After seven years, Gilbert Vicario will relinquish his position as Selig Family Chief Curator at Phoenix Art Museum to assume the role of Chief Curator at Pérez Art Museum in Miami. Vicario concludes his tenure in October 2022 and the museum has begun a national search for his replacement.

Vicario joined the museum in 2015 and during his term has grown and diversified the museum’s modern, contemporary and Latin American art collections, while furthering support of local and regional artists through his numerous curatorial efforts, including the current exhibition Desert Rider (on view through September 18).

Justin Favela, “Seven Magic Mountains,” 2019. Tires, paint, and glue. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mikayla Whitmore. From the exhibition “Desert Rider”

“Gilbert’s legacy leaves a lasting impact on the role Phoenix Art Museum plays within our community,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum, “not only for his incredible work elevating the Museum’s modern and contemporary art programs but for helping to reposition our institution as a more inclusive space, one that welcomes and better reflects our diverse audiences throughout Phoenix and the greater Southwest region.”

During his time with Phoenix Art Museum, Vicario developed and brought many important exhibitions to the Valley, including Ragnar Kjartansson: Scandinavian PainStories of Abstraction: Contemporary Latin American Art in the Global ContextThe Propeller Group (in collaboration with Naomi Beckwith and Claudia Schmunkli); and Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism.

Ragnar Kjartansson “The End-–Venezia” detail 2009. 144 Paintings ©Ragnar Kjartansson, Courtesy of the artist Luhring Augus. From the exhibition “Scandinavian Pain”

Vicario also curated the landmark exhibition Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist, which traveled to three venues, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, making it the first PhxArt exhibition to travel to a museum in New York City.

As organizing curator, Vicario brought outstanding traveling exhibitions to Phoenix, including Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire, organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Secretaría de Cultura through the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México.

“The Sonoran desert is an incredible place with stunning landscapes, rich cultures, and deeply talented artists, all of whom offer valuable and distinct perspectives on our time. I have deep roots in Sonora, Mexico, and I feel spiritually and culturally connected to this region. It has been an honor to serve this community, and I look forward to seeing how the art of the Southwest continues to thrive and gain the recognition it deserves on a national scale.” said Vicario.