Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

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2018 Curatorial Forum

Sep 26 – 29, 2018

Chicago, IL, USA


Developed by EXPO CHICAGO and ICI, the 2018 Curatorial Forum offered a group of mid-career and established curators, working independently or with an institutional affiliation, the opportunity to engage with their peers and explore significant issues relating to curating, programming, institution-building and audience engagement.

The 2018 Curatorial Forum opened with a keynote presentation by Jochen Volz, Director of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo and recipient of ICI’s 2017 Agnes Gund Curatorial Award, for Forum participants, Chicago professionals and other visiting curators, and featured a series of peer-led, closed-door sessions focused on critical questions relevant to contemporary practice and context. The session topics included “Accessibility,” “Beyond Exhibition-Making,” “Critical Regionalism,” “Labor Conditions,” and “Race, Representation, Social Justice.”

The 2018 Forum concluded with an Assembly hosted by Yesomi Umolo at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts bringing all participants together to further invest in the knowledge exchanged during the program and to foster regional professional networks and collaborations across the American cultural landscape.

Jochen Volz

Jochen Volz is the General Director of Pinacoteca de São Paulo and the curator of the Brazilian Pavilion at the 57th Biennale di Venezia (2017). He was the chief curator of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016).

Session Leaders
Dean Daderko

Dean Daderko (they/them) is the Ferring Foundation Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

Ryan N. Dennis

Ryan N. Dennis is the Senior Curator and Director of Public Initiatives at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). 

Candice Hopkins

Candice Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation and the Executive Director of Forge Project, Taghkanic, NY.

Katie Pfohl

Katie Pfohl is the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Amy Sadao

Amy Sadao is a curator and a strategist.


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. 


The 2018 Curatorial Forum was made possible, in part, by Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art; Sotheby’s; Terry Dowd Inc.; and Willis Towers Watson.