Curatorial Intensive in New Orleans: Public Symposium

Curatorial Intensive in New Orleans: Public Symposium
Saturday, January 24, 2015

Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans (CAC)
900 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
FREE and open to the public

Join the Curatorial Intensive participants in New Orleans on January 24 for a public symposium, where the participants present their exhibition and project proposals that they have developed throughout the course of the program.

Symposium Schedule
Welcome and Session 1: 11:00am–12:30pm
Break: 12:30–1:30pm
Sessions 2 and 3: 1:30–5:00pm

This program, focusing on regional networks, brings together emerging curators from across the American South and around the world for the opportunity to exchange ideas, develop their curatorial practice, and explore Prospect.3: Notes for Now, the international biennial curated by Franklin Sirmans. To learn more about the program, click HERE.

Participants include: Brandon Alvendia (Chicago, IL), Paulina Ascencio (Zapopan, Mexico), Charles Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica), Katherine Cohn (New York, NY), Marcela Correa (New Orleans, LA), Ryan N. Dennis (Houston, TX), Lauren Schell Dickens (Washington, D.C.), Saisha Grayson (New York, NY), Katherine Gressel (New York, NY), Melissa Messina (Savannah, GA), Felicia Mings (Chicago, IL), and Yesomi Umolu (Lansing, MI).

This event is free and open to the public, though seating is limited. Please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with SYMPOSIUM in the subject line.

January 24, 2015

Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans (CAC)
900 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130


Brandon Alvendia

Brandon Alvendia is a Chicago-based artist, curator, writer, publisher and educator. His interdisciplinary practice playfully engages spatial and social architectures to envision temporary utopias. He is the founder of multiple Chicago alternative spaces artLedge (2004-2007), BEN RUSSELL (2009-2011), The Storefront (2010-2014), and art-publishing house Silver Galleon Press (2008-present). His work supports the efforts of local and international artists by creating platforms for experimentation, discussion and collaboration. He is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA ‘03) and University of Illinois at Chicago (MFA ‘07). Alvendia regularly performs and exhibits around North America collaborating with various artist-run initiatives. In 2013, he organized a three-act community-oriented experimental dramatic work, Chambre d’Amis, around the theme of place and memory for the Institute of American Art in Portland, ME. He was also the recipient of a 2010 Propellor Fund Grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation. This summer he collaborated with Chicago Artist Writers and Locust Projects Miami to publish a review from a mass of participants under a single, anonymous name. Alvendia continues to publish through Silver Galleon Press, which he expanded into a workshop to focus on its performative and communal aspects. His summers are spent working as a Visiting Artist Coordinator for ACRE residency in Wisconsin. He has recently contributed to the publications The Economy Magazine (US) and ISSUE 28 (CA).  He is currently working on a large-scale project based on the aftermath of the financial collapse of 2008 and its effects on North American creative economies.

Paulina Ascencio

Paulina Ascencio (b. Guadalajara, 1988)  Independent curator and researcher based in Mexico, with a background in Philosophy and Social Sciences. She is currently Associate Curator at Ladera Oeste, in Guadalajara. She has been part of the residency programs of KADIST, San Francisco (2012); PAOS, Guadalajara (2016); Curatorial Program for Research: Dimming the Northern Lights with the support of Iaspis / The Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s Visiting Expert Programme (2018); and the Curatorial Intensive program of Independent Curators International (ICI) in New Orleans (2015). She has developed her practice in institutions, museums, galleries, and independent spaces in Mexico and the United States. Among her research and pedagogical projects are AikidoGDL (2018), Faena (2017-2018), and Archivo MMXV (2015). Her texts have been published in La Tempestad, Terremoto, and Código.

Charles Campbell

Charles Campbell is a Jamaican born multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator. He has exhibited throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe, representing Jamaica and Canada in events such as the Havana Biennial; Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art, held at the Brooklyn Museum; Wrestling With the Image: Caribbean Interventions, held at the Art Museum of the Americas and Contemporary Jamaican Art, circa1962 | circa2012, held at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Campbell has written for Frieze Magazine and is also a regular contributor to ARC Magazine, a Caribbean arts journal.

Katherine Cohn

Katherine Cohn is a curator and producer finishing an M.A. degree in Columbia University’s Modern Critical and Curatorial Studies program. Prior to starting at Columbia, Cohn was Associate Curator at the Calder Foundation and co-founder of A.D. Projects, a curatorial collaborative dedicated to presenting the work of emerging American artists and experimental genres in alternative spaces. Cohn produced and co-curated the Calder Foundation’s 12-hour projects—continuous programming in non-traditional locations of cross-generational and cross-disciplinary works such as film, sound, static art installations and performance. Last year’s They Might Well Have Been Remnants of the Boat was presented in a neogothic refectory and featured works by artists such as Jack Goldstein, Christine Sun Kim, Sheila Hicks, Alejandro Guzman and Elka Krajewska vs. John Williams. The previous Oh, you mean cellophane and all that crap took place in a halted construction zone and featured works by artists such as Mary Ellen Bute, Alexandre Singh, C Spencer Yeh, Darren Bader, Aki Sasamoto and James Lee Byars. Cohn also produced and curated Derrick Adams’s Once Upon A Time…, Performa 13/Calder Foundation/ Salon 94, New York.  Past work with A.D. Projects include co-producing Kenya Robinson’s A work performance for Monday Night, C24 Gallery, NY; co-curating and co-producing Reliquary/SUPERDARK, a project for the New Museum’s “Ideas City Festival” that also launched No Longer Empty and LES CB3’s “Empty Spaces Initiative”; CAMERA VIVANT, Central Utah Arts Center, Ephraim, UT; and group shows at nameless locations such as: Piles, After Dark 78 and After Dark 425.

