PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans Announces New Acquisitions
MIAMI – February 19, 2016 – Pérez Art Museum Miami’s Third Annual Reception for the PAMM Fund for African American Art had its most successful year to date, with attendance doubling to more than 800 guests. The annual event, sponsored for the third consecutive year by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, was the first for PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans, who took the helm at PAMM this past October. Sirmans announced the Fund’s newest acquisitions, three major new works by artists Nari Ward, Romare Bearden and Lorraine O’Grady, to an overflowing auditorium. More than 80 guests joined the museum on site, in support of the fund and in honor of Sirmans’ new role as director of Miami-Dade County’s flagship art museum. The lively event featured performances by PAMM exhibition artist Nari Ward, Ground (In Progress) with local dancers, Girl Power’s Girls’ Choir of Miami, and “downtown soul” collective Ketchy Shuby.
“Diversity is of one of our greatest assets. Collections that reflect the range of our cultures might challenge us. But if it’s great art, it will inspire and connect us to one another and to our Miami home,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation upon welcoming guests to the museum. “This fund ensures our community can participate in both securing these works and enjoying them, as we seek to make art general in Miami.”
The Fund’s 2015/2016 acquisitions, announced by Sirmans during the reception, were: Nari Ward, Homeland Sweet Homeland, 2012; Romare Bearden, Evening 9:10, 461 Lenox Avenue, 1964; and Lorraine O’Grady, Art Is. . ., 1983/2009. The PAMM Fund for African American Art was initiated in 2013 by a $1 million grant from Jorge M. Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is supported by private donations as well as membership dues to the PAMM Ambassadors of African American Art affiliate group. Through the Fund, the museum has acquired major works by artists Terry Adkins, Ed Clark, Leslie Hewitt, Al Loving, Faith Ringgold and Xaviera Simmons. These pieces joined other significant PAMM collection objects representing facets of contemporary art by artists as diverse as Amelia Pelaez, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Lorna Simpson, Ernesto Neto, Stan Douglas and Miami’s own Purvis Young.
Nari Ward’s Ground (In Progress) is a floor-based sculpture made from 700 copper-topped bricks and adorned with painted geometric symbols drawn from the Underground Railroad directional code. Visitors are invited to walk across the surface of the work, challenging the untouchable and monumental nature of works of fine art. This work is on view in the Vattikuti Learning Theater from February 16–20. Ward’s exhibition, Sun Splashed, is on view at PAMM through February 21, 2016. For more information, visit pamm.org.
For more information about the PAMM Fund for African American Art, or to join the PAMM Ambassadors for African American Art, visit pamm.org/artfund.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. A 29-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), Pérez Art Museum Miami opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.