Ramirez-Montagut takes on role as director of Newcomb Art Gallery

Franny Hocking, Contributing Reporter

Monica Ramirez-Montagut took over as the director of Newcomb Art Gallery. She was chosen for the job because of her experience in visual arts, performing arts and architecture.

Before she accepted the directorship, she studied architecture in Mexico City, worked as the assistant curator for architecture and design at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut.

At the Guggenheim Museum, she worked exclusively with cutting-edge contemporary art and worked to introduce new and talented artists to the art world. 

Blurring the lines between mediums is a unique aspect of Ramirez-Montagut’s take on art, which she said wants to introduce to the gallery in the form of interdisciplinary exhibitions. 

“I am trained as an architect, but I also work as a curator and now a director,” Ramirez-Montagut said. “So for me it is hard to just find those rough edges between disciplines.” 

Part of the draw of the position as Newcomb Art Gallery Director was the city of New Orleans itself. A year ago she visited and was fascinated by New Orleans’ complex and unique culture.

Ramirez-Montagut is already planning an exhibition in 2018 to mark New Orleans’ 300th anniversary. The exhibition will specifically highlight women’s contributions to the advancement of the city.

Ramirez-Montagut said she is also dedicated to educating women and recognizing the contributions of women to society. 

“Acknowledging all those contributions is necessary,” Ramirez-Montagut said. “It is not a matter of choice. We have to do it. Revisiting what women have done is a lot of fun. It is a joy to see.”

As well as introducing more dynamic relatable programs that prompt discussion, one of her goals is to elevate Newcomb Art Gallery to its highest potentials by increasing awareness on campus. 

“I think we should be better recognized,” Ramirez-Montagut said. “We should be walking down to main campus and have people know what is going on in the gallery, and I think we are not there.”

In terms of student participation, she wants to open the gallery as a study space during finals week for students.

“It can be a refuge for the soul, the mind and the body,” Ramirez-Montagut said.