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Bonnie Clearwater: Dean of South Florida’s Art Museum Directors

Bonnie Clearwater:  Dean of South Florida’s Art Museum Directors
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Introduction to Bonnie Clearwater.  2:56 min.  Photo by Gary James.  Music:  Amernet Quartet.

 

From NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale:

Bonnie Clearwater joined NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale as Director and Chief Curator in September 2013. An influential leader who played a major role in Miami’s emergence and development as an international arts center, she is widely recognized for her curatorial vision, scholarship and record in administration, public education and community outreach. Ms. Clearwater spearheaded an exciting phase of transformation at NSU Art Museum that includes an overall rebranding and expansion of the museum’s reach locally, nationally and internationally. Her initiatives include the development of a world-class exhibition program, expansion of the museum’s education initiatives and public programming, and increased engagement with diverse audiences.

Known for her ability to identify and nurture emerging artists, over the past two decades, she presented the first U.S. solo museum exhibitions for some of today’s most significant artists including: Daniel Arsham, Hernan Bas, Tracey Emin, Teresita Fernandez, Mark Handforth, Jonathan Meese, Albert Oehlen, Matthew Ritchie and Shinique Smith. She also curated historically important solo exhibitions of artists David Smith, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Artschwager, Malcolm Morley, Jack Pierson and Helen Frankenthaler, in addition to groundbreaking thematic exhibitions.

From November 12, 2017 to July 8, 2018, NSU Art Museum will devote most of its 28,000 square feet of exhibition space to an exhibition showcasing the creative process of legendary artist Frank Stella, curated by Bonnie Clearwater. One of the most renowned artists of his time, Stella emerged as part of a generation of American artists who challenged the domination of Abstract Expressionism. Spanning Stella’s career from the late 1950s to the present, the exhibition will include many rarely seen works, and also contribute essential insight into Stella’s trajectory from minimalism, to his late, spatially complex paintings and monumental sculptures. The exhibition examines Stella’s research into art history, materials, philosophy, chaos theory, architecture, and computer-generated production to produce new ways to create art. It reveals his philosophy about painterly space and his experimentation with process and endurance.  Works in the exhibition were selected to respond to the museum’s modernist structure, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, and to reveal Stella’s career-long interest in the relationship between painting and architecture.

In addition to curation, Ms. Clearwater guides NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s education program, in which students of all ages are inspired by direct access to the museum’s exhibitions, collection and professional staff.

Ms. Clearwater has written extensively on Modern and contemporary art and is a respected scholar of Mark Rothko. She is the author of The Rothko Book (Tate Publishing/Abrams) and Mark Rothko: Works on Paper, (Hudson Hills). Other publications include: Tracey Emin: Angel Without You (contributing writer) (Rizzoli); Edward Ruscha: Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go, (Abrams); Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside and Frank Stella at 2000: Changing the Rules (both for MOCA, North Miami); editor/contributing author of West Coast Duchamp (Grassfield Press) and Ana Mendieta: A Book of Works (Grassfield Press), among other titles.

From 1997 – 2013, she was the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami where she developed an internationally renowned exhibition program and guided the museum’s education program. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of the Lannan Foundation Art Programs in Los Angeles and Director of the Lannan Museum in Lake Worth, Florida. She served as Curator of The Mark Rothko Foundation in New York and concurrently was Curator of the Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Collection also in New York. She also served as Curator of the Peter Norton Family collection.

She has an M.A. in art history from Columbia University and a B.A. in art history from New York University.

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 11 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:  3:15 min.

Where did you grow up and what was your earliest memory of art?

 

SERENDIPITY:   6:07 min.

Where did you go to school, and what did you learn that has impacted your career?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:  3:02 min.

How did you become the curator for the Rothko Foundation?

 

SERENDIPITY:  0:58 sec.

Why did you move to Los Angeles?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  3:23 min.

How has the Internet changed your work process?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND:  10:36 min.

How difficult was it for you to arrange exhibitions of iconic artists like Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella, Anselm Kiefer, Helen Frankenthaler, and Roy Lichtenstein in Florida?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  1:47 min.

Tell us about the very unique Helen Frankenthaler exhibition that you mounted?

 

CRITICAL THINKING:  2:18 min.

What are some other examples of your unique insights?

 

RESPECTS OTHERS POINTS OF VIEW:  1:32 min.

How do you identify young artists to put on your radar screen?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  7:55 min.

You have one of the longest and most sophisticated views of the South Florida art community. What do you see?

 

VALUES LEARNING DISCIPLINE:  1:05 min.

Talk about your relationship with the Florida art audience.

 

STRONG DRIVE FOR ACHIEVEMENT:  4:23 min.

Do you see NSU Art Museum as a regional, national, or international museum?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART:  1:15 min.

How has NSU Art Museum evolved under your direction?

 

COMMUNITY VALUES:  6:09 min.

Describe the NSU Art Museum education programs.

 

PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS:  9:54 min.

What are some of the differences between the development of MOCA in North Miami, and the development of the Wynwood Art District and the Design District?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART:  1:31 min.

How is social media impacting the art world?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE BRAND:  1:06 min.

What has your presence at NSU Art Museum meant to the area?

 

 

 

 

 

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