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Franklin Sirmans: Director, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Franklin Sirmans: Director, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

 

 

Introduction to Franklin Sirmans.  0:39 sec. Interview:  Raymond Elman.  Camera: Kimberly Urias.  Videography and Production: Rudolph Pierre.  Recorded:  10/31/2019, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).

 

FRANKLIN SIRMANS came to PAMM from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where he served as department head and curator of contemporary art. He was the Artistic Director of the 2014 Prospect New Orleans biennial exhibition, P3: Notes for Now.

As a curator, writer and editor, Sirmans has established himself as one of the leading voices in contemporary art. At LACMA, he curated Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada, as well as Fútbol: The Beautiful Game and oversaw major retrospectives by Glenn Ligon and Blinky Palermo. Previously, he organized exhibitions that originated at the Menil Collection such as Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-1966 and Maurizio Cattelan: Is There Life Before Death? and NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, which traveled to MoMA, PS1, and the Miami Art Museum. He is the former U.S. Editor of Flash Art and Editor-in-Chief of ArtAsiaPacific, and he has written and edited numerous artist and exhibition catalogues.

Sirmans’ appointment at PAMM follows an international search led by PAMM trustee Dennis Scholl, collector, former vice president/arts for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and current CEO of OoliteArts. Scholl said: “We couldn’t be more excited to have Franklin at PAMM’s helm. He brings with him experience at numerous large institutions and has a proven track record for galvanizing communities. All of that makes him the ideal person to lead the key museum in a city now renowned as an arts destination and home to a vibrant mix of cultures and traditions.”

Prior to LACMA, Sirmans was curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection in Houston and before that a curatorial advisor at MoMA PS1 and a lecturer at Princeton University and Maryland Institute College of Art. Some of his notable projects include the exhibition Basquiat at the Brooklyn Museum (2005); Make it Now: New Sculpture in New York at SculptureCenter (2005) and One Planet Under A Groove: Contemporary Art and Hip Hop which traveled from the Bronx Museum of the Arts to the Walker Art Center, Spelman College Art Gallery in Atlanta and Villa Stuck, Munich (2001-2003). He is the 2007 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize presented by the High Museum.

Sirmans assumed leadership of PAMM in a time of continued momentum following the successful opening of its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building in December 2013. Since then, the museum has grown its membership base to over 9,000 member households. It has reached more than 70,000 students and children, with the largest art education program in Miami-Dade County, outside the school system, itself.

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 6 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 1:12 min.

Where did you grow up and what is your earliest memory of art of any discipline?

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION:   1:06 min.

Where did you go to school, and what did you learn that still informs you today?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:  6:26 min.

Describe the arc of your career.

 

DEVELOP A VOICE:  1:26 min.

Are you trying to shape the dialogue about Latin art?

 

COMMUNITY VALUES:  2:33 min.

Historically Miami is a place that is constantly being rebuilt, so it’s hard to say that Miami has a solid arts foundation on which to build. What is your vision for the evolution of Miami’s arts communities?

 

STRONG DRIVE FOR ACHIEVEMENT:  0:56 sec.

Does your early experience at Lehman Brothers provide you with a disciplined business approach to running an arts institution?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART: 2:05 min.

Given that your museum is named after and supported by Jorge Perez, has that made it easier to develop a financial base in the Latin community?

 

CRITICAL THINKING:   0:23 sec.

Do you still have time to write?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND:  2:43 min.

PAMM is a unique building in a unique location, communicating to an extremely diverse audience. Can you elaborate on the differences of PAMM?

 

COLLABORATION:  1:50 min.

The people of Miami-Dade County recognize the importance of the arts to the area and consistently allow their tax dollars to be spent on the arts through the Department of Cultural Affairs under the leadership of Michael Spring. Could you please comment on that?