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Spotlight: Orlando Museum of Art’s new chief curator

Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon is the Chief Curator for the Orlando Museum of Art.
Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon
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Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon is the Chief Curator for the Orlando Museum of Art.

Stepping into a new role

After six years working for the Orlando Museum of Art, Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon has stepped into the role of chief curator.

“This new role is very exciting to me. It's an opportunity to not only carry on the mission of being a steward for the art that belongs to the public of Orlando, but also to create new things. So I'm really excited to try and bring my own twist to things, maybe adventure in new ways we've not tried before.”

The Orlando Museum of Art is still dealing with the aftermath of displaying fake Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings in the Heroes and Monsters exhibit in 2022.

Claeysen-Gleyzon said trust and transparency is key to her role as chief curator, and she plans to build that with the community by listening.

“I really do enjoy meeting people, listening to their opinion, and that's something that I truly welcome in the museum environment.”

Claeysen-Gleyzon hopes that, through listening to the public, she can help the museum become more accessible to everyone.

“That really people feel they belong here, and the museum belongs to them. That they feel they have their place in the museum, and that the museum also reflects who they are.”

She wants OMA to reflect local residents by adding more diversity to its collection.

“We've been working with partners locally, for years already, but some of the partners, the Fusion Fest for example, represents great diversity in Central Florida,” she said. “In the next year, we will have an exhibition of portraits of that diversity, which is really exciting.”

Acquiring art for the museum

OMA is going through its annual reaccreditation process by the American Alliance of Museums, Claeyson-Gleyzon said. “That means we need to get all our ducks in a row, have all our governing documents to be absolutely perfect.”

Through that process, Claeysen-Gleyzon said the museum is meticulously going over all its documents and finances, like its Collection Management Policy plans.

Although OMA reported facing financial shortfalls earlier this year, Claeyson-Gleyzon said she’s not worried about money to acquire art for the museum.

“Nobody can ever touch the funds that are earmarked for acquisitions because it's money that is there in a specific account that is only for purchasing art,” she said. “However, we don't want to rush into purchasing right now because we are reassessing what is (our) identity? What are those key core documents that also highlight what our identity is? And it's a matter of really aligning everything.”

2024 Collections

100 Years of Art 

Currently on display at the Orlando Museum of Art is about 95% of their permanent collection looking back at 100 Years of Art.

“This is a big celebration of what is currently at the museum. How was the museum built, you know, telling that story through exhibitions and through museum holdings,” Claeysen-Gleyzon said.

Florida Prize in Contemporary Art

The Florida Prize in Contemporary Artrecognizes 10 progressive artists in Florida with the support of Central Florida philanthropists Gail and Michael Winn.

The summer of 2024 will mark the tenth year of the Orlando Museum organizing the Florida Prize in Contemporary Art.

“The prize donated by those donors actually helps support living artists,” Claeysen-Gleyzon said. Then the museum supports the artists by giving them over 1,000 square feet each. So that's 10 artists a year, which means that this summer, it will be 100 artists from Florida that the museum has actively helped support.”

Torn Apart

This fall, Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon plans to bring collections that she says push the envelope a bit, like Torn Apart, which explores the world of punk from 1976-1986.

“That's going to be a major exhibition showcasing design fashion from Vivienne Westwood, from a punk era,” she said, “then the culture of that era and showing how it's actually intertwined with art, and how many of these musicians were actually artists at the same time.”

After a brief stint as Morning Edition Producer at The Public’s Radio in Rhode Island, Talia Blake returned to Central Florida Public Media. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. While at UCF, she was an intern for Central Florida’s public affairs show, Intersection. She joined on as Morning Edition Host in 2019. In 2022, Ms. Blake was appointed to the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalist’s board of directors.
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