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July 7, 2021

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Johnson County Community College (JCCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of JoAnne Northrup as the new Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

Northrup succeeds Bruce Hartman, who retired from this position on December 31, 2020, following a 30-year career at JCCC that included the establishment of the Museum in 2007.

"I am elated with JoAnne Northrup's appointment to the Nerman," stated Hartman. "Her extraordinary curatorial experience, keen eye, intellectual fervor and generosity of spirit will be invaluable to the Museum, College and community. She is a fantastic addition to our region's distinguished group of museum directors and professionals."

Known for her innovative and prescient exhibitions that connect the avant-garde to the audience, Northrup boasts an impressive career of more than 30 years. An established museum leader who has worked in nine museums in the US and Europe, Northup also brings higher education experience to this role. She served as the Curator of Exhibits and Collections at the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University, California, in the late 1990s.

“JoAnne highlighted her experience in engaging diverse contemporary artists and in cultivating communities,” shared Dr. Andy Bowne, JCCC President. “That experience is important to us at JCCC. Inclusivity is an important aspect of our values for our College and a cornerstone of the Nerman collection.”

Northrup comes to the Nerman from the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, where she founded a contemporary art program in 2012. As Curatorial Director and Curator of Contemporary Art, she mounted cutting edge exhibitions including the nationally touring “Unsettled” (2017-19), organized in collaboration with iconic Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha.

Illustrating past connections to the Kansas City art scene, Northrup curated and authored the first nationally touring survey exhibitions and monographs on contemporary media artists Jennifer Steinkamp (2006) and Leo Villareal (2010). The Villareal exhibition traveled to the Nerman in 2011, and the Steinkamp exhibition was at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007.

Northrup is thrilled to be returning to Kansas City, this time to stay. “I have admired the Nerman’s program for many years, especially the emphasis on diversity that is part of this institution’s DNA,” she said. “Not only does the Nerman have a record of presenting the work of contemporary artists in advance of their achieving renown in the art world, my esteemed predecessor [Bruce Hartman] has always exhibited and collected work by BIPOC and women artists. The Nerman’s values and my own perfectly align, and I am so excited to sustain and further develop this world-class museum’s record of excellence. I could not be prouder.”

Northrup joins JCCC on Aug. 2, 2021. Learn more on the Nerman Museum website.