MOCA Appoints Adeze Wilford as Curator
The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Adeze Wilford as curator. With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Wilford joins MOCA North Miami’s senior leadership team during an exciting time in the museum’s growth. Wilford most recently served as assistant curator at The Shed, New York where she curated the New York Times acclaimed exhibition “Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water” in 2020. She assumes her role at the museum on Feb. 14.
Inspired by its surrounding communities, MOCA connects diverse audiences and cultures by providing a welcoming place to encounter new ideas and voices, while nurturing a lifelong love of the arts. In her new role, Wilford will lead the curatorial department’s dynamic program of exhibitions that highlight historically under-explored artists and movements, and present first museum solo exhibitions for emerging artists. She will be responsible for overseeing MOCA’s permanent collection, public art initiatives, and spearhead the museum’s distinctive guest curator program.
“The entire team at MOCA North Miami is thrilled to welcome Adeze Wilford to the museum and to the community. Under Adeze’s curatorial leadership, we look forward to MOCA’s continued growth, and to connecting diverse audiences by providing a welcoming place to encounter new ideas and voices,” said Sheldon. “Adeze’s collaborative spirit and experience is an exciting match for our rapidly transforming museum that aspires to become a leader in the growth of North Miami, as well as the art and museum communities.”
Wilford joined The Shed as curatorial assistant in 2018, where she saw the space evolve from a construction site to one that is activated by exhibitions and performances including “Open Call,” “Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates,” “Collision/Coalition” and “Up Close.” In 2019, she curated “Vernacular Interior” at Hales Gallery, New York. Wilford served as public programs assistant at The Studio Museum in Harlem before serving as joint curatorial fellow for The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 2015-2017.
Wilford currently serves on the board of The Queens Museum, New York. She has contributed to various publications including “Howardena Pindell: A New Language,” “Young,” “Gifted and Black,” “Fictions,” and “Black Refractions” and has appeared on several panels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history and African-American studies from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
“I'm delighted to join MOCA at a time of exciting growth and change,” said Wilford. “I look forward to working with the community of North Miami and the larger arts community of South Florida to bring meaningful and resonant programming to the museum that builds upon a legacy that remains deeply committed to giving artists a platform to share their practices.”
“Miami and South Florida will truly benefit from having Adeze Wilford join MOCA,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight’s arts program vice president. “With Wilford’s experience in creating thought-provoking exhibitions, MOCA will continue to showcase significant work that resonates, creates conversation and is reflective of Miami’s tremendous diversity. We’re excited to support the museum’s continued growth and its role in further establishing our city as a cultural capital of the Americas.”
Wilford joins MOCA at during a transformative time in the museum’s history under the leadership of Sheldon. The museum’s recent exhibitions have won critical acclaim and its educational and public programming have facilitated cultural engagement and fostered connection with the community and beyond. The current exhibition, “My Name is Maryan” guest curated by Alison M. Gingeras will travel to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in March 2023 after closing on March 20, 2022.
MOCA North Miami presents contemporary art and its historical influences through exhibitions, educational programs, and collections. Inspired by its surrounding communities, MOCA connects diverse audiences and cultures by providing a welcoming place to encounter new ideas and voices, and nurturing a lifelong love of the arts. MOCA developed from the Center of Contemporary Art which was inaugurated in 1981. The establishment of the permanent collection coincided with the institution’s move into their current building designed by Charles Gwathmey of GSNY in 1996.
Under the direction of Executive Director Chana Sheldon and a newly installed Board of Trustees, MOCA premiered AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2018. AFRICOBRA: Nation Time, the next chapter of the exhibition, was selected as an official Collateral Event of Biennale Arte 2019 in Venice, Italy. Original exhibitions include: Michael Richards: Are You Down? co-curated by Alex Fialho and Melissa Levin (2021), Raul de Nieves: Eternal Return and The Obsidian Heart curated by Risa Puleo (2020), and Alice Rahon: Poetic Invocations curated by Teresa Arcq (2019).
Located in one of the most diverse communities in the country, MOCA North Miami welcomes 35,000 visitors per year, and its award-winning education programs have served thousands of children and teens. MOCA North Miami exhibitions and programs are made possible with the continued support of the North Miami Mayor and Council and the City of North Miami, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The museum is supported by the Green Family Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Terra Foundation for American Art and individual donors.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at kf.org and follow @knightfdn on social media.
By ML Staff. Images courtesy of MOCA