5 questions for the museum director

The Frost Art Museum welcomed a new director in January 2015. Jordana Pomeroy most recently served as executive director at Louisiana State University’s Museum of Art in Baton Rouge, and previously she was chief curator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She shared a few thoughts with FIU Magazine.

What attracted you to the Frost Art Museum?

The idea of running an academic museum in the heart of a city with an art scene as thriving as Miami’s was too good to pass up. The city is in a period of enormous growth as a global arts hub, on par with New York and London. In large part it all begins with Art Basel. The confluence of artists, dealers, collectors, curators, museum directors and just those purely interested in the “scene” generates an energy unique to South Florida.

What is your approach to exhibitions?

The Frost has a two-pronged mission: to present a well-rounded slate of exhibitions that does justice to the wondrousness of art throughout history and to present arts education at all levels. That means making students and other visitors feel comfortable and happy in the museum environment. I embrace the challenge of converting non-museumgoers into museum lovers by giving them the tools they need to approach art.

How will you build up programs and attract new audiences?

We’ll experiment a bit but also gather some data on our visitors to find out more about their impressions and experiences. If something doesn’t work, I’ll sit down with my staff and figure out why. I also believe strongly in the power of good advertising. Promoting the museum’s offerings as widely as possible, and in creative and unexpected ways, will attract new audiences.

Do you have a favorite artist or type of art?

My favorite art is the kind that takes my breath away. The British landscape painter J.M.W. Turner does this to me, as does the South African artist William Kentridge, who uses masterful draftsmanship to describe political narratives and poetic musings. I am also keenly interested in architecture and design.

In your free time, what do you look forward to doing in Miami?

Drinking cortaditos, of course, and finding those jewel boxes of restaurants that only the locals know about. I’ve also vowed to learn basic Spanish—if the former mayor of New York can do it while running a city of eight million, por qué no yo?  ♦