Marcela Correa

Marcela Correa has recently received two MA degrees in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London and in The History and Business of Art and Collecting from the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts/Warwick University in Paris and London. She has worked in several European galleries, ranging from antiquities to contemporary, such as Galerie Kugel, Sprovieri Gallery, and Ronchini Gallery. Apart from working in galleries, Correa has worked closely with two important artists in the New Orleans area, George Dunbar and Tameka Norris. Since July she has been interning with Senior Curator of Collections Research, Alice Yelen Gitter, at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Here she has understood the importance in cultivating relationships between upstanding city institutions, such as NOMA, and smaller arts centers in other parts of New Orleans and Louisiana. Curating exhibitions that can engage the public visually, but also educationally, has become an extremely important aspect of what they try to achieve every time a new exhibition is put together. Apart from successfully fulfilling internships in other countries, Correa wrote her second dissertation on art and regeneration in New Orleans, giving her a deeper understanding of the city’s growth since Hurricane Katrina. There are still many aspects between the creative environment and civic environment, which need to be discerned carefully. Her hope is to continue to cultivate conversations between these two environments within this city, as well as educate the public on different art practices. Correa is hoping to publish her research within the coming year.

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. Dennis joined Project Row Houses in Houston as the Public Art Director in October 2012. Her interests include African American and international contemporary art, with a particular focus on socially engaged practices in all media, site-specific projects, and public interventions. At Project Row Houses, Ryan has organized exhibitions and programs including, Round 41: Process and Action: An Exploration of Ideas (2014); Round 40: Monuments: Right Beyond the Site (2014); Social Practice. Social Justice Symposium (2014); Round 39: Looking Back, Moving Forward (2013). She has written for the 2014 Prospect 3 catalogue and the Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine. Prior to Project Row Houses she worked in New York City at the Museum for African Art as the traveling exhibition manager, working on exhibitions which included but not limited to 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). She received her master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute where her research focused on the role of the artist as the administrator and cultural producer through residencies, and collaborative programming. Prior to moving to New York City, Ryan worked as a community organizer and a curatorial assistant at The Menil Collection in Houston, TX.

Lauren Schell Dickens

Lauren Schell Dickens is the former Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. She has held curatorial positions at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Jewish Museum of Art. Past exhibitions include Hank Willis Thomas’ Question Bridge: Black Males, Corcoran Gallery of Art (2013); How is the World? Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Photography, Corcoran Gallery of Art (2013); 2x2: Wafaa Yasin, Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA (2012); The Danube Exodus: The Rippling Currents of the River, a project by Péter Forgács and The Labyrinth Project, The Jewish Museum, NY (2009); A Conflicted State, ISE Cultural Foundation, NY (2009); and There is no synonym for hope, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY (2008). Lauren has organized performances in public spaces with artists including Renee Rendine, Mary Coble, iona ROZEAL brown, and Andrea Fraser. Lauren is a curatorial consultant with the National Gallery of Art, and a member of Kunsthalle Galapagos, a curatorial collaborative of curators and artists active in Brooklyn. She holds a BA in American Studies from Yale University, and an MA in Modern Art: Critical Studies from Columbia University. She is currently based in Washington D.C.

Saisha Grayson

Saisha M. Grayson is the Assistant Curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Saisha Grayson joined the Museum in 2011, where she previously served as a graduate intern in 2008, and has provided key support on each of the Center’s special exhibitions since, including the award-winning “Materializing ‘Six Years:’ Lucy Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art.” She served as organizing curator of the Museum’s presentation of “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey,” and curated the center’s most recent exhibition, “Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time.” Prior to her tenure at the Museum, Grayson was editorial assistant on several catalogues, including Nayland Blake: Behavior (2008), the monograph Ghada Amer (2010); coauthor of the catalogue essay “Pinaree Sanpitak: Quietly Floating” (2010); and author of “Disruptive Disguises: The Problem of Transvestite Saints for Medieval Art, Identity, and Identification,” (2009) and “Breathing Between the Lines: Re-Deconstruction in Chitra Ganesh’s Tales of Amnesia” (2011). She received her MA in Contemporary Art & Curatorial Studies from Columbia University and is currently a Ph.D candidate at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she focuses on contemporary art, performance, feminist theory, and exhibition history, with an in-progress dissertation on Charlotte Moorman. She previously taught in the art history department at Queens College, freelance curated around New York, and worked as a communications consultant for a variety of museums and arts institutions. She was the recipient of an Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellowship at the Graduate Center and a research residency at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL.

