Jordana Pomeroy will be leaving her position as executive director of the LSU Museum of Art at the end of December for the directorship of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami.
Pomeroy left her job as chief curator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. and joined the LSU museum’s staff in May 2012.
She said she was not planning to leave LSU.
“My leaving has nothing to do with LSU,” Pomeroy said. “I’ve enjoyed Baton Rouge. The city has embraced my husband and me, and working at the LSU Museum of Art has been wonderful. This was a difficult decision.”
Pomeroy said she was recruited by Florida International University.
“A number of people came to me about other jobs before, but I never considered any of them,” she said. “But I was considering my family when I made this decision.”
Pomeroy’s husband, Edward Penick, is an exhibit preparator and designer and worked as an independent residential contractor while in Washington. He shut down his business when he and Pomeroy moved to Baton Rouge.
“In Miami, he will have an opportunity to work as an independent contractor again,” Pomeroy said. “There are a dozen museums and so many private collections, and even when museums have a preparator, they often have to hire out another one.”
Pomeroy also factored her mother into her decision.
“My mother is at the point where she’s thinking about where she can go to spend her winters,” Pomeroy said. “She lives in New York — my entire family lives in New York. And Miami is only a short plane ride from New York, so she’s thrilled with my decision.”
Pomeroy turned in her resignation two weeks ago to LSU’s Vice Provost Jane Cassidy.
“I wanted to make sure LSU had everything they needed in terms of my help,” Pomeroy said. “I believe LSU will get a strong candidate to work with this incredible staff I’m leaving behind.”
When Pomeroy came to the LSU Museum of Art, one of her main goals was to find ways to attract more visitors to the museum. She said she will face the same challenge at the Frost Museum.
“It’s a bigger, more established museum, but it’s not located downtown,” she said. “It’s on a college campus, so the challenge will be to get people to come to the campus to visit the museum. How do we attract tourists who are visiting the city to the museum? That will be the challenge.”
The Frost Museum opened on the Florida International University’s Modesto Maidique Campus in 1977.
It is funded through support from private donations and state and local government agencies.
Pomeroy said the Frost Museum’s permanent collection is about the same size as LSU’s, but the Frost Museum focuses on art from Columbia and Latin America.
“That will be another challenge — establishing a collecting plan,” Pomeroy said. “It was the same challenge I had at LSU, deciding who we want to be and doing our best to achieve that.”
Pomeroy will start her new job in January.
“I don’t think I would have been doing my job if I was leaving nothing behind that needed to be done,” she said. “We have the 10th anniversary celebration coming up, and there are new exhibitions that will be going up and new initiatives to work on. But I am happy about how I was able to reshape the LSU Museum of Art, and there were a lot of great people who helped me.”