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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2024 Curatorial Forum

Apr 10 – 13, 2024

Chicago, IL, USA
EXPO Chicago

Navy Pier

21c Hotel Museum Chicago

For the first time, the 2024 Curatorial Forum presented a public curatorial conference around the theme of Curating and the Commons, where we explore both the civic nature and civic possibilities of art and curatorial practice.

We live in a time where each passing day only lays more bare the magnitude of the global challenges before us. In the face of that overwhelming vastness, the only logical response is to turn to our neighbor, and ask what our responsibility is to one another, or better yet, what it can be. Division and individualism have led us here, so perhaps the way out lies in what we have in common. This turn towards one another will play out in every realm of our life, but especially within our labor. 

These themes and more formed the focus of Curating and the Commons. Curatorial Forum participants—a group of 40 invited curators from across the United States—were joined by members of the public for a two-day program of talks. Writer and curator Miguel A. Lopez opened the conference with a keynote lecture that focused on his many experiences advancing the role of art in politics and public life, collective work, and collaborative dynamics. Then, three panel discussions focused on three key topics from some of the curators and art spaces who are defining new standards in the field:

  • Common Knowledge reaches into our past to explore how archives, collections, and libraries can shape our collective memory. How, and to what ends, can curatorial work uncover, protect, and disseminate our rich and varied histories so that we may learn from the knowledge contained in them?
  • Common Space is invested in how we physically shape our present. How can curatorial work reframe how we think about public space in an increasingly privatized environment?
  • Common Future examines what may lie ahead, and the civic role that the arts can play in not only imagining, but actively creating a better future. How can our practices move organizations to prioritize the values we hold over the economic value they protect?

Participants also had the opportunity to visit the ICI touring exhibition Actions for the Earth: Art, Care & Ecology, curated by Sharmila Wood, on view at the Block Museum at Northwestern University. Curator Sharmila Wood held a conversation with the Block consulting curator Stephanie Smith and Lisa Corrin (Ellen Philips Katz Director, Block Museum) on the exhibition, and aritst Katie West conducted a guided meditation, which she developed in collaboration with composer Simon Charles, that took place within her installation, Clearing (2019).

Miguel A. López

Miguel A. López is a writer and curator. He is currently co-curator of the 2024 Toronto Biennial "Precarious Joys."

Common Knowledge
Sampada Aranke

Sampada Aranke is an Associate Professor of Art History and Comparative Studies at Ohio State University.

Felipe Mujica

Felipe Mujica (b. 1974, Santiago, Chile) co-founded the artist-run space Galería Chilena, which operated from 1997 to 2005.

Savannah Wood

Savannah Wood is an artist and the Executive Director of Afro Charities.

Common Space
Risa Puleo

Risa Puleo is an independent curator and one of a team of curators organizing the 2023 Counterpublics Triennial in St. Louis.

Ange Loft

Ange Loft (Kanien'kehá:ka, from Kahnawà:ke, QC, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is an interdisciplinary performing artist.

Jay Pather

Jay Pather is a choreographer, curator and academic. Based in Cape Town, he is a Professor and directs the Institute for Creative Arts at UCT, curates Infecting the City Public Art Festival and the ICA Live Art Festival.

Common Future
Megha Ralapati

Megha Ralapati is a curator and cultural worker specializing in transnational cultural exchange and artist mobility. She is Program Director at CEC ArtsLink.

Joseph Cuillier

Joseph Cuillier is Co-Director/Creative Director, The Black School.

Shani Peters

Shani Peters is Co-Director/Managing Director of The Black School.

Michele Horrigan

Michele Horrigan is an Irish curator and artist.

Participating Curators
Alberto Aguilar

Alberto Aguilar is a Chicago-based artist that uses whatever material is at hand in an attempt to make a meaningful connection with the viewer.

Katherine Brodbeck

Anna Katherine Brodbeck is the Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA).

Efeoghene Igor Coleman

Efeoghene Igor Coleman is the Blackmon Perry Assistant Curator of African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

Stavroula Coulianidis

Stavroula Coulianidis is a New York City based independent curator.

Amanda Donnan

Amanda Donnan is an independent curator.

Alexandria Eregbu

Alexandria Eregbu is a creative anthropologist.

Stamatina Gregory

Stamatina Gregory is a curator and art historian.

Tempestt Hazel

Tempestt Hazel is a curator, writer, and the co-founder of Sixty Inches From Center.

DJ Hellerman

DJ Hellerman is Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Fabric Workshop & Museum in Philadelphia

Jessica Hong

Jessica Hong is a curator and cultural worker who has dedicated her practice to highlighting under-recognized narratives and stimulating generational change within institutional sites.

Amanda Hunt

Amanda Hunt is Head of Public Engagement, Learning and Impact (PELI) at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

Misa Jeffereis

Misa Jeffereis is Associate Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

Miranda Lash

Miranda Lash is the Ellen Bruss Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

S.Y. Lim

S.Y. Lim is an artist, independent curator, and arts organizer based in Chicago and Seoul.

Jova Lynne

Jova Lynne is an arts practitioner and is the current Artistic Director at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD).

Denise Markonish

Denise Markonish is the Chief Curator at MASS MoCA.

Bernardo Mosqueira

Bernardo Mosqueira is Chief Curator at the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), in New York, and Artistic Director at Solar dos Abacaxis, in Rio de Janeiro.

Jade Powers

Jade Powers joined the Birmingham Museum of Art as the Hugh Kaul Curator of Contemporary Art in September 2023.

Zandie Brockett

Zandie Brockett is Director of Community and Culture at NeueHouse.

Jordan Carter

Jordan Carter is a Curator at Dia Art Foundation in New York.

Kristan Kennedy

Kristan Kennedy is an artist, professor, and the Artistic Director and Curator at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

Melanie Kress

Melanie Kress is Senior Curator at the Public Art Fund.

Sarah Liska

Sarah Liska is Managing Director of FRONT 2025.

Ebony G. Patterson

Ebony G. Patterson is Associate Professor of Painting at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Asad Raza

Asad Raza creates dialogues and rejects disciplinary boundaries in his work, which conceives of art as a metabolic, active experience.

Drew Sawyer

Drew Sawyer is an art historian and a curator who holds the title of the Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Jamaal Sheats

Jamaal Sheats is Curator at Fisk University Galleries.

Cortney Stell

Cortney Lane Stell is a curator based in Denver, Colorado.

Carla Acevedo-Yates

Carla Acevedo-Yates is the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at MCA Chicago.

Danny Dunson

Danny Dusnon is Director of Curatorial Services and Community Partnerships at the DuSable Museum.

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith is a Chicago-based curator, writer, and arts leader whose collaborative, socially engaged projects assert art’s power to envision and enact other futures.

Tara Aisha Willis

Tara Aisha Willis, Ph.D., is a dancer, writer, and curator.

Ivy Wilson

Ivy Wilson is Associate Professor of English, Director of the Program in American Studies, and Director of the Black Arts Consortium at Northwestern University.

Modou Dieng Yacine

Modou Dieng Yacine is a Senegalese-American artist.

Germano Dushá

Germano Dushá (Serra dos Carajás, Brazil) is a curator, writer, and cultural agent.

Amber Imrie

Amber Imrie is a queer artist, art educator, and founding team member of The Alternative Art School. 

​Magdalena Moskalewicz

Magdalena Moskalewicz, PhD is an art historian, curator, and author.

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 2024 Curatorial Forum is co-produced by EXPO CHICAGO and ICI, and made possible, in part, by the generous support of 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, and the Joyce Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Hartfield Foundation; with additional support by UAP | Urban Art Projects; Terry Dowd, Inc; and Gallagher. It is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide collaboration initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art that highlights the city’s artistic heritage and creative communities. The Barbara Nessim Curatorial Travel Award is funded by Barbara Nessim, an artist known for her lifelong multi-disciplinary art practice as well as her support of women in the arts.