The Idea Fund will host a panel discussion on December 9, 2016 at 6 p.m. at Project Row Houses with the jurors for Round 9 of The Idea Fund grant: Lu Zhang, Dr. Julia Bryan-Wilson and Dennis Nance, in addition to guest panelist Deana Haggag. Each panelist will talk about their artistic or curatorial experience and their work at various organizations. The public is invited to come and hear more about their areas of specialization and the decision-making process for The Idea Fund grant application.

Lu Zhang, Deputy Director at The Contemporary, Baltimore
Lu Zhang is the Deputy Director of The Contemporary, a nomadic non-collecting museum in Baltimore. She received her MFA in Painting at the Frank Mohr Institute in the Netherlands and her BFA in General Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). In addition to her role at The Contemporary, Lu teaches at MICA, serves on the Programming Advisory Committee at Maryland Art Place, and is the artist-in-residence at The George Peabody Library. Lu has exhibited her drawings and installations in the United States and abroad including shows at C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore, Randall Scott Gallery in Washington DC, The Center for Art and Culture in France, and several exhibitions in the Netherlands. Lu has received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and The Trawick Prize Young Artist Award. In 2014, she became an inaugural recipient of the Rubys Artist Project Grant in Literary and Visual Arts.

Julia Bryan-Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Department of History of Art at University of California, Berkeley
Julia Bryan-Wilson is associate professor of contemporary art at the University of California, Berkeley and a frequent contributor to Artforum. She is the author Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (2009), and, with Glenn Adamson, Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing (2016). Her book Fray: Art and Textile Politics will be published in 2017 by the University of Chicago Press.

Dennis Nance, Curator at Galveston Arts Center, Artist and 2015 Idea Fund Recipient
Dennis Nance is the newly appointed curator at Galveston Arts Center and a native Houston artist with extensive experience working with artists and exhibitions. He recently got into sewing and makes clothing and costumes for both everyday wear and special occasions. Nance received a 2015 Idea Fund award for his project Cast of Characters, a series of costumes and garments based on holiday celebrations. He wore the suits at public engagements and surprise moments, documenting his costumes and outings for a gallery presentation and calendar. Nance received his B.A. from Austin College with a concentration in Fine Arts and French.

Deana Haggag, Executive Director at The Contemporary, Baltimore
Deana Haggag has been the Executive Director of The Contemporary, a nomadic and non-collecting art museum based in Baltimore, MD, since the spring of 2013. Prior to her work with the museum, she was the Curator-in-Residence at Gallery CA, which is also located in Baltimore, MD in the City Arts building—home to over 90 artists. In addition to her work at The Contemporary, Deana lectures extensively, consults on various public art initiatives, contributes to cultural publications, and teaches at institutions such as Towson University and Johns Hopkins University. She is on the board of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and has served as a member of the Affiliates Board for the Museums and Society Program at Johns Hopkins University and StageOne/FANS council at the Baltimore School for the Arts. Deana was named “10 People to Watch Under 30” by the Baltimore Sun in 2013 and a “Young Cultural Innovator” by the Salzburg Global Forum in 2015. She received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA from Rutgers University in Art History and Philosophy.


The Idea Fund is a re-granting program administered by a partnership of DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Idea Fund supports individual artists, curators, collectives, collaboratives or partnerships in the greater Houston area with a focus on artist-generated or artist-centered projects that exemplify unconventional, interventionist, conceptual, entrepreneurial, participatory, or guerrilla artistic practices.  Grants are competitive and awarded by a panel of arts professionals and artists.