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Arts & Entertainment Presented by Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts


Museum of Art Receives $655,000 Gift to Support Curator of Contemporary Art

By Katrina Carl for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art |

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is pleased to announce that a gift of $655,000 was recently pledged by an anonymous donor to help support the position of the curator of contemporary art, to be distributed over the next five years.

Julie Joyce is the esteemed beneficiary of this generous gift as SBMA’s current curator of contemporary art since 2008.

She has nearly 20 years of experience working in various prestigious museums, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Santa Monica Museum of Art and most recently as gallery director/curator at the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts complex at California State University-Los Angeles.

Since joining SBMA, Joyce continues to further SBMA’s dedication to presenting contemporary art by emerging and established artists of national and international importance. Exhibitions she has organized for SBMA include “Yinka Shonibare, MBE: A Flying Machine for Every Man, Woman and Child and Other Astonishing Works” (2009), “Chasing Moby-Dick: Selected Works by Tony de los Reyes” (2010), “Stranger Than Fiction” (2010), “Charles Garabedian: A Retrospective” (2011), “Ori Gersht: Lost in Time” (2011), “Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969” (2012), “Interventions: Brian Bress” (2012); and “Martin Kersels: Charms for SBMA” (2012).

She is currently finalizing plans for the museum’s forthcoming major summer exhibition, “Labour and Wait,” which features works by 14 artists/artist-collaboratives that explore the virtues of craft and labor in contemporary art.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the museum in its endeavor to re-establish a contemporary program that is vital and relevant, not only to an extraordinary local community, but also in dialogue with a wider audience,” Joyce said. “I am touched and inspired by this generous gesture of support, and am looking forward to the many future projects that will be facilitated by this gift.”

Larry Feinberg, SBMA’s Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director, adds, “We are extremely grateful for this generous gift in support of our curator of contemporary art. This is a testament to the high-quality, groundbreaking exhibitions Julie has produced. This gift brings us one step further to our goal of having each curatorial post and the Director of Education position fully endowed, ensuring that the museum is able to continue to retain and attract the most talented staff to serve our community with important and thought-provoking exhibitions and powerful education programs.”

In 2012, the museum received a gift from the Eichholz Foundation to endow the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation Director position, currently held by Feinberg; and in 2007 received a gift from Victor Atkins Sr. and the Atkins family to endow the Elizabeth Atkins Curator of Asian Art, currently held by Susan Tai.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St., is a privately funded, nonprofit institution that provides internationally recognized collections and exhibitions and a broad array of cultural and educational activities as well as travel opportunities around the world.

The museum is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with Chase Free Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information, click here or 805.963.4364.

— Katrina Carl is the public relations manager for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

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