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Abby (she/her) grew up in northeast Ohio in a family of writers and art-lovers. She has an academic background in modern/contemporary art history and hopes to cultivate meaningful opportunities of social equity for living artists, art workers, and museum audiences. Outside of her professional life, Abby spends time with her cat Jasper and enjoys practicing yoga, trying new foods, watching too much TV, and tending to her house plants. Her favorite work in the Art Bridges collection is Shizu Saldamando’s Sandra and Tammy, Hollywood Forever for its tender depiction of interpersonal relationships and creative use of surface.
Director, Fellows Program
Alana grew up in California, Colorado, and New Hampshire, in a science and tech family. Before joining Art Bridges, she worked at university art museums in New York and Ohio. Alana is passionate about supporting critical dialogue on contemporary ideas and issues through art, especially with students. She loves to explore new cities, practice yoga, and write and receive letters. In her extra time, she volunteers for arts advocacy and access in prison and for therapeutic horseback riding programs. Her favorite work in the Art Bridges collection is Ana Mendieta’s Fundamento de Palo Monte: Silueta Series (Gunpowder Works).
Curatorial Administrative Assistant
Ali is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she became enamored with the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) collections. She credits the MAM with sparking her interest in museums, and desire to study art history. Art Bridges’ mission drew her to the foundation, citing inclusivity and accessibility as a driving force behind her professional pursuit of museums. Ali’s favorite piece in the Art Bridges collection is Barkley L. Hendricks’ Brenda P because “She is the spitting image of my mom in the ’70s.” Ali and her partner, Will, have two dogs, Leo and Nina. She enjoys nurturing houseplants, playing video games and watching movies.
Ashley grew up going to museums, so she knows the importance of exposure to art on young minds and enjoys working with the Art Bridges team and museum partners to promote “access for all.” She loves all the works in the Art Bridges collection, but her favorite is Grandmother Gestating Father and the Washita River Runs Ribbon-Like by Kiowa-Caddo artist, T.C. Cannon. She enjoys spending time at home reading with her husband, Ryan, and their fur kids Archie, Lola, and Nala. Most of Ashley’s bucket list is travel related, but she recently crossed “swimming with manatees” off that list.
Director, Awards & Cohorts, Evaluation, and Learning & Engagement
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Brittany enjoys working with the collaborative and supportive Art Bridges team. She loves to visit historic house museums and finds the connections between the former residents of the home and the objects they acquired fascinating. Her favorite work in the Art Bridges collection is I Refuse to Be Invisible by Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Brittany loves to travel and hopes to visit every continent on the planet (she’s already checked South America, Europe and Australia off the list). When she’s not at work, you can find her playing board games with her family and friends or experimenting in the kitchen to create the perfect weekend brunch.
Learning & Engagement Assistant
An honorary Missourian and lifelong New Englander, Camille (she/her/hers) has long held an appreciation for art and its ability to move and challenge us. She has a background in art history and enjoys conceptual and figurative works, and thus counts Félix González-Torres’ “Untitled” (L.A.) and Horace Pippin’s Holy Mountain, I as favorites in the Art Bridges’ collection. She has a personal and professional passion for expanding ways we think about access and interpretation, and considers feminist art history and practices influential to her work. Camille holds an enduring love of wrinkly dogs, and looks forward to welcoming a pug into her family soon.
Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator
Christian “Chris” Guerra (she/ her/ hers) is an activist, librarian, and historian all of which have shaped her as an arts administrator. Her passion for social justice, belief in public service, & skill in making connections motivate her practice. She is most driven when she is working to prioritizing cultural equity & acting as the liaison to partners, communities, & artists. Chris is a NALAC Leadership Fellow promoting & cultivating the BIPOC arts field. She is an AFTA Public Art Network board member collaborating with other art administrators nationally to strengthen the field.
Director, Web Operations
Colin grew up in San Jose, California, playing drums, collecting music and working in record stores (he owned one full time for eight years). His interest in art began through a passion for collecting records and the album artwork of everyone from Derek Riggs to Reid Miles. His favorite work in the Art Bridges collection is Joseph Stella’s Tree of My Life. Colin and his wife, Kat, have two sons, Grant and Will. Outside of work, he enjoys watching his son play baseball, listening to music, family vacations, and building computers.
Digital Resources Project Manager
Desiree grew up in rural southern Missouri. Art Bridges’ mission to expand access to American art means so much to her because she didn’t have easy access to major art museums. Desiree believes art can be a powerful catalyst for change. Working with the Art Bridges team is one way she hopes to make a positive impact on the world. Her favorite work in the Art Bridges collection is Sonic Border by Guillermo Galindo. Outside of work, Desiree enjoys learning things like Spanish and computer programming as well as making things like music and art.
