INDEPENDENT CURATORS INTERNATIONAL
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Alternate Assembly


Alternate Assembly
Curatorial Forum Presents: Weathering Regional Landscapes

Panelists | Katie A. Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, Ryan N. Dennis, Chief Curator, and Artistic Director, Center for Art & Public Exchange, Mississippi Museum of Art, Regina Agu, Artist, Chicago, Cristina Molina, Artist and Associate Professor of New Media + Animation, Southeastern Louisiana University, Willie Wright, Assistant Professor of Geography, Rutgers University

On January 21, these five panelists met online to discuss several recent curatorial and artistic projects anchored in the Gulf Coast—home to some of the fastest disappearing landmasses in the world—this conversation considers how art can encourage new forms of environmental awareness, and invite new thinking about culture and community. How can art shed light on urgent local issues, while also looking beyond the region, nation, and country to show us the way that climate connects us all? How can art inspire us to think about the very idea of the environment differently, dissolving the boundaries between local and global, between center and periphery, to locate new sources of solidarity and strength?

Curatorial Forum Presents: Weathering Regional Landscapes from Independent Curators INTL on Vimeo.



This program is co-presented with EXPO CHICAGO. EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art features leading international galleries alongside one of the highest quality platforms for contemporary art and culture. Hosted within historic Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, EXPO CHICAGO presents a diverse program, including /Dialogues (presented in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and Exchange by Northern Trust, an unrivaled talks program for both public and VIP audiences; IN/SITU, dynamic on-site installations highlighting large-scale sculpture, film, and site-specific work; and major public art initiatives, including IN/SITU Outside, public art installed throughout Chicago Park District locations, and OVERRIDE | A Billboard Project, a curated selection of international artists throughout the city’s digital billboard network. The EXPO CHICAGO program also features an unprecedented commitment to host curatorial initiatives during the exposition, including the Curatorial Forum in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI), and the Curatorial Exchange, which partners with foreign agencies and consulates to expand the exposition’s global reach. EXPO CHICAGO is the publisher of THE SEEN, Chicago’s only international journal of contemporary and modern art criticism, distributed throughout the United States and Europe.

January 26, 2021 - February 2, 2021

presenter

Katie Pfohl

Katie Pfohl is the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  She completed her Ph.D. in American Art at Harvard University in 2014, and has a wide range of curatorial experience including positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2006, she completed the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Projects at NOMA include Mending the Sky, which featured eleven contemporary artists responding to a world in distress, Bodies of Knowledge, which invited eleven international artists to reflect on questions surrounding cultural preservation and historical memory, Changing Course: Reflections on New Orleans Histories, which brought together seven artists to reflect on forgotten or marginalized histories of New Orleans, and Ear to the Ground, which explored environmental activism in contemporary art. Pfohl has also organized solo exhibitions for many emerging and established artists including Regina Agu, Alia Ali, Keith Sonnier, and Torkwase Dyson. Upcoming projects include Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds, and Ebony G. Patterson: …when the land is in plumage…


Ryan N. Dennis

Ryan N. Dennis is the chief curator and artistic director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Ryan previously served as the Curator and Programs Director at Project Row Houses where her work focused on African American contemporary art with a particular emphasis on socially engaged practices, site-specific projects, public interventions and the development of public-facing programs for adults and youth. She is deeply interested in the intersection of art and social justice while creating equitable opportunities for artists to thrive in their work.

While at PRH she has organized and co-organized more than 12 Artist Rounds including, Round 47: The Act of Doing: Revitalizing, Preserving and Protecting Third Ward (2017); Round 46: Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter at Project Row Houses (2017); and Round 43: Small Business/Big Change: Economic Perspectives from Artists and Artrepreneurs (2015). Under Dennis’ purview, many highly regarded artists have showcased their work at PRH, including Simone Leigh, Autumn Knight, and Otabenga Jones & Associates.

Throughout her tenure, she organized the 2014 and 2018 Social Practice.Social Justice symposiums. Dennis also led the creation of the 2:2:2 Exchange Residency Program with the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, and established Project/Site, a temporary, site-specific, commission-based public art program. In 2017, she launched the PRH Fellowship with the Center for Art and Social Engagement at the University of Houston’s Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts.

Dennis conceives, implements, and directs public arts programs to generate engagement within the Third Ward community and beyond. Programming ranges from gallery talks, lectures, and panel discussions to experimental and participatory experiences with works of art.

Her writings have appeared in online and print catalogs and journals, including Prospect.3 Notes for Now, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, and The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Studio magazine. Recently, she edited PRH’s inaugural book, Collective Creative Actions: Project Row Houses at 25, and contributed to the first monograph of artist Autumn Knight titled, In Rehearsal: Autumn Knight, published by the Krannert Art Museum.

Prior to joining PRH, she worked at the Museum for African Art in New York City as the traveling exhibition manager. Her curatorial credits have included El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria and Jane Alexander: Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope). Dennis has served as a community organizer and a curatorial assistant at The Menil Collection in Houston. She has been a visiting lecturer and critic at a number of art schools and institutions and has taught courses on community-based practices and contemporary art at the University of Houston.

Dennis earned her master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute with a focus in Curatorial Practice. She is also on the board of the Alliance of Artists Communities and advisory committees of Gulf Coast Literary and Fine Arts Journal, University of Houston’s System-Wide Art Acquisition, and Houston Art Alliance’s Civic Art Committee. She is currently a proud fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership’s 2019 Fellowship Program. Dennis resides in Houston, Texas.


Regina Agu

Regina Agu was born in Houston, TX. She lives and works in Chicago, IL, and her practice is deeply rooted in the Gulf South. Her work has been included in exhibitions, public readings, publications, and performances internationally. Her first solo museum show, Passage, was presented at the New Orleans Museum of Art (2019-2020). In 2018, Agu was awarded a Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts + Project Row Houses fellowship at the University of Houston for her research project A Psychogeography of Emancipation Park, and a residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans through a partnership with For Freedoms. Agu received a 2017 Artadia Houston award and was a 2016-2017 Open Sessions participant at The Drawing Center in NYC. From 2014-2017, Agu was the co-director of Alabama Song, a collaboratively-run art space in Third Ward, Houston, which received a 2016 SEED grant from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Agu is the founder of the Houston-based WOC Reading Group, and her other collaborative projects include Friends of Angela Davis Park and the Houston-based independent small press paratext.


Cristina Molina

Cristina Molina is a visual artist who hails from the subtropics of Miami and currently lives and works in New Orleans—two precarious and vulnerable terrains that have majorly influenced her practice. Spanning performance, video installation, photography, and textile design, Molina’s artwork is set amongst landscapes both real and imagined—using the language of magical realism, her artworks centralize women’s stories to upend dominant histories. Molina’s projects have been supported by the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Last year, Molina was one of 61 artists selected for the national exhibition State of the Art 2020 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Previously, her work has been featured at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Polk Museum, New Orleans Film Festival, and Syros International Film Festival. In 2016, Art in America and Burnaway featured her exhibition Sad Tropics with Jonathan Traviesa among the top exhibitions of the year. Since 2014 Molina has been a member of the New Orleans artist-run project, The Front where she regularly curates and exhibits artwork, and co-organizes The Front’s annual juried film festival. Cristina Molina is Associate Professor and Gallery Director at Southeastern Louisiana University where she received the 2018 President’s Award for Excellence in Artistic Activity and is the current recipient of the Viola Brown Endowed Professorship in Visual Arts and Dramatic Arts.


Willie Wright

Willie J. Wright is an Assistant Professor of Geography and Africana Studies at Rutgers University. He studies the intersections of (anti)blackness and urban spatial change, particularly how black residents create and sustain a sense of place in working class communities.


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