2017 Curatorial Forum | EXPO CHICAGO

2018 Curatorial Forum Participants

Curatorial Forum | EXPO CHICAGO
September 12–15, 2017

Graham Foundation
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, IL 60610

Developed in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO, the second Curatorial Forum will bring to Chicago 30 mid-career and established curators from across the country, working independently or with an institutional affiliation. The program was conceived to foster strong national and regional networks for curatorial and institutional collaboration, encourage critical thinking, and reflect on practices that are responsive to local art communities while inscribed in a global art discourse.

The Curatorial Forum offers curators the opportunity to engage with their colleagues, gain exclusive insights into the fair’s curated elements, and explore among peers significant issues relevant to curating, programming, institution-building and audience engagement. This year, the Curatorial Forum will feature a series of peer-led, closed-door sessions focused on critical questions.

Keynote Speaker:
Jesús Carrillo | Independent Curator

Session leaders include:
Valerie Cassel Oliver | Race & Representation | Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Larissa Harris | Contemporary Art Literacy | Curator, Queens Museum of Art
Miranda Lash | Regional Collaborations | Curator of Contemporary Art, Speed Art Museum
Fionn Meade | Performance } Independent Curator
Dominic Willsdon, Leanne and George Roberts | Socially-Engaged Practice | Curators of Education & Public Practice, SFMOMA

Participants of this convening include:
Cole Akers | Curator / Special Projects, The Glass House
Wassan Al-Khudhairi | Chief Curator, CAM St. Louis
Steven Bridges | Assistant Curator, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University
Laura Burkhalter | Curator, Des Moines Art Center
Jill Dawsey | Associate Curator, MCA San Diego
Janet Dees | Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
Lauren Schell Dickens | Curator, San Jose Museum of Art
Laurie Ann Farrell | Curator of Contemporary Art, Detroit Institute of Arts
Courtenay Finn | Curator, Aspen Art Museum
Ross Stanton Jordan | Curatorial Manager, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
Christine Kim | Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, LACMA
Nancy Lim | Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture, SFMOMA
Kiki Mazzucchelli | Independent Curator
Felicia Mings | Coordinator of Andrew W. Mellon Academic Programs, the Art Institute of Chicago
Humberto Moro | Curator, SCAD Museum of Art
María Elena Ortiz | Associate Curator, Perez Art Museum Miami
Jane Panetta | Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art
Katie Pfohl | Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, New Orleans Museum of Art
Lauren Ross | Independent Curator
Jennifer Scanlan | Curatorial and Exhibitions Director, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center)
Raechell Smith | Director and Chief Curator, H&R Block Art Space)
Anthony D. Stepter | Independent Curator
Yesomi Umolu | Exhibitions Curator, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago
Margaret Winslow | Curator of Contemporary Art, Delaware Art Museum
among others.


Public Session:
Out of Body: Black Identity in Abstraction
Thursday September 14, 2017

Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

Join Valerie Cassel Oliver (a session leader at this year’s Forum, and the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) in conversation with Naomi Beckwith (Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, MCA Chicago), moderated by Romi Crawford (Visual Critical Studies and Liberal Arts Associate Professor, SAIC). Presented at the /DIALOGUES talk series as part of the Curatorial Forum, the panel will discuss how artists have used abstraction to challenge didactic ways of portraying the black body in art, exploring the work of Howardena Pindell, the influence of female and queer artists, and the space between artistic intention and critical response.
More information here.


The 2017 Curatorial Forum was made possible, in part, with the collaboration of Paula Crown and the PAHC/studio·lab. PAHC/studio·lab will also invite two curators to travel back to Chicago to further their research and engage with the studio as part of the Forum’s Associate Curators Program. Additional support was provided by VIA Art Fund; Sotheby’s; Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art; Willis Towers Watson; and Terry Dowd Inc.




September 12, 2017 - September 15, 2017

Graham Foundation
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, IL 60610


Valerie Cassel Oliver

Valerie Cassel Oliver is senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas. Prior to her tenure at CAMH she was director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000 she was one of six curators selected to organize the Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Cassel Oliver has organized numerous exhibitions including Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art (2003); the acclaimed Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art (2007); Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image with Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft (2010); a major retrospective on Benjamin Patterson, Born in the State of Flux/us, as well as the survey Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein (2011). In 2012, she mounted the project, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, currently touring through 2015. In April of this year, she opened a major survey of drawings by Houston-based and internationally-recognized artist, Trenton Doyle Hancock entitled, Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones–20 Years of Drawing. The exhibition is slated to travel to Akron, Ohio for presentation in September 2014.

Larissa Harris

Larissa Harris is Curator at the Queens Museum, where she has organized a variety of exhibitions, such as “Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center” with Damon Rich and the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) (2009); the first US museum show of Korean artist Sung Hwan Kim (2011); QM’s biennial, “Queens International 2012”; a retrospective and new projects with the performance group Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) (2014); and a major new work with Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, The People’s United Nations (pUN) (2013–14). In addition, she helped organize a studio and artist services program at the Queens Museum, and an artist residency in Corona, Queens. Most recently she organized 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair in partnership with the Andy Warhol Museum. This exhibition will travel to AWM in September 2014.

Miranda Lash

Miranda Lash is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum. Her exhibition, Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art, co-organized with Trevor Schoonmaker, Chief Curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, is an expansive inquiry into Southern identity and the landscape and politics of the South. Southern Accent is accompanied by an extensive catalog published by Duke University Press. Lash is on the Artistic Director’s Council for Prospect.4, the fourth iteration of the international triennial art exhibition Prospect New Orleans, which opens in November 2017. In November 2017 Lash will also be opening BRUCE CONNER: FOREVER AND EVER, an exhibition of film and works on paper by Bruce Conner, co-curated with Dean Otto, Curator of Film at the Speed. Prior to the Speed, Lash was the founding curator of modern and contemporary art at the New Orleans Museum of Art from 2008 to 2014. At NOMA she organized over twenty exhibitions, including the traveling retrospective exhibition Mel Chin: Rematch; Swoon: Thalassa; Camille Henrot: Cities of Ys; Wayne Gonzales: Light to Dark / Dark to Light and Parallel Universe: Quintron and Miss Pussycat Live at City Park. Lash holds a B.A. in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University and an M.A. in Art History from Williams College.

Dominic Willsdon

Dominic Willsdon is an educator and curator. He is the Director of the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where he is also associate professor in art education. He was formerly Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Practice at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a Pedagogical Curator of the 9th Mercosul Biennial (2013) and a Co-Curator of the 9th Liverpool Biennial (2016), and Curator of Public Programs at Tate Modern (2000-2005). Recent curatorial projects include Public Knowledge (2016-19) and Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here (2019). Recent publications include Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good (MIT, 2016).

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