Our congratulations to Daniela Fifi, who has been named chief curator of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB). The NAGB writes:
The NAGB is thrilled to announce the recent appointment of an accomplished new Chief Curator, Daniela Fifi, Ed.D. “After an extremely rigorous process of over 8 months,” Amanda Coulson, Executive Director, said, “the NAGB’s Governance Committee and Board of Directors were in unanimous agreement that Dr Fifi was the strongest candidate and the greatest asset to the community, with an ability to expand the institution’s capacity and reach to the benefit of our local audiences and artists. I am beyond excited to welcome such a consummate professional with a long history of institutional experience to the team and to embark on a fruitful partnership.”
Dr Fifi, a doctoral graduate in Art and Art Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in New York, comes with a wealth of knowledge, having built her proficiency at various sites across the globe. She has staged exhibitions, managed public programming, invested in teens in underserved communities and overseen large teams. After completing her MA in Art Gallery & Museum Studies in the UK, where her dissertation was on The Development of National Identity in Caribbean Museums, she went on to work at the National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago (2009-2013). At the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (2013-2014) she co-ordinated a programme between the Whitney, the Walker Art Centre, the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 2017, at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, NY, she served as the Interim Vice President of Education & Public Programmes, where she oversaw the Education, Exhibits and Collections departments that included oversight of 28,000 objects. Other roles have expanded her capacity to lead the curatorial team at the NAGB, specifically in this new post-COVID-19 landscape. As the Managing Editor of Education at Small Axe Journal, Duke University Press, with whom the NAGB staged the recent exhibition The Visual Life of Social Affliction, she developed the specific expertise over five years to successfully curate, design and execute virtual, online exhibitions.
Dr. Fifi comes with the highly specialized and invaluable asset of having taught courses on museum practice. She served as a lecturer and guest judge of the Arts at leading higher education institutions such as: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Columbia University, New Jersey City University, Harvard Extension School, New York University, and The City College of New York. She has also served as the Secretariat and an Advisory Board Member on the Education and Training Committee for the Museums Association of the Caribbean, (2014-2016). As part of the NAGB’s recently signed Memo of Understanding with University of The Bahamas, she will be an important asset in assisting local colleagues to build educational modules for the future BA and MA programmes at UB. Once complete, The Bahamas will be able to educate and train museum professionals at home, making careers in this area more accessible to a broader swath of society. This connects with the NAGB’s vision to expand the network of museums nationally, making our visual culture more accessible to local communities, students and visitors, while providing more work opportunities in both New Providence and the Family Islands.
Dr. Fifi stated, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to be joining the NAGB as the new Chief Curator. These may be uncertain times in the world, but it is now that the arts become more important than ever before. Uncertainty can be an uncomfortable experience and I believe the arts can help us to confront the realities of complexity. When we engage with art, we become aware of our agency to affect the world around us. We begin to understand ourselves as being connected in more meaningful ways locally, nationally, regionally and globally. These qualities have always been the backbone of curatorial practice at the NAGB with recent stellar exhibitions that I admire such as “Refuge” and “The Visual Life of Social Affliction”. I could not be more excited to be part of this community of curators, artists and creatives that make up the NAGB, The Bahamas and the Caribbean.”