Desiree (Desi) Garnier
Desi is from El Dorado, Arkansas, where she began her love of art and photography through her mother’s documentary lens. As a mother, art educator, artist and former tiny-town resident, she is dedicated to the Art Bridges mission of expanding access to art for everyone. It’s no surprise that one artist Desi most admires is Ruth Asawa. Some of her favorite works from the Art Bridges Collection are the Stuart Davis and Keith Haring. Desi shares her life with four children, two cats and Abe, the best dog ever. She is a huge fan of live music and loves traveling, attempted gardening, and cooking elaborate meals for her family. She is currently learning the Ukulele.
Felicia is from Nashville, Tennessee. She became interested in art and art history in high school, which inspired her to work in the museum world. She spent six years working at the Frist Art Museum. Her love of museums and passion for increasing the accessibility of art brought her to Art Bridges. She is excited and grateful to work with the Art Bridges team. One of her favorite works in the Art Bridges collection is Migration by Jeffrey Gibson. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, taking spin classes, binging shows on Netflix, and spending time with her rescue dog, Roman.
Director, Marketing & Communications
Gabriel grew up in a small town in Southern California where he spent the majority of his time in the pool as a competitive swimmer. His father is a senior pastor in the A.M.E. Church where Gabriel participated in Sunday school, youth choir, and various programs until he left for college. Gabriel always had ambitions to live on the East Coast and subsequently studied Media, Culture, and Communication in New York. Gabriel began his career in the communications department at Christie’s Auction House and his work experience spans across globally recognized companies at the highest echelons of art, hospitality, jewelry, and wellness. His passion for marketing and communication is founded in crafting a brands story and sharing its message to a relevant audience. Gabriel will work remotely for Art Bridges as he resides in Boston, MA with his partner, James, and their Bernedoodle, Winston.
Director, Collection Loans & Exhibitions
Jamie hails from Kansas City, Missouri, where she fell in love with the Nelson-Atkins museum and its “magical” sculpture garden. An anthropologist by training, she cares deeply about issues of access and inclusivity. She and her husband Carl have two young children and a 125 pound gentle-giant malamute dog. Jamie likes to scuba dive, snorkel, sail, cycle, run, and learn hip hop dance choreography via YouTube videos. She’s also a voracious reader and is currently working her way through all of Agatha Christie’s books.
Jennifer De Martino
Head of Collections Management, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Jennifer’s educational background is in history. She believes that history comes off the page through art and artifacts and chose a museum path because she wanted to help preserve those objects. She was part of the team that opened Crystal Bridges in 2011, and is proud to be working with the Art Bridges team, removing barriers to sharing great art. She’s always interested in Italian American artists and cites the “stunning, complex” work by Joseph Stella, Tree of My Life, as her favorite in the Art Bridges collection. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys reading, cooking, and playing with her kids.
Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator
Jessica is from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She didn’t have much access to art when she was growing up so really admires Art Bridges’ mission to expand access to American art. Jessica developed a passion for art and organizing exhibitions while studying art history and has been curating, coordinating, and managing exhibitions ever since. She loves Impressionism and urban landscapes, so it’s no surprise that two of her favorite artworks in the Art Bridges collection are Childe Hassam’s Italian Day, May 1918 and Archibald John Motley Jr.’s Bronzeville at Night. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family in Oklahoma, reading, being out in nature, and playing and watching tennis.
Kristi Beckwith Dane
Program Officer & Manager of Administration
Kristi is from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The daughter of teacher parents, Kristi remembers summers spent driving around the U.S., stopping at every large and small museum, historic house, landmark, and historical marker. She believes that art, cultural knowledge and experiences are for everyone, and are a powerful conduit for understanding, unlocking emotion, and expressing humanity. One of her favorite works in the Art Bridges collection is Brenda P by Barkley L. Hendricks. Kristi lives with her spouse, toddler, cats Daphne and Munchkin, and dog Reginald. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, traveling, nature, and vegetable gardening. She is a fledgling basket weaver and is currently learning her native Caddo language.
Director of Curatorial Affairs and Strategic Art Initiatives at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Margi Conrads is from the Washington, D.C. area, and fell in love with art and art history in college. Art Bridges’ mission is near and dear to her because it expands access to art and helps institutions reach their aspirational goals. She says picking a favorite from the Art Bridges collection is like picking a favorite child, but these days she’s inspired by Judy Chicago’s Big Blue Pink and Glenn Ligon’s Untitled (I Am Somebody). Margi moonlights as a yoga teacher and enjoys hiking, biking, reading, traveling, and music.
