A cultural institution located on the Grand Concourse recently announced the appointment of two of its top leaders.
Last week, the Bronx Museum of the Arts named Klaudio Rodriguez as its new executive director and announced the promotion of the institution’s Director of Government and Institutional Giving, Shirley Solomon, who is now the deputy director.
Rodriguez joined the museum in September 2017 as deputy director and has held the post of interim director since January 2020.
“I came to the Bronx Museum with great enthusiasm, knowing how remarkably this institution was succeeding in its mission of transforming lives through art,” Rodriguez said. “Over the past three years, working with this wonderful Board and staff, I have felt privileged to serve our Bronx community and an international art world that has looked to us for inspiration.”
Rodriguez was born in Nicaragua in 1971 but immigrated with his family to Miami six years later due to the country’s revolution. Growing up in neighborhoods similar to those surrounding the Bronx Museum, his parents encouraged him to begin drawing as a child. On a trip to visit his aunt in Madrid, a young Rodriguez was introduced to the works of Pablo Picasso, including Guernica at the Museo del Prado.
He began his career at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University. As a museum curator, he developed a program of exhibitions and catalogues, including ones focused on Latin American and Caribbean art, geometric abstraction and contemporary art, as well as several others including video works by women artists and an one highlighting the Cuban American fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez.
“I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish even in the midst of the pandemic — controlling our budget, pivoting very quickly to digital programming, and committing ourselves to keeping our entire staff intact, at full pay — because these things speak to core values of responsibility, engagement and community,” Rodriguez said. “It is an honor now to be named executive director, and it is a great joy to move forward with an exciting exhibition schedule, engaging and accessible educational and public programs, and a 50th anniversary celebration in our future.”
Solomon joined the Bronx Museum over 15 years ago and serves as the director of government and institutional giving. During her time, she successfully raised between $2 million to $3 million annually from foundation and public sources of support. She was also a fundraising consultant to institutions including the Bronx River Art Center and The Noguchi Museum in Queens.
In the past, she was a program assistant at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for African American History and Culture. She holds a master’s in visual arts administration from NYU and a bachelor’s of arts in art history and African American studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Solomon has also served on program and grant panel reviews for the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.