The Nevada Museum of Art
announces the appointment of JoAnne Northrup as Director of Contemporary Art Initiatives. She spent the remainder of 2011 researching contemporary art and virtual environments on a Fulbright Scholarship in Europe, where she was based at ZKM Center for Art + Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. Northrup's appointment is critical to the Museum's strategic growth as it continues to develop its scholarship and research in the unique area of art and environments. In 2008, the Nevada Museum of Art established the Center for Art + Environment (CA+E), an internationally recognized research center that supports the practice, study and awareness of creative interactions between people and their natural, built, and virtual environments.
Described by San Francisco Chronicle art critic Kenneth Baker as a curator of "demonstrated acumen and ambition," Northrup has served as the San Jose Museum of Art Chief Curator since 2008, and Senior Curator since 2001. Northrup's curatorial work focuses on 20th and 21st century art, with a particular emphasis on digital media and Pacific Rim artists. Her past major exhibitions include the nationally touring survey exhibition Jennifer Steinkamp; Il Lee: Ballpoint Abstractions; Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon, and Leo Villareal. In 2006, she authored the monograph on digital animation artist Jennifer Steinkamp, published by Prestel, and in 2010, the monograph on contemporary light sculptor Leo Villareal, published by Hatje Cantz.
"Northrup's appointment is a major achievement for the Nevada Museum of Art. To attract someone of JoAnne's caliber to lead our contemporary international art initiatives is a testament to the tremendous growth the institution has undergone since 2008," says David B. Walker, Executive Director/CEO. Northrup will join Ann M. Wolfe, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, who has directed the Museum's Curatorial Department for the past five years. "I cannot imagine a more dynamic and inspiring curator than Northrup to lead this critical and rapidly developing area of international focus for the Museum. She is a welcome and exciting addition to the Museum's staff," says Wolfe.
Northrup earned her Master's Degree in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California, and her Bachelor's Degree in Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has worked in various curatorial capacities at the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, the Musée de Grenoble in France, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.