Mary is from Detroit, Michigan, and will forever love and appreciate the Detroit Institute of Arts in her home state. A former first grade teacher, she found fulfillment in work that focuses on the education of others. She believes art has the capacity to do the same for people by provoking introspection and awareness of others simultaneously, and is excited to work for an organization that pursues such a mission. Mary enjoys cooking, entertaining, reading, traveling, trying new restaurants, and being outdoors in whatever way she can.
Megan grew up in Searcy, Arkansas, and came to art through a passion for Greek and Egyptian art and history. That quickly became a desire to foster interest and appreciation in others through working in art and museums. She is excited to help make incredible works of art and exhibitions available to many who may never have had access to them. Megan loves all the works in the Art Bridges collection, but she particularly enjoys Moving Stillness: Mount Rainier, 1979 by Bill Viola. Megan recently returned to Arkansas after six years as the curator and registrar at the Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana. When she’s not working, Megan likes to bake new desserts, read, and travel.
Nik is originally from North Little Rock. He has always loved the arts but it was during his time living in NYC when he was able to visit places like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of the Moving Image to see timeless classics up close. In 2020, Nik and his wife returned to Arkansas, along with their rescue pitbull, Knuckles. They enjoy hiking, car rides, and watching movies. When Nik isn’t learning about the latest trends in graphic design, he can be found playing music, taking care of his house plants, or reading about random things on the internet.
Chief Executive Officer
Paul launched his career as a curator at the New-York Historical Society before moving to Christie’s to become its director of American art and eventually, deputy chairman. As leader of the Art Bridges team Paul is excited to be working with such talented people who are so committed to what they do. Paul loves American art and culture; growing up he was always fascinated by architecture and all types of paintings, drawings, and sculpture. He believes wholeheartedly in the transformational power of art to change lives, as it did his, and he’s dedicated to advancing Art Bridges’ mission so the same thing can happen for others. His favorite work in the Art Bridges collection is Alphabets by Jasper Johns. In his spare time Paul and his partner Pepe work in their garden which includes lots of native plants and an apple orchard.
Traveling Exhibitions Administrative Assistant
Originally from Denver, Sarah started her career working in university art museums and is a firm believer in the importance and impact of local art spaces in the community. This love of small but mighty museums brought her to Art Bridges to further increase access to American art in all communities. Sarah’s favorite piece from the Art Bridges Collection is Robert Smithson’s Double NonSite, California and Nevada which she researched heavily while in grad school. When she’s not conspiring with friends about pop-up exhibitions, Sarah is learning ceramics with the Colorado Clay Club or playing with her dogs Cameo and Sloane.
Shelly Roman is from Chicago and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area. One of her favorite local arts organizations is the de Young museum, with its outstanding collection, special exhibitions, and sculpture garden. Her work with the Terra Foundation for American Art (which started in 1996) brought her to Art Bridges, where she enjoys being part of a dynamic effort to increase access to art nationwide. Untitled (Black and White Variation of “Pochade”) by Stuart Davis is her current favorite in the Art Bridges collection. Outside of work, Shelly enjoys taking road trips with her family, which always include stops at local museums and coffee houses.
Stephanie began her career at ARTnews, where she helped launch the magazine’s social media channels. From there, she went on to develop social strategies for dozens of arts organizations, all the while contributing to various art and design publications. As a digital marketing specialist, Stephanie gravitates toward experiential artworks, and for this reason she especially appreciates Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled” (L.A.) from the Art Bridges collection. When she’s not scrolling through Instagram, Stephanie is spending quality time with her pug, playing piano, or training for her next marathon.
Chief Financial Officer
Tracy was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. A proud graduate of Little Rock Central High and the University of Arkansas, she loves the Ozarks and can’t imagine living anywhere else. She loved visiting Arkansas Arts Center as a child and has fond memories of browsing the galleries with her mom and sharing chicken salad plates in the café. Tracy loves launching new projects like Art Bridges – seeing a vision come to life and the lives impacted by that vision. She lives with her husband Jeff, and enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and yoga and hopes to someday take her boys to Europe.
Collections Assistant, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art
Whitney is from Bentonville, Arkansas. She believes art makes the world accessible, and is proud to work with a foundation that provides that access across the country. Growing up, she didn’t have access to a museum, and enjoys helping kids (like herself) who want to see all the art and beauty in the world but don’t have the ability or privilege to travel to do so. Her favorite work in the collection is Edward Steichen’s In Exaltation of Flowers. Her current office mate and golden retriever’s name is Barklay.