding theme of the panel was the university as the ideal site for incubation and cross-pollination among disciplines. The museums reflect the profiles of their universities, bringing very different approaches, collections, and missions from all over the world to the conversation of art.
It is important to note the role of the incredible patrons who were instrumental in founding these university museums and continue to stand behind them, as well as contribute to their programming. Pérez is a wonderful example of such a patron, as is Pamela Joyner, who lent her collection for the traveling exhibition “Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection,” which appeared at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago this past spring.