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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2022 Curatorial Assembly

Clockwise from top left: Rachel Adams; Jordan Amirkhani; Rachel Reese; Jodi Throckmorton; Stephanie Koch (Photo: zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o'neal); Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas.

Jun 17, 2022 – Sep 30, 2022

ICI Online

Clockwise from top left: Rachel Adams; Jordan Amirkhani; Rachel Reese; Jodi Throckmorton; Stephanie Koch (Photo: zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o'neal); Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas.

Over the summer and fall of 2022, six curators from across the Mississippi River Basin will hold a series of virtual closed-door meetings in this new program addressing the need to foster regional networks of exchange among curators. Spanning from Sheboygan to New Orleans, this Curatorial Assembly speaks to a need identified by many curators in our network who are active in the region: Connection. Although the geographic distance between cities can be relatively short, a sense of isolation and fragmentation persists as there are few, if any, opportunities for curators to learn and share about artists and curatorial practices in other arts communities. 

In the Curatorial Assembly, a cohort of six curators from different cities in the region convene for online meetings over a period of four months. These seminar gatherings focus on proven curatorial models that are effective in strengthening regional narratives and awareness. Participating curators will present their local art scenes to one another, organize virtual and in-person studio visits, and share readings. In particular, sessions consider the roles that curators and arts institutions can play in these cities during a critical period of cultural rebuilding following the crises of 2020. Those assembled are also encouraged to share their research and upcoming projects freely in order to foster collaboration, identify synergies between ongoing and future programs, and create cross-regional opportunities for artists such as short-term residencies, talks, or participation in exhibitions. 

By creating a long-duration space for exchange and collaboration, and equipping curators with an awareness of art practices in cities across the region, the Curatorial Assembly offers a platform on which to build a stronger regional identity in a post-COVID reality. These connections, we believe, will engender a community of thought partners that will continue to deepen after the Assembly is over. The program will identify ideas, issues, and narratives related to the Mississippi River Basin, and thus reframe artistic practice in the region through new relationships with geography, history, culture, and cultural infrastructure.

The program was developed in collaboration with Rachel Adams, Chief Curator and Director of Programs at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE.

Participants
Rachel Adams

Rachel Adams is the Chief Curator and Director of Programs at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Jordan Amirkhani

Dr. Jordan Amirkhani is Curator of Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought—a non-profit institute for research, publishing, and exhibitions of contemporary art based in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas

Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas is the Associate Curator at the Momentary in Bentonville, AR.

Stephanie Koch

Stephanie Koch is a facilitator, curator, and writer based in St. Louis and Chicago.

Rachel Reese

Rachel Jobe Reese is Director and Curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), the first ICA in the state of TN.

Jodi Throckmorton

Jodi Throckmorton is Chief Curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.