Donna Grace McAlear
Designer | Project Consultant
Museum curator-turned-design consultant, Donna Grace McAlear takes a strategic approach to interior design, combining a breadth of influences from her rich career as a fine art curator with a highly developed aesthetic. Her international curatorial work and travel through North America, Europe, Australia and Asia produced a two-decade record developing, designing and presenting exhibitions of objects d’art. This privileged career has instilled Donna Grace with an exacting ability to seamlessly and authentically define interior architectural environments.
Donna Grace’s museum experience anchors her firm – New Mood Design – as a discerning and forward-thinking design consultancy. It also inspires her work with clients. Armed with a PhD in cultural studies, a Masters degree in contemporary fine arts, and a Bachelors degree in fine arts and art history, she creates purpose-designed interiors that spatially and visually harmonize with architectural settings in high-end residential and light-commercial venues. Her global clients enjoy her no-boundaries mobility, yielding a world of cutting edge products and contemporary possibilities.
Collaborating with engineers and architects and managing creative teams on multi-million-dollar projects is a high-level skill that Donna Grace brings to client projects. She oversaw a conceptual planning and feasibility study to identify spatial needs and a new building location for the Kamloops Art Gallery as Director/Curator, including the analysis of architectural heritage sites. As Chief Curator of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, she developed the project scope, plan, phased timeline and budget for the renovation of this major museum’s vast permanent collection storage and museum services spaces. In the Deputy Director’s shoes at the Louisiana State University Museum of Art, she supervised the design of all aspects of the new building’s exhibition spaces, conceptualized and managed the development and presentation of the inaugural exhibitions, and directed the relocation of the museum’s fine art and decorative arts collections from storage sites on campus to the new museum in the award-winning Shaw Center for the Arts, designed by Schwartz/Silver Architects, Boston.
Since 2004, New Mood Design has offered Donna Grace’s extensive track record to successfully shepherd design projects from conception through completion. A problem solver, first and foremost, with a passion to source distinctive products worldwide, she leads her firm through cerebral creativity, balancing big-picture concepts with flair and attention to detail. Because she’s managed hundreds of museum exhibitions and diverse museum building projects, Donna Grace can understand and envision the scale and scope for new spaces – both exterior and interior finishes – and masterfully select and blend architectural finishes, furnishings, lighting and hardware to create an atmospheric experience that transcends the merely material for her clients.
Photography © New Mood Design