Hart, who was curator for approximately a decade, was known for bringing cutting-edge exhibits to the quaint, city-owned space, giving it a reputation that outmatched its small size and small-city locale. New Times this year named her Best Curator in our annual "Best Of Broward and Palm Beach" issue,
Hart confirmed her departure but did not want to comment publicly.
Joy Satterlee, executive director, said, "She is no longer with the Art and Culture Center. It is our policy not to talk about our employees' records. I will say that we wish her the best in her future endeavors."
Satterlee said that the center had not publicly announced Hart's departure and that administrators had not yet decided how they would move forward. "Nothing has happened. Nothing has been planned. It’s truly just: Jane is no longer with the center, and there is no posting up yet [for a replacement]." She said, "I look forward to new exhibitions, and we’ll let you know [when we replace Hart] when the time comes."
A source familiar with the art scene did not know the details of Hart's departure but sensed there was friction between the warm and creative Hart and the friendly but more businesslike Satterlee. Though the Art and Culture Center is well-known for its exhibits, it also has a robust education branch and offers classes and workshops. As a nonprofit organization, it also relies heavily on grants and fundraisers. The source noticed that its new spokesperson, Leo Sarmiento, comes from a corporate and sports marketing — rather than an arts — background.
Word of Hart's departure started to spread yesterday among South Florida's close-knit arts community.
Artist Sri Prabha, who has exhibited at the Art & Culture Center and is close to Hart, said he was "flabbergasted." Hart "brought so many awesome artists together across county lines — Miami, Broward, Palm Beach all together. Her viewpoints were very cutting-edge, and she's really amazing to work with. I don't know how you follow up with Jane Hart, and you can quote me on that!"
As for how her departure might affect the local arts scene, he said, "Artists like to work with who they know. This whole art world runs on individual connections and trust. I don't know how they're going to go forward. I would have to do my due diligence to see what's going to happen going forward. Maybe somebody we all know steps in. I just feel Jane's done such amazing stuff during her tenure there."