Katherine Gressel

Katherine Gressel is a NYC-based independent curator, artist and writer focused on public/site-specific art. She has received grants from the Puffin Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, and Brooklyn Historical Society for her original Brooklyn Utopias (BU) exhibition and programming series inviting contemporary artists to respond to urban planning issues. Katherine has produced five major BU exhibitions to date, recommended by Hyperallergic, Time Out NY, News 12 Brooklyn, and the L Magazine. Katherine was a Curatorial Lab fellow in 2013 for the NYC nonprofit No Longer Empty that brings art to vacant spaces, co-organizing a site-specific exhibition in an empty Greenwich Village storefront. For the past 3 years, she has also co-directed the FIGMENT Summer-long Sculpture Program, producing 5-10 interactive sculptures each summer on NYC’s Governors Island.  She participated twice in the Museum Camp program at the Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz exploring experimental exhibition design and evaluation. Katherine has presented original research on public/community art for; the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network; and Public Art Dialogue. She was a contributing editor/writer to Street Art: San Francisco (Abrams, 2009) and the upcoming Blackwell Companion to Public Art.Katherine has exhibited her artwork throughout NYC and was a 2008 Abbey Mural Fellow at the National Academy and 2009 CEC ArtsLink travel grantee. She served as Smack Mellon Gallery’s education/residency program manager for 4 years and also consulted/worked for The Times Square Alliance, Creative Time, and Arts to Grow, among others. Katherine received her art BA from Yale and arts administration MA from Columbia.

Melissa Messina

Melissa Messina curated solo exhibitions for such artists as Nick Cave, Whitfield Lovell, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Shinique Smith, and the photography exhibition Room In My Head: Staging Psychological Spaces, among others as the former Senior Curator at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Since the opening of the SCAD Museum of Art in 2011, Messina has curated exhibitions for Uta Barth, Lynda Benglis, Matthew Brandt, Ingrid Calame, Nicola López, Jason Middlebrook, Alex Prager, Tim Rollins & K.O.S., Ursula Von Rydingsvard, and the group exhibition Stretching the Limits: Fibers in Contemporary Painting. Prior to SCAD, Messina was the National Program Director for ArtTable, during which time she developed the public programs for Prospect.1 New Orleans biennial; was a guest curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum where she was formerly employed during the Center’s opening in 2006; and was an independent curator in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned a B.F.A. from the Atlanta College of Art, and a M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, where she coordinated its 2005–06 Visiting Artist Lecture Series. Selected publications include: Walking Around in a Garden: Prints by Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond (forthcoming); Alison Elizabeth Taylor Brings It to the Table; and the curatorial catalogue essays Alexandre Arrechea: The Rules of Play; Clare Rojas: Through the Woods; Chakaia Booker: Sustain; Youssef Nabil: I Live Within You; and Mercy, Patience and Destiny: The Women of Whitfield Lovell’s Tableaux. She is currently the curator of the Mildred Thompson estate.

Felicia Mings

Felicia Mings is the Academic Curator in the department of Academic Engagement and Research at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she co-curated the exhibitions Malangatana: Mozambique Modern (2020) and The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster (2019). She organizes and leads a range of initiatives including the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program, and projects that foster artist and student engagement with the museum’s collection. At the core of Mings’ practice is a focus on the intersections between curatorship, community-based arts education, and modern and contemporary art of Africa and the African diaspora. As a Canadian-born and US-based curator and educator, Mings earned her MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her Honors BA in Art and Art History from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College.

Yesomi Umolu

Yesomi Umolu (Nigeria/UK) is Exhibitions Curator at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, where she is also a lecturer in the humanities division. Prior to this, she was Assistant Curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. At the Broad, she curated John Akomfrah: Imaginary Possessions (2014); The Land Grant: Forest Law (2014), a newly commissioned research and film project by Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares; Emeka Ogboh: Àlà (2013) and Revelations: Examining Democracy (2013), featuring works from the Broad MSU collection. She was coordinating curator for the Broad MSU presentation of MCA Denver’s Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art (2013) and SFMOMA’s traveling exhibition Lebbeus Woods, Architect (2013). Umolu was previously Curatorial Fellow for Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis where she curated The Museum of Non Participation: The New Deal (2013). She also worked on exhibitions such as Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites (2013), Minouk Lim: Heat of Shadows (2012) and The Living Years: Art after 1989 (2012). Prior to joining the Walker, Umolu held curatorial positions at the European biennial of contemporary Art Manifesta 8, region of Murcia, Spain (2010) and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2009-10). She has also contributed to programming at Iniva and Tate Modern, London. She has participated in various international curatorial residencies including at Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen and the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw. She has presented lectures and talks at a number of international venues and writes regularly for Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism. Umolu holds an MA with Distinction in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London.

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