VERO BEACH – The Vero Beach Museum of Art announces that Jay Williams, Museum Curator will retire on October 28, 2016 after a career spanning more than thirty-five years in the Museum field.
Jay joined the Vero Beach Museum of Art in 2011, and during the course of his five-year tenure organized several major exhibitions and significant individual artist shows, and assisted with all aspects of the exhibition process from research and publications to lender negotiations and ultimately installation.
Highlights of the exhibitions curated by Jay include: Beyond Reality: Hyperrealism and American Culture (2012); Pop Art Revisited: A 21st Century Perspective (2012-2013); Restoring the Spirit: Celebrating Haitian Art (2014-2015); Embracing Space and Color: Art On and Off the Wall (2015); Environmental Photography (2015); and most recently Out of this World: The Art and Artists of NASA (2016). Among the single artist exhibitions Jay curated are: Tom Nakashima’s Treepile Paintings (2012); Stephen Lawson: Images of Time; Carol Brown Goldberg: Recent Work (2015); John Baeder’s: American Roadside; David Drake: Potter and Poet (2016) and Deborah Butterfield: Horses (organized for 2017). Jay’s hand in assisting on the selection of exhibitions extend into 2018.
In addition, Jay worked closely with Museum Executive Director/CEO Lucinda Gedeon on the acquisition of notable works for the Museum’s permanent collection including many acquired with funding provided by the Athena Society over the past five years. Highlights include Jaume Plensa, Yorkshire Soul III; Marc Sijan, Gallery Guard, Seated II; Leon Kroll, The Sonata; Edward W. Redfield, The Delaware Valley; Richard Estes, Amsterdam Avenue and 96th Street; and Emil Bisttram’s Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico.
Gedeon noted, “It is with sadness that we lose Jay and he will be missed by his colleagues, our Board, and our members. We have all enjoyed his passionate enthusiasm for the arts and his relaxed southern-charm, which has made him so popular to all who have had the good fortune to work with him. He assisted with the transition into the new collections and exhibitions wing; and he has curated a great number of exhibitions and authored catalogues and gallery guides including his most recent his monograph on artist John Baeder. He has assisted in the growth of the Museum’s permanent collection and also developed exhibition interpretive programming within the galleries. The Museum is most grateful for his many contributions, and we wish him a wonderful and well-deserved retirement.”
“I could not have wished for better curatorial opportunities than those I’ve had in Vero Beach,” Williams commented. “It has been a joy to work with [Lucinda] Cindy Gedeon, the Exhibition and Collection Committees, the dedicated professionals in every department, and the Museum’s wonderful docents and other volunteers—all of whom have made the last five years a great experience.”
Prior to his position in Vero Beach, Jay Williams held positions as Curator of Art at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach; Curator of the Morris Museum of Art, Augusta Georgia; Chief Curator of Exhibitions at McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina; Gallery Curator, Edison State College (Fort Myers, Florida); Head of Education and State Services, Ringling Museum of Art; and Regional Arts Coordinator, South Carolina Arts Commission.
A national search for Williams’ replacement will be undertaken by the Museum in the coming months.