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Paul Ramírez Jonas Joins Board of the Joan Mitchell Foundation

Joan Mitchell, Edrita Fried (detail), 1981. Oil on canvas (four panels), 116 1/4 x 299 5/8 inches (295.3 x 761.1 cm). Collection of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York. © Estate of Joan Mitchell.

We are pleased to announce that artist and educator Paul Ramírez Jonas has been appointed to the Joan Mitchell Foundation's Board of Directors for a three-year term. Over the last twenty-five years, Ramírez Jonas has created works that range from large-scale public installations and monumental sculptures to performances, videos, and intimate drawings. Underlying his diverse practice is a vision to redefine the relationship between artist, artwork, and viewer, and his works and installations often encourage public participation and exchange. In addition to his artistic practice, Ramírez Jonas serves as an Associate Professor at Hunter College in New York. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant. 

“As an artist dedicated to social practice and to promoting the importance of creativity in our lives, Paul brings an important vantage and a shared commitment to equity and generosity—both core to the Foundation’s work and vision. His connection with young people, through his work as an educator, also enhances our understanding of the needs and aspirations of the future generation of artists,” said Christa Blatchford, the CEO of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. “As an artist-centered Foundation, the perspectives of working artists are essential to shaping our priorities. Our board composition ensures that at least one third of the members are artists. We’re delighted to have Paul’s voice at the table.” 

From the outset of his career in 1989, Ramírez Jonas has seen himself as a reader and interpreter of objects, texts, and histories, creating new physical and conceptual forms that connect his source materials with his own vision and experience. In the mid-2000s, he began expanding his practice to connect more directly with the viewer, centering the public in the development and experience of his work. His 2017 project, Public Trust, which was recognized as an outstanding public art project by Americans for the Arts, invited individuals to declare and record personal promises as an exploration of communal commitment. His 2010 Creative Time project, Key to the City, involved 20,000 participants and centered around a key as a vehicle for exploring social contracts pertaining to trust, access, and belonging. 


Paul Ramírez Jonas

In addition to conceiving public projects, Ramírez Jonas has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at venues including, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2018); The New Museum New York, (2017); the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2008); the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX (2007); and the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2004). In 2017, the Contemporary Art Museum Houston hosted a 25-year career survey of his work, titled Atlas, Pural, Monumental. His work has also been presented in major group exhibitions, such as Crossing Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, and Under the Same Sun at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014), as well as at biennials in Central America (2016), Porto Alegre (2009 and 2012), Venice (2009), Shanghai (2006), Seoul (2000), and Johannesburg (1995).

In addition to the Joan Mitchell Foundation, he sits on the board of Shandaken Project. He is represented by Galeria Nara Roesler in São Paulo and New York City. 

“The Joan Mitchell Foundation is an essential model for our cultural ecosystem: a foundation created by an artist for artists and one that is committed to diversity and equity in both its internal operations and public work. At a time when artists find themselves navigating a shrinking public sector, an unregulated market, and often narrowly-focused philanthropic initiatives, the foundation offers an alternative approach that centers and offers support for the real-life needs of artists. I feel honored to be able to serve in such a unique institution,” said Ramírez Jonas. 

Members of the Board of Directors of the Joan Mitchell Foundation serve three-year terms, with a maximum of two consecutive terms. The current Board members include Ronald Bechet, President; Jean Shin, Vice-President; Juan Sánchez, Secretary; Sandy S. Lee, Treasurer; Theodore S. Berger; Kemi Ilesanmi; Miranda Lash; Michele Tortorelli; and Linda Usdin, Dr.PH.          

Additionally, the Board has seven Emeritus members: Alejandro Anreus, PhD, Board President Emeritus; Dan Bergman, Board President Emeritus; Tomie Arai, Director Emeritus; John Koos, Director Emeritus; Tyrone Mitchell, Director Emeritus; Yolanda Shashaty, Director Emeritus; and Carolyn Somers, Founding Member & Executive Director Emeritus. All were appointed to Emeritus status in recognition of their many years of service and commitment to the Foundation.

Download the full press release (PDF)