Thom Collins: Day in the Life


As the Miami Art Museum makes its transition to the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the spectacular Herzog & de Meuron force of art, there is no one better to lead the charge than Director Thom Collins. Coming to the institution in 2010 from prestigious positions at the Neuberger Museum of Art in Westchester County, NY, and as a director in Baltimore and chief curator in Cincinnati, Collins knows his stuff.  Here he takes us through one of his tireless days as PAMM prepares for his big debut.

5:00am  I’m a little bit of an insomniac, so I get up extremely early. And then I try to pull myself together.
5:30am  I do Vipassana insight meditation, so I usually sit for half an hour right after I get up. It’s a process, you know. It’s a practice. The practice itself is how you really rewire the way your mind works.
6:00am Time to go train with Rich at Peak Physique. It’s fantastic. It’s a great place. A lot of people tell you they love to work out, but I will tell you that I hate it. However, they make it so pleasant and rewarding that I go anyway.
8:00am I get to the office and for the first hour I focus on email. This is the only time of day I can get it under control.
10:00am For the last few years this is when I visit the construction site and check up on things.
12:00pm I have a work-related lunch almost every day, so I head to Michael’s or Il Gabbiano.
3:00pm  I’m in the car, visiting patrons and donors, people in government, galleries or artists. Right now, I’m working with Enrique Martinez Celaya, so I might go and spend two hours talking to him about planning the exhibition, working on it or interviewing him for the catalogue. I did that yesterday afternoon.
7:00pm  Dinner is quasi-social, quasi-professional. I might eat with patrons, artists, donors, friends or all of the above. It’s such an incredibly social city. It’s a pleasure. I probably haven’t cooked since 1989 and I have definitely not cooked since I’ve been at PAMM.
9:00pm I’m a heavy arts consumer, so I might go to New World, or I might go to an opening night at the Wolfsonian, the Bass or Wynwood.
12:00am I’m a total night owl so when I get home, around midnight, I try to do something for an hour unrelated to work. Right now, I’m reading Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon.
4:00am If I can’t sleep, you might find me hiding in a corner at Denny’s on Biscayne and 36th. I’ll be eating a Fit Slam Breakfast. You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve seen in there at that time. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you!