Staff News

Trevor Schoonmaker

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Chief Curator Trevor Schoonmaker heads up two projects that are making a major impact on the contemporary art world: Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art (which was on view at the Nasher Museum in fall 2016)  and Prospect.4 (P.4), the fourth iteration of the international art triennial Prospect New Orleans, opening in fall 2017. Trevor is Artistic Director of P.4, which takes place November 11, 2017, through February 25, 2018. Trevor, who is also Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum, has selected an international Artistic Director’s Council of seven artists and curators to recommend artists for inclusion in P.4, contribute to the project’s publication and take part in public programming at the opening. The council includes artist William Cordova, based in Miami; Miranda Lash, curator of contemporary art at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky; Omar Lopez-Chahoud, independent curator and artistic director of Untitled, Miami; artist Wangechi Mutu, based in Nairobi and New York; Filipa Oliveira, independent curator and director of Fórum Eugénio de Almeida in Lisbon, Portugal; artist Ebony G. Patterson, based in Kingston, Jamaica, and Lexington, Kentucky; Zoe Whitley, curator of international art and contemporary British art at the Tate, London.

Trevor also co-organized Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art with Miranda Lash at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY. Southern Accent is the first contemporary art exhibition to question and explore in-depth the complex and contested space of the American South. The exhibition opened at the Nasher Museum, where it was on view Sept. 1, 2016, through Jan. 8, 2017, and will travel to the Speed, where it will be on view April 29 – August 20, 2017.

Since joining the Nasher Museum in 2006 as its first curator of contemporary art, Trevor has been instrumental in developing the museum’s collection of contemporary art.


The BookThe Nasher Museum book, Nasher10: Celebrating a Decade, won a certificate of excellence in the 2016 American Inhouse Design Awards. The national award from Graphic Design USA honored the book among 6,000 entries. Nasher10: Celebrating a Decade also won “Best of Show” in the 2015 Printing Industry of the Carolinas (PICA) awards program. Forty-seven North and South Carolina printers entered 631 pieces in the 2015 PICA awards. At a ceremony in April 2016, the Mac Papers Best of Show award was presented to TCG Legacy from Garner, NC, for printing Nasher10. The book was designed by Rachel Goodwin, graphic designer and web content manager, and edited by Wendy Hower, director of engagement and marketing, at the Nasher Museum. For more information on the book contact wendy.hower@duke.edu.


Beth Perry

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Beth Perry is the Nasher Museum’s new Manager of Special Events. Beth has arrived from the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute here at Duke, where she managed special events for nearly five years. Some of you may have met Beth when she coordinated events here at the Nasher for the institute, including a two-day conference and huge retirement party in 2012 for William Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor Emeritus of History at Duke, and FHI Annual Lecture events. Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in English at New York University and a master’s degree in English from Rutgers University.


Jessica Ruhle

jessicaruhleJessica Ruhle has been named “North Carolina Art Museum Educator of the Year” (2014-15) by the N.C. Art Education Association. This annual award recognizes museum educators who creatively engage all museum visitors, including students and teachers. Jessica was honored for her partnership with the East Durham Children’s Initiative and students at YE Smith Elementary School.

As part of the award, Jessica was also recognized for establishing Reflections: The Nasher Museum’s Alzheimer’s Project. This new initiative provides engaging and interactive museum tours to visitors who live with memory loss–and also their families and care partners.  Reflections is already receiving international attention. This year, Jessica was invited to present in Belfast at IdeasLab 2015 on the topic “Dementia, Arts and Culture.” She will also represent the Nasher Museum at the Creative Aging Symposium in Greensboro and at “The Creative Age: Creativity and Aging in America” in Washington, DC.

Jessica has been at the Nasher Museum since 2010. In the Education department, she has been responsible for K-12 tours, teacher workshops and Family Day events. She now leads the Reflections program and directs the gallery guide program.