Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum appoints its first curator focused on local artists and community-art initiatives

Phoenix Art Museum appoints its first curator focused on local artists and community-art initiatives

Phoenix Art Museum appoints its first curator focused on local artists and community-art initiatives
Oct, 25, 2022

Phoenix Art Museum appoints its first curator focused on local artists and community-art initiatives

Christian Ramírez will drive initiatives to advance local and regional art as the Museum’s new assistant curator of contemporary and community art initiatives

PHOENIX (October 25, 2022) – Phoenix Art Museum has selected Christian Ramírez to serve as the Museum’s inaugural assistant curator of contemporary and community art initiatives. Ramírez will officially begin in the role on November 28, 2022.

“We are thrilled to welcome Christian Ramírez to the curatorial team at Phoenix Art Museum,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Museum’s Sybil Harrington Director and CEO. “As our assistant curator of contemporary and community art initiatives—the first curatorial role in the Museum’s history dedicated exclusively to artists working in Arizona today—Christian will create dynamic and meaningful exhibitions and public programs that transform the Museum’s role in elevating the work of our regional artists. With her knowledge, creativity, and passion for working with emerging and established artists, we are confident Christian will help us achieve our vision of a community-first Phoenix Art Museum that plays a pivotal role in strengthening the art ecosystem of the Southwest.”

As the Museum’s assistant curator of contemporary and community art initiatives, Ramírez will develop and lead a comprehensive institutional program designed to advance local, regional, and community art initiatives and foster appreciation for art of the 21st century. Her portfolio of responsibilities includes the creation of exhibitions, installations, public programs, and incubation programs that elevate Arizona-based artists and their work locally and nationally. She will also oversee the Arlene and Morton Scult Artist Award program, the Sally and Richard Lehmann Emerging Artist Award program, the Eric Fischl Lecture Series (presented in collaboration with Phoenix College), and the annual Dawn and David Lenhardt Lecture series. Ramírez will additionally be responsible for growing the presence of Arizona-based artists in the Museum’s exhibitions and collection, with a specific focus on works by artists historically excluded from museum collections in the United States.

Ramírez comes to Phoenix Art Museum from Artpace in San Antonio, Texas, where she served as the artist-residency and exhibition manager. From 2018–2021, she served as the public-programs manager and, later, the interim head of education and engagement at Phoenix Art Museum. At PhxArt, she programmed a series of sold-out lectures to complement the special-engagement exhibition Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire. The series included the Museum’s first Spanish-language lecture in its 63-year history. Over the past decade, Ramírez has also curated exhibitions in Phoenix, Chicago, and Tucson through Everybody, a curatorial and gallery project she co-founded in 2016.

“I am very excited to have been selected as the assistant curator of contemporary and community art initiatives at Phoenix Art Museum,” said Ramírez. “I’m thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with, support, and strengthen ties to Arizona and Southwest artists, building upon the foundation created by the Museum over its history, particularly through curatorial initiatives, arts-engagement programming, and education efforts.”

Ramírez is the newest addition to the Museum’s curatorial team, which is composed of Helen Jean, the Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design; Janet Baker, PhD, curator of Asian art; Betsy Fahlman, PhD, adjunct curator of American art; and Rebecca A. Senf, PhD, the interim Norton Family Curator of Photography. The Museum will commence a search in the coming months to replace Gilbert Vicario, the former curator of modern and contemporary art, who concluded his service at the Museum earlier this month following his appointment as the chief curator of Pérez Art Museum Miami.
For more information, contact the Museum’s Communications Office at or 602.257.2105.

About Phoenix Art Museum
Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art. Located in Phoenix’s Central Corridor, the Museum is a vibrant destination for the visual arts and the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Each year, more than 300,000 guests engage with critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions and the Museum’s collection of more than 19,000 works of American and Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages, along with vibrant photography exhibitions made possible through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call 602.257.1880.

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