Michael J. Beam

Michael J. Beam, curator of exhibitions and special projects for the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University, will be named this year’s Trailblazer of the Arts during the Arts Services Initiative of Western New York’s fifth annual Spark Awards.

Beam, who has worked at the Castellani Art Museum since 2003, will receive the award May 16 at the Hotel Henry in Buffalo. Ticket information is available at www.asiwny.org.

“Every year we are amazed by the number of nominations and all the wonderful artistic work being done in our community,” ASI Interim Executive Director Jen Swan said. “ASI wants to highlight all the hard work and commitment of the people working in the arts, and we want to honor the organizations, artists and supporters at this fun awards party!” 

An award-winning artist, author, curator, educator and public speaker, Beam has spent more than 26 years as a museum professional and practicing artist.

Beam built robust relationships with renowned regional collectors in Erie and Niagara counties, implementing ongoing exhibition programs such as Western New York Collects (2012-2017), which highlighted the work of visual artists with local connections who have gained significant national and international recognition. 

In 2016, in coordination with CAM director Kate Koperski, he conceived of, developed and launched NUArts, a university-sponsored arts engagement program designed to bring more public art, events and happenings onto campus and into the community.

Beam is also an adjunct instructor for Niagara University’s art history with museum studies program.

To learn more about the Castellani Art Museum, please call 716.286.8200 or visit www.castellaniartmuseum.org

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