Fort Lauderdale, FL – January 11, 2021 – NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale (a division of Nova Southeastern University Florida) announces the appointment of Ariella Wolens as its first Bryant-Taylor Curator. She comes to NSU Art Museum from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art in Savannah, GA, where she held the position of Assistant Curator, and will begin her new position on January 19.
Bonnie Clearwater, NSU Art Museum director and chief curator said, “We are delighted to welcome Ariella Wolens. In conducting our national search, we looked for a curator whose solid experience matched the focus areas of our collection and found Ariella to be an outstanding scholar, writer and educator whose experience in the areas of CoBrA, Latin American,
19th-century American, and contemporary art, will help us broaden public access to these and other areas of our collection.”
Wolens will work closely with Clearwater and the Museum’s curatorial staff and educators in the development of new exhibitions and collection research. She will also expand on-site and virtual programs of the Museum’s research centers, organize traveling exhibitions of the collection, participate in the docent program and liaise with NSU faculty and students.
The Bryant-Taylor Curator position was made possible by a recent $1.6 million endowment to NSU Art Museum from The Jerry Taylor & Nancy Bryant Foundation that also provides funds for the Museum’s youth education programs. The impact of this gift is being magnified thanks to Nova Southeastern University’s newly established endowment challenge that matches interest on all new endowments up to 5% through 2025.
Ariella Wolens was born and raised in London, England. She received her BA in Art History from University College London and a Master’s from Columbia University in Curating and Criticism of Modern Art, where she developed a passion for Latin American Art in researching her thesis, Killing Time: The Art of Gabriel Orozco. As Assistant Curator at SCAD, she was committed to the education of the students of Savannah College of Art and Design and created significant programming within the teaching museum that served the school’s undergraduates as well as Savannah’s vibrant community of local artists and residents. While at SCAD, she curated exhibitions of artists Charlie Billingham, Sanford Biggers, Raúl de Nieves, Christina Forrer, Emily Furr, KAYA (Kerstin Brätsch and Debo Eilers), Marilyn Minter, Paulina Olowska, Wong Ping and Rose B. Simpson. She worked closely with the museum’s prestigious Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, and directed their historic exhibition, Embers of Freedom: Frederick Douglass and his Legacy, the final presentation of Dr. Evans’ personal holdings of Frederick Douglass’ family archive.
Following her graduate studies, Wolens worked as the curatorial assistant to art historian and curator Alison M. Gingeras, serving as the primary research assistant for Gingeras’ monograph and exhibition The Avant Garde Won’t Give Up: CoBrA and its Legacy, along with a forthcoming publication on radical feminist art, and a major retrospective of artists McDermott & McGough. Wolens has additionally worked as a researcher for artists Jonathan Horowitz and Piotr Uklański. Her writings have appeared in publications such as Art in America, Flash Art, Elephant, Gagosian Quarterly and Spike Art Magazine, as well as catalogs of artists Stu Mead and Wong Ping.
“I am thrilled to be joining the esteemed team at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, whose outstanding collection and inspiring leadership under Bonnie Clearwater has seen this institution become a touchstone for critical scholarship and visionary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in South Florida,” Wolens said. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to assist in the development of their program, contribute to the education of the students of Nova Southeastern University, and devote myself to ensuring the posterity of their historic CoBrA collection, along with their holdings of pioneering American artist William J. Glackens, and ongoing dedication to supporting the visionary artists of today.”
Founded in 1958, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is a premier destination for exhibitions and programs encompassing many facets of civilization’s visual history. The Museum is known for its significant collections of Latin American art, contemporary art with an emphasis on works by Black, Latinx and women artists, African art from the 19th through 21st-century, works by American modernist artist William Glackens, and the European CoBrA group of artists. NSU Art Museum houses two scholarly research centers that complement its collections: The Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman Latin American Art Study Center and the William J. Glackens Study Center.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is located at One East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314. For information, please visit nsuartmuseum.org or call 954-525-5500. Follow the Museum on social media @nsuartmuseum.
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