BOULDER, CO.- The CU Art Museum
welcomed new Director and Chief Curator, Sandra Q. Firmin on April 21, 2014. Firmin replaces Interim Director, Stephen Martonis, who returns to his role as Exhibitions Manager for the CU Art Museum (CUAM).
We're delighted that Sandra Firmin brings new leadership to the CUAM, said Steven Leigh, Dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her vision, insights, and talent will be important in helping the museum enrich our campus and community.
Firmin comes to CUAM from the University of Buffalo SUNY, where she was Curator of the UB Art Gallery. With more than 10 years of academic museum experience Firmin has organized more than 30 exhibitions including Kim Jones: A Retrospective (co-curated with Julie Joyce), Artpark: 1974-1984, and My Future Ex (co-curated with Tra Bouscaren). Firmin has also produced more than 10 exhibition publications and received numerous grants from foundations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Firmin received her M.A. from Bard Colleges Center for Curatorial Studies, and was awarded a Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative Fellowship at Arcadia University Art Gallery before joining the UB Art Gallery.
Sandra brings proven experience establishing relationships with campus and local communities through dynamic programming and collaborations, Martonis said. Her initiatives throughout the city of Buffalo, attest to her passion for creating partnerships on and off-campus, which she enthusiastically brings to the CU campus and region.
CUAM is highly regarded for its exhibitions and programs, Firmin said, and I look forward to furthering its already impressive reputation on campus as an interdisciplinary hub for faculty and students while forging new partnerships with community organizations and art institutions throughout Colorados front range.
CUAM is at an exciting moment as we work to grow our permanent collection and strengthen our educational role through object-based teaching and learning, the support of original research, and exploration of new interpretive approaches, Firmin said. I am particularly excited to institute a residency program in which artists and other cultural practitioners will be invited onto campus to teach, learn, perform, and create new artworks utilizing the vastintellectual and creative resources of a research university. I value the experimental freedom academic museums have to ask open-ended questions and make public the processes underlying inquiry-based exhibitions, programming, andcollection management.
The CU Art Museums permanent collection contains over 8,000 works of art spanning 3,000 years of civilization. The collection was started in 1939 as a teaching tool for students. It has grown into a comprehensive art collection that enriches the educational experience of students, faculty, and the broader campus community, as well as the Colorado public, through experience of original works of art. The collection also facilitates art historical research about larger societal issues through a greater understanding of the arts.