Visual Arts

Museum names interim director

Suzanne Weaver is interim director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami.
Suzanne Weaver is interim director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. ICA Miami

The new Institute of Contemporary Art Miami has chosen a curator with more than 20 years of museum experience to be its interim director.

Suzanne Weaver started in the position around the beginning of August, but the new museum will officially make the appointment public Tuesday morning. Weaver worked on independent curatorial projects in Louisville most recently after spending five years at the Speed Art Museum there; before that, she worked at the Dallas Museum of Art for 13 years.

“She’s had a tremendous amount of experience,” said Ray Ellen Yarkin, who co-chairs the ICA Miami board with Irma Braman. “It’s not just her experience, but also her enthusiasm and her zeal for creating a new institution. It’s infectious.”

The new museum was announced last month after former board members of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami removed its employees from the city-owned building and set up rent-free in the Design District’s Moore Building, 191 NE 40th St. A breach of contract lawsuit filed by the former MOCA board against North Miami was sent to mediation; the two sides are working toward a resolution.

Details about upcoming exhibitions and other programming in the Design District space are expected to be announced in the next several weeks.

Weaver, who has visited Miami and MOCA over the years, said she respected the museum’s programs. When she heard from Yarkin and Braman about the ICA Miami position, she said, the opportunity was hard to pass up.

“You don’t have an opportunity like this in your life to really build and launch an institution,” she said in an interview Monday.

The ICA Miami board will conduct an international search for a permanent director, which will include consideration of Weaver.

Alex Gartenfeld, who was hired as curator in early 2013 but has been serving as interim director since former director Bonnie Clearwater left last year, is now deputy director and chief curator.

“He’s a curator; that’s his career choice,” Yarkin said. “And he was really anxious to get back to that part of his career.”