Highlighted Member: Claudia Joyce

Highlighted Member: Claudia Joyce

Each month, CAM spotlights a member whose support has been instrumental to the Museum. Learn who these members are, what they love about the Museum, and why they decided to join. This is a great opportunity to get to know others within the CAM community and celebrate members’ support.

Claudia Joyce
Member level: Benefactor
Member Since: 2006

What was your first experience with CAM?

One of the first exhibitions at CAM showcased the artist Yoshitomo Nara. There were anime drawings and sculptures everywhere. It appeared very playful and young, but then you realized that one of the characters was smoking a cigarette.  I had never experienced an exhibition like that. I was immediately hooked. I knew at that moment I wanted to be a part of the Museum.

What have some of your favorite exhibitions been?
One of my ultimate favorites was Ruby Osorio. She made little fairy cards, and she put them everywhere in the Museum. The artist even hid some of the fairies. It was one of the first times I had seen a museum hang artwork in such a way that everywhere you looked, you saw something new. It was very creative and intriguing.

I also loved Dana Schutz’s work in Cryptic: The Use of Allegory in Contemporary Art with a Master Class from Goya. A couple of years ago, I got my copy of Art in America and was so excited to see her work on the cover. I had such a strong connection with her piece in the show that when I saw the cover I immediately knew who it was.

Why is CAM important to you?
One of the most important things I have ever learned from CAM is to appreciate the word unexpected. I was at an exhibition opening at a gallery in the city, and in the middle of the room there was a square column that held a glass container a square piece of tofu in it. I went directly up to the curator and asked what the artist was thinking. We had a conversation about the artist’s viewpoint and how the gallery was handling the tofu. It was an interesting conversation, but the whole time I was thinking: This is a ridiculous conversation about tofu.

Well, the next day at CAM’s Breakfast with the Curators, I was telling another member about the tofu piece. From across the room, the CAM director yells, “I loved that piece! I loved it because it was so unexpected.” We had a great conversation about how everything else in the exhibition had been done before, but the tofu…that was new. And I have taken that idea to heart. I look for the thing in an artwork that is out of the box or not the norm. I can be drawn into that piece and start a dialogue about it. When I look for the unexpected, I find incredible value in a piece of art.

What made you decide to become a member?
I think part of being a good citizen is supporting our city’s institutions. Especially important to me is supporting arts within our community. I believe it’s a social responsibility. I know that sounds hokey, but I was a hippie. In the ’60s, we took our social responsibility very seriously, and that is something I have carried with me.

You speak so passionately about CAM and the art community.
Art takes me on journeys that I can’t invent inside of my mind. For me, art is like being on a roller coaster. It takes me on emotional or intellectual tangents that are physically thrilling to experience. I can be moved to tears, moved to laugher, moved to anger. Art is very powerful.

What do you hope for the future of CAM?
I am looking forward to new excitement. I want to continue embracing different and new perspectives. I know it helps keep me from being stodgy. 

Find out more about CAM membership here.

Past Highlighted Members