Each year, numerous cash awards are presented to artists whose work is on display at the Polk Museum of Art’s MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake, and one judge plays the important role of determining those winners.
Jennifer Sudul Edwards will serve as the judge of the fine arts competition for this year’s edition of Mayfaire, held May 13-14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Edwards has worked as the curator at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, North Carolina since June 2015. During her time there, she has organized seven exhibitions, and she is preparing a survey of the pioneering kinetic artist Jean Tinguely.
She grew up in the New York suburb of Freehold, New Jersey where her father worked in advertising at J.C. Penney, and her mother was an English tutor, according to a Charlotte Observer article. As a child, she frequented the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her mother, who enjoyed seeing the Asian collection. Edwards preferred the Egyptian exhibits.
This lover of European modern artists graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in English and an art history minor in 1992. In 2004, she earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in Manhattan.
She went on to earn her doctorate in 2014 from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, and wrote her dissertation on the early works of Niki de Saint Phalle under the advisement of Linda Nochlin and Robert Storr. She spent seven years in Los Angeles and held curatorial jobs at Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California while pursuing her doctorate.