Independent Curators International (ICI) supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art. Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. They form an international framework for sharing knowledge and resources — promoting cultural exchange, access to art, and public awareness for the curator’s role.
Declan McGonagle has been Director of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, since 2008. Prior to that he directed Interface Research Centre at University of Ulster, (2004 – 2008), dealing with issues of art, design, context and contested space. He set up and directed the Civil Arts Inquiry at City Arts Centre, Dublin, from (2001 – 2004), and was the founding Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, (1991 – 2001) following periods as Director of the Orchard Gallery in Derry and Director of Exhibitions at the ICA in London from 1978 – 1990.
McGonagle served as Chair and then a board member of the Liverpool Biennial (2001 – 2009), and directed A New Necessity, the First Tyne International in Gateshead/Newcastle in 1990 – 1991. He has served on several State advisory bodies in Ireland and was shortlisted for the Tate Gallery’s Turner Prize (1987) as well as serving on the jury (1993). He has also sat on the juries for the Jerwood Painting Prize, London (2001) and the first Artes Mundi Artist’s Award, Cardiff, (2002). He was Ireland Commissioner for the 1993 Venice Biennale and the 1994 São Paulo Biennale and served as a member of the Selection Committee for the British Council for the 2009 Venice Biennale. He has also served on the Broadcasting Council of Northern Ireland and the Healing Through Remembering project in Belfast.
He is a Contributing Editor of Artforum, New York, and a member of the International Advisory Panel of Engage, London, and is a former Board member of Derry/Londonderry – UK City of Culture 2013. He writes, lectures and publishes regularly on art, museum and gallery policy issues, and curates exhibitions with a focus on the relationship between art, artists and society.