A native of Santa Cruz, California, Lana Beardslee is the Manager of Public Programs at the Birmingham Museum of Art. She creates hundreds of engaging programs each year, including the new series, Chapters, which is presented in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibition Third Space /shifting conversationsabout contemporary art.
What brought you to Birmingham and what has surprised you most since you’ve been here?
I actually moved to Birmingham for this position. I was excited because it really seems like Birmingham is in an amazing period of transition. There are things happening around the city at all times, so it’s a fun time to live here. One thing that surprised me was that a lot of people don’t know the Museum is free! You can literally pop in anytime you want for some inspiration. That’s an amazing perk you don’t get in many cities.
The Birmingham Museum of Art opened Third Space /shifting conversations in January. It’s the first large exhibition of contemporary art from the Museum’s own collection. Can you talk a little about the exhibit?
Third Space uses contemporary art to find ways the American South connects to a more global conversation. The exhibition is stunning. It includes the work of artists from around the world and is divided into themes that explore important topics that cross cultural boundaries like migration, representation, nature, and tradition. Many of the works are large in scale which creates a really amazing visual impact from the moment you walk in. The show has been very popular and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t seen it to go as soon